Wanderboomers love to travel for a host of reasons: to see the world, meet new people, visit far-flung places, learn about other cultures, and/or to make a difference in the lives of others.
Two years after the cataclysmic 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the work to bring medical care, food, clothing and shelter to the country’s inhabitants continues. For one Seattle woman, Sarah Pierre-Louis, and her Haitian husband Adrien, caring for the children who survived the disaster has become a personal mission with the loss of their niece who died in the quake.
After leaving a successful sales career in corporate America, Pierre-Louis began researching and applying for grants to support their cause. The couple founded their charity, Children, the Future of Haiti, with the purpose of helping “one orphanage at a time to make sure kids have the basics,” says Pierre-Louis. “If the children don’t get the education and healthcare they need, they’ll be slaves in their own country.” Once the children’s basic needs are met, their next goal is to build schools to keep kids off the streets and prevent kid trafficking.
Although Sarah and Adrien’s mission began immediately on the heels of the earthquake, their charity received legal status as an independent non-profit organization in March 2011 thanks to the efforts of their VP, Christina Barone. Since then they have partnered with Kettelyne Polinice, the director of an orphanage located in Petionville, Haiti near their family home. The 29 children living here range from 3 to 17 years of age. In some cases, the children have no parents. Others may only have one parent or two parents, neither of whom can afford to care for the child, because even if the parents survived, their businesses did not.
So far the foundation members have delivered appliances, clothing and medical supplies to the orphanage but are in need of bed linens and towels, shoes and more clothing for the children. Additional fundraising efforts are focused on raising money for toilets, school tuition and mandatory uniforms for the children to be able to attend school.
For information on how you can help make a difference through their organization, visit their website: http://www.childrenfuturehaiti.org/.
* All photo credits courtesy of Sarah Pierre-Louis.
What about you, Wanderboomers? How are you making a difference through your travels?