Urgent request to help Ecole Fessart!

$10.00 donations needed.

My friend recently received these pictures of the school that we are helping in September. Not only is the tent that the school is held in in really bad shape, but the school benches have been stolen! Fortunately, the government changed the start date of school from September 2 to October 1, so there is a little more time to sort this out. However, we leave for Haiti on Monday, Sept. 2.

We can purchase new school benches for $10.00 a piece. We will have to figure out a way to secure them while we are there, but we’d like to try to raise some money before Monday to purchase the benches.

For less than the cost of a trip to the movies, or a few lattes, you can buy a bench for this school. Please consider making a $10.00 donation today. The fastest and easiest way is through our Paypal account:https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=U8FLWQEVFBAM8

Thank you!





Less Than 3 Weeks to Go!

With less than 3 weeks to go, here is a little pictorial update on the progress being made. Thanks to incredible and generous donations of many people this little dream is going to be a reality! I am confident that not only will 120 very deserving Haitian children start the new school year off right with new backpacks and school supplies, but the school will also be set with art and craft supplies for a year of creative fun! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for your continued support!




Additionally, the dream of starting a little library in the school is coming to fruition. We have a growing collection of children’s books in French to bring to the school in addition to the backpacks, school supplies and craft supplies.  Books in Haitian Creole and French are greatly appreciated. There is a good selection picked out on the Be The Hope Amazon Wish List. Most of the items on the Wish List include free shipping on orders over $25.00 and they are shipped directly to us!  http://amzn.com/w/FU237H4GPEN3

Thank you to everyone for your continued support!

Backpacks and pencils and pens. Oh my!

A little over a month to go and we’re going strong! Our goal to bring 120 filled backpacks to Ecole Fessart looks like it is going to be a success! But, we still need your help!

The most needed items for the backpacks are:
24 count crayons
Composition notebooks
Pink erasers
Blue or black ballpoint pens

The needed items for classroom supplies are:
Colored pencils
Glue sticks
Construction paper

Feel free to contact us via Facebook or email: info@bethehopehaiti.org.

Thank you!


Be the Hope: More school supplies sought for children of Haiti

Heather Hinze, founder of a non-profit organization, Be The Hope, distributed backpacks filled with school supplies to students in a Haiti school.

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 12:00 am

Posted on July 17, 2013

Heather Hinze expected to experience poverty and deplorable school conditions during her two-week May visit to post-earthquake Haiti.

But the magnitude of the destitution created by a 7.0 earthquake in 2010 was greater than she imagined. The earthquake killed more than 300,000 people and left more than 1 million people homeless.

“Nothing prepares you for the poverty,” said Hinze, founder of Be The Hope.

“It has taken me a lot of time to process it.

“People have asked me how was Haiti and my reply is, ‘I don’t know. It was so overwhelming.’ ”

Hinze delivered 70 backpacks of school supplies to two orphanages, Mix Emmanuel Primary School and Frem Orphanage. She also brought half of the clothing and shoes she collected as well as bubbles, coloring books, baseball bats and balls.

“My first trip was to get my feet wet and figure out what is going on,” said Hinze.

She learned about a non-profit, Michigan-based organization that ships containers weekly to Haiti. Hinze can purchase space by the square foot to send donated clothing.

By providing children with school supplies, Hinze believes she can alleviate to some extent the financial strain on families to send children to school. Her ultimate goal is education can help break the cycle of poverty existing in Haiti.

She already plans to return in mid-September with 120 backpacks. She is adopting two schools in the mountainous suburb of Fessart, above Port au Prince.

“The area is so poor that the teachers’ main problem is that the children are usually too hungry to concentrate on their learning,” said Hinze.

Many schools provide one meal a day for the students and “it is the only meal for many,” she said.

Hinze returned with handmade jewelry by Haitian women. Hinze is selling the bracelets, earrings and a few metal crosses as a fundraising project. Prices range from $8 to $20. The money goes to the Haitian artisans and her project.

Hinze also is accepting cash donations at her home, 9767 N. Baylor Drive, Fountain Hills. More information also is provided on her website at www.bethehopehaiti.org and Facebook page at bethehopehaiti.

Haiti 3.jpg

Hinze welcomes support from any businesses, churches or organizations willing to have a box for donations in their office or lobbies for school supplies.

“Timing is perfect right now; stores will have displays soon on school supplies,” said Hinze.

Each backpack contains a hand pencil sharpener, a box of 24-count crayons, two 100-page composition notebooks, 12-count No. 2 pencils, a pencil case, eraser, 10-pack ball point pens and a 12-inch ruler.

“I’m having a hard time being here knowing that there is so much to be done there and I feel helpless,” she said.

“But at the same time, as far as orphanages and government go, the government is failing and how do you change a government that has been failing for so many years?”

Hinze said she tries to partner with individuals and organizations that she trusts.

“When you decide to give, you hope and pray it is legitimate.”

“It’s definitely challenging. It was not an easy trip,” said Hinze.

One week into the trip, Hinze said she broke down and cried for the first time: “I’ve never seen that level of poverty before, but you see a glimmer of hope in the job on the faces of the kids.”



Fostering Hope

I was talking to someone recently at the Farmers Market about Be The Hope and the dire circumstances for many children in Haiti. We had a nice conversation and I felt like he was really listening to what I had to say. Toward the end, he made a comment about the fact that there are children in the United States that need help too. I don’t think he was trying to be mean; just making a point. And it was a valid point. However, I found that I had the perfect response. I told him that I have been a licensed foster parent for 3 years, so I am well aware of the need.

