Dear Friends of the What If? Foundation,
It has been an emotional week. At a time when Americans feel more divided than ever, it is important to remind ourselves of the incredible power of compassion to heal and unite. Your support of the What If? Foundation proves this to me every day.
I have just returned from Haiti. There are no words to adequately thank you for your generous donations during this very difficult time post-Mathew. I witnessed first-hand that every penny is being put to vital use.
I traveled to the south to visit two of the cities that bore he brunt of the destruction. Na Rive’s Program Director, Lavarice Gaudin, used his extensive networks, power of persuasion, and leadership skills to set up a kitchen in the city of Les Cayes. Here volunteers cook hundreds of meals several times a week with the supplies you’ve funded, and then send the meals to the communities most in need. Lavarice is also partnering with Dr. Piard, the same doctor who volunteers at the Father Jeri School, to mobilize doctors and nurses for mobile clinics there.
Of course there is never enough to go around – this is truly a drop in the bucket of need – but the government is out of sight, and larger non-profit organizations are facing real struggles getting their supplies to the people. We feel truly fortunate to be able to mobilize relief efforts so quickly and effectively thanks to our unique partnership with Na Rive.
Please consider making a donation today. $1.25 funds a single hot meal. $1,875 funds a kitchen for one day.
A poor community to begin with, Les Cayes has seen most of its housing severely damaged or totally destroyed. People are taking refuge from the rain in local school buildings – where the mobile clinics and fooddistribution are taking place. I watched as more than 400 people received medical assistance from the team, followed by a much-needed meal. For so many, it was their only sustenance that day.
We then traveled one hour north to Camp Perrin. Once a small picturesque town on the banks of a river lined with palm trees, birds and beautiful views. Now there is nary a home or tree standing. The desperation here feels somehow less urgent — until the food arrives.
In spite of witnessing the relief our efforts brought these communities, I was overcome by a deep feeling of helplessness. There is so much to do, and so many in need. But Dr. Piard assured me, that beyond the vital assistance we provide, our compassion means a lot to the people we are serving. In their darkest hour, we are there standing by their side. It made me proud to be able to represent all of you, who care so much, and feel compelled to act from so far away. With the help of our friends at Na Rive, our compassion crosses borders and arrives where it’s needed most.
We’ll continue to keep you posted. In the meantime, I wish everyone peace, hope, and kindness. Piti piti na rive.