|Leisa and the children at the |
Lamp for Haiti clinic in Cite Soleil.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Leisa's Haiti Journal #1 - Janauary 2012 - "The Good Life"
So last night we raised a bit of Guiness at the Elephant Bar in relief. (“How can an elephant own a bar?” Luke wanted to know.) Then we toasted in the first night of the new school year. Tomorrow, after our second class, we catch a red-eye pointed toward Haiti.
We celebrate the almost $6,000 of support designated for Children’s Hope sponsored feeding programs in Haiti. (Thanks to Empty Bowls and the El Dorado Peace & Justice Community!) We celebrate the “Jam Cruise” shipping us 500 pairs of school shoes to Children’s Hope in Haiti. Thanks to “Positive Legacy” for taking on this project. (These shoes mean so much more than just shoes – school shoes can mean the chance at an education – a chance to change a life.) We celebrate our friend Marcorel who on one day’s notice agreed to drive twelve tortuous hours eating dust to pick up those shoes. We celebrate our Children’s Hope team members who regularly and quietly send the exact supplies and donations we need from as far away as Switzerland, and we dearly celebrate four year old Charlotte’s gathering her toys and asking her parents to send them to Haiti.
At the start of this new year, I raise my pen and pound my yellow pad in honor of those amazing folks who take on the twists and turns with grace and resolve. May they continue to have rich abundance – not of wealth – but of service and surprise.
We celebrate those like little Charlotte, who found ways to serve without money of their own, like the students at Sac State who sold wrist bands and bought new beds for Mabe Orphanage, like the woman who got her friends to commit to a small amount each month and ended up sending us several thousand condoms for distribution.
If you want to join the Children’s Hope team there are many ways to help out. If you'd like to make a monetary donation you can send a check to the address below or click on the "donate" button on our Haiti blog here: http://coalitionfordemocracyinhaiti.blogspot.com/
You can start a children’s vitamin drive at your soccer club or church. You can collect used graphing calculators for the future doctors in Haiti, cell phones for the women’s group leaders, or laptops for schools. You can get your fourth grade class to draw pictures of friendship and solidarity for the Sopudep School children in Port au Prince or for the disabled children up at Wings of Hope orphanage to put on their walls, as our friend Stacey did with her class recently. The need is great, the possibilities are endless, and every little bit helps.
We always find a next need. Right now, for example, we need to find $400 to pay for gas and a rented truck that can make the twelve hour trip on rutted roads for children’s shoes sake.
As Luke lugs in our worn-out duffle bags we wonder what Haiti has to teach us this time. On my last trip to Haiti in August, I stumbled onto folks who needed someone to distribute four cargo containers full of free medical supplies that had arrived in Haiti after their doctors had returned to the states (approximately $20,000 worth). I thought I was there to do work at the U.S. Embassy, instead I had the happy errand of meeting with Haitian women’s groups who facilitated the distribution of all these valuable supplies. What an experience it was for me to see these magnificent women pull together the security and networks necessary to get these supplies fairly spread to clinics and groups throughout the tent city. It was like magic. There were streams of women in place carrying bundles of diapers, cases of soap and bleach, boxes of first aid supplies and sanitary goods and more – mostly on their heads to a make-shift tent with a dirt floor. No bossing, no fighting, no theft. Just by the quiet order of women. Haiti has its lessons. Whatever it turns out to be this time, we’ll take it – ruts and bumps in the road and all.
You are part of the Children’s Hope team, even if you just share these journals with one friend. You never know where that may lead. Thousands of lives have been changed through this work. And after all, Marx once said, “the philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways…The point, however, is to change it.”
Peace, all ways and always, Leisa
Leisa Faulkner, Founder of Children’s Hope and Adjunct Professor of Sociology, University of the Pacific
Checks may be sent to:
Children’s Hope, 3025A Cambridge Road, Cameron Park, CA 95682