As a foster parent I am on the frontlines every day. I have heard horror stories in training about abuses that children have suffered that are unimaginable and inconceivable. I attend all of the court hearings, Foster Care Review Board meetings, and in some cases, the trials of the biological parents when the state is seeking to terminate parental rights. I have had a child in my home that suffered the worst of all abuses: sexual abuse. Nothing can prepare you for a 5 year old telling you what Mom’s boyfriend did to her. I have spent weeks in the hospital with two of my kiddos, been to cardiologists, ENT’s, counseling appointments, and spent an afternoon at Childhelp. I know the need.

I have opened my home to 6 beautiful little girls since I became licensed in 2010. Some have stayed for as little as 2 days (until a relative was identified that could take her in) to 16+ months and counting. While this has been a rewarding, frustrating, overwhelming, joyful, agonizing, amazing, heart wrenching  and challenging experience, I still feel drawn to do more.  That is why I decided to start Be The Hope.

I consider myself a champion of children. If I can give hope to just one child, whether that child is in the United States or Haiti, then it’s a good day.


I love the one-for-one movement. For me, it started with TOMS. Take one look in my closet and you’ll know what I mean! I’m always on the look out for other socially responsible businesses and I love to share what I find with my friends. Today I found one that I think is awesome! And, its cause is very near and dear to my heart; helping children obtain an education.

FIGS. FIGS makes classic and stylish ties (regular neck ties and bow ties) as well as beautifully luxurious cashmere scarves. For every tie purchased, FIGS provides a child with a school uniform. As we at Be The Hope know, many children in the world can not attend school due to lack of finances. In the developing world, poverty keeps children out of school because their parents can not afford school fees, school supplies and uniforms that are needed to attend school. However, studies have shown that if children have access to education their potential to end the cycle of poverty increases. That’s why Be The Hope’s mission is to provide children with backpacks full of school supplies. That’s why we love FIGS mission to provide children with school uniforms.



Fountain Hills Times Article

Seek backpacks for Haiti
By: Barbara Charzuk, Times Reporter
March 6, 2013

Before the devastating 2010 earthquake, Haiti ranked the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

If possible, living conditions have worsened. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line of $1.25 per day. An estimated 350,000 displaced persons exist in temporary tent shelters. Nearly 4,000 schools affecting 2.5 million students have been damaged or destroyed.

Educating the children can break the cycle of poverty, believes Heather Hinze, a single mother who has launched a non-profit organization.

“It’s become my passion. A new generation of educated Haitians can help build a country of self-sufficient, positive contributors to society. The future of Haiti depends on the children,” said Hinze.

She has lived in town since 2004.

Her desire to make a difference evolved after reading the book “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie.

“It really resonated with me. There are all these great stories about what people are doing and I thought, ‘I’m going to do something.’ ”

When she lost her job of 11 years with a mutual fund company last year, she decided that the perfect opportunity had come to become involved.

She and her 16-year-old daughter Madison brainstormed about what path to take.

“I knew it would surround children,” said Hinze, a licensed foster mother. “I thought what can I tackle? Nobody was really handling education and it fit perfectly with my passion for children.”

Her favorite Mahatma Gandhi quote — “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” — further motivated her.

She learned that many Haitian families can’t afford to send their children to school because of the cost of school fees, school supplies, and uniforms.

She created “Be the Hope,” a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a backpack of school supplies to Haitian youngsters.

“I liked the idea of actually giving a child hope to fulfill their dreams by what you’re providing to them.”

She has partnered with Future for the Kids at Haiti Communitere, a disaster relief organization that assists a number of projects. The compound provides accommodations ranging from tents to rooms in the main building, drinking water and 24-hour security.

For starters, Hinze has “adopted” 60 boys and girls between the ages of one and 14 years old in two orphanages, Agape Orphanage and La Main Tendre Orphanage, in Port-au-Prince.

She plans to take as many backpacks as she can of school supplies, plus new and used clothing and shoes. She is limiting her personal items to one carry-on bag and will pack two large suitcases of the backpacks and clothing up to the 50 pounds allowed by the airlines.

“I don’t want to go empty-handed,” said Hinze, who considers her first trip as a learning and fact-finding experience.

“I want to work with people there and find out what they need and tailor needs around them,” said Hinze.

Buying school supplies may be less costly in Haiti than shipping the products from the United States to Haiti, she said.

She is funding her own trip, estimated to cost about $1,500. Her plan is to stay in a tent without running water to save money. She has been fundraising on the website Indiegogo, Facebook and Twitter to collect money for her charity.

Donations can be mailed to her home address, 9767 N. Baylor Drive, Fountain Hills, 85268. More information also is provided on her website at  http://www.bethehopehaiti.org.

Needed supplies

Each backpack will include a hand pencil sharpener, a box of 24-count crayons, two 100-page composition notebooks; 12-count Number 2 pencils; a pencil case; eraser; 10-pack ball point pens and a 12-inch ruler.

She eventually hopes to collect chalk, chalkboard erasers; soccer balls; art and crafts supplies; scissors; construction paper, glue and colored pencils. Monetary gifts also can go toward buying books in Haitian-Creole, French or English languages in Haiti.