Pillowcase Dresses, Pencil Cases and Jamming

I went to a wonderful orphanage with my friend Sarah Griffith on Saturday. It was the most impressive orphanage I have experienced in Haiti. The children ran up to greet us, each saying bonjou and kissing us on the cheeks. They were clean, fully clothed, healthy, happy, well mannered and just a joy to be around. Sarah had brought a bunch of pillowcase dresses for the girls and they had a wonderful time taking turns to select their new outfits. There were enough for each girl to make 3 choices.

Then, all of the children picked out a canvas pencil case that I had brought and they used fabric markers to personalize them. The children attend school at the orphanage. The director, Marie Yveline Adam, actually brings proper teachers in to teach the children! It was amazing.

Lastly, Sarah brought a final surprise; a guitar, electronic keyboard and two drums! A jam session ensued with all of us, children and adults, complete with crazy singing, dancing and drumming. It was one of the highlights of my 3 weeks.

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A short video of our jam session:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153265261705008

Day 2 in Haiti – Pool Party for the Kids

My second day in Haiti we decided to have a pool party for the kids at LMT Orphanage. We brought stainless steel basins from HC, bubbles, towels and new clothes with us. We filled up the basins with water and made sure everyone was ready with either a bathing suit or a new pair of underwear. The kids had a blast! It was wonderful to see them having so much fun with something as simple as tubs of water.Image

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After they were done splashing around we dried them all off and dressed them in new clothes. We played a little bit more before it was time for them to eat. As they sat down at the table, they sang the cutest little prayer!

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All in all I think everyone had a good day!

Let the fundraising begin!

Our very first fundraising campaign was launched today on Indiegogo! The goal is to raise $4,000.00. If we reach our goal, we will be able to purchase 150 backpacks for the kids at Agape Orphanage, La Main Tendre Orphanage, Frem Orphanage, Cite Soleil Youth Center and Mix Emmanuel Primary School. If we don’t reach our goal, we will purchase as many backpacks as we can. If we surpass our goal, we will use the additional funds for any or all of the following: additional backpacks for other schools in need (we already have a couple in mind!), other classroom necessities such as chalk, chalkboard erasers, arts and crafts supplies, and books.

Our clothing donation drive is still underway. We are collecting gently used and new clothing and shoes for ages 1 – 14 (both boys and girls) as well as new underwear for all ages. If you would like to hold a donation drive, please email us and we’ll give you more details. If you live in the Phoenix, AZ area we will pick up any donations too!

Our Indiegogo campaign can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/be-the-hope-the-backpack-project/x/2362242

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

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We’re Live!

It’s been an exciting week! Our website is live! http://www.bethehopehaiti.org It is my first attempt at “building” a website and, although it’s not perfect, I am very proud of myself! I officially contacted some of my friends and family to let them know what I am doing and passed along my web address, Facebook page and blog info. Thirty eight likes on Facebook already! I’ve also had more views on my blog in the past few days. Baby steps!

I created a Twitter account, but I have never tweeted before in my life! I’m waiting for my teenage daughter to help me out with my first tweet.

Our first crowdsourced fundraising campaign is in the works. I have been agonizing over it; I want to make sure it perfectly tells potential donors what it is I hope to accomplish. I also have a few “perks” in the works that donors can choose from at 3 different donation levels. My hope is to launch it sometime next week. My goal is to raise $4,000.00 (so scary!) which will allow me to purchase 150 filled backpacks needed to help the kids that Frantz works  with.

If you would like to help with our cause, here are some ideas and THANK YOU!