4-days after the 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, Chicagoans of this Meetup started spreading the message that HAITI needs help for a long, long time. One of the inspiration to start this group was an e-mail received 1-day after the earthquake, from Meetup co-founder Scott Helferman. He suggested to think about how to help Haiti by means of using a Meetup.
Obviously if you’ve donated your share already, kindly pass this information to someone who likes to further help. Honestly your word-of-mouth propaganda work is already of BIG help to our efforts. Thank you!
Join now! If you are part of the corporate social responsibility drive or are a socially responsible entrepreneur, or just like to help this is the group to now join. Haiti needs your help! The only requirement: A meaningful self-description with 200-250 words (incl. spaces). Exclude your name from the copy, exclude phone, e-mail, www’s and company name from this abstract. Instead mention how you intend to help. What skill or concept will you offer to the group? Ultimately add a little flavor by including an optional snapshot from you. Thank you.
This group is a grassroots movement by volunteers and not fundraisers. Red tape is not on our agenda. We are DOERS. We learnt it’s easier and faster to work on a given project by not asking for monetary donations. We are more eager to attract volunteers with a BIG heart. We proofed this approach works. As of now more than 1 million worth of medical goods (all rescued from landfill) have been delivered to Haiti. Apart the members of this group we are fortunate to count on the on-going support of numerous anonymous helpers spreading all across east of the Mississippi. Age is not an issue with us: One fellow, in his higher 70’s is doing this type of work for 31 years. Another fellow has lifted 30 refurbished mountain bicycles, as found on Chicago’s streets, into a truck. His age is 92 years. Then we have helpers as young as 4 years, who are already “expert tailors”!
Summary of our activities: Jan.'10 - Sept.'10:
We are proud to report that only due to the simple efforts of this Meetup, Chicagoans started meeting with each other.
We supported the efforts of (1) 30-ft. retal truck shipment of clothing, toiletry, toys, blankets, dried food, bottled water, soups and rice. This happened during January and February 2010. Disregarding all shipping obstacles, the load was well received in Haiti.
Members of this group and their friends were instrumental with a shipment of (515) hand-sorted cartons with medical goods, plus gently-used wheelchairs, crutches and walkers. Just imagine this; all items were saved from landfill. All tasks were performed by volunteers - grassroots-style on a shoestring budget. The load left Chicago on a rental truck to Miami and then on a voyage on a 120-ft. schooner "Liberty" to Haiti. One fellow from our orginal Chicago sorting and packing crew was part of the 13-person crew. Project duration: 10 weeks. Haiti custom clearance time: 1 weekend. Final destination: a public clinic in Delmas 4.
During the first 8 months of our meetup existence, we . . . .
- joined forces and volunteered for 2 clothing drives. One in January arranged, by a Chicago Humboldt Parkinitiative Latinos Unidos por Haití, and one in February, put together by Chicago's Dominican Republic community
- participated local Haitian community festivities, including the annual Flag Day event.
- reached out to the University of Chicago and DePaul University micro lending initiatives and trainings.
- made friends with devoted Haitian-American medical doctors who are supporting our efforts both here and in Haiti and orphanages they work with.
- made use on-line social media network opportunities and made friends with hidden treasures of Chicagoans who had travelled to Haiti right after the earthquake and helped and continue returning.
- connected with a nationwide warehouse company which is offering to us indoor staging and short-term warehouse space for future medical goods shipments.
- passed 1,000 pairs of simple plastic flip-flops and sandals (given to us by our friends in Ft. Wayne, IN) to a Chicagoland source of which we believe shipped “our” shoes together with some 25,000 pairs of shoes to Haiti this summer.
- initiated Pillowcase-to-Dress sewing workshop series for non-sewers and sewers, all with a big heart, ranging from 4 years to senior age. Every participant is assigned a mission-critical task to get the dresses made, such as cutting the fabric and bias tape, sewing, ironing, folding and packing. Members of this meetup who frequently travel to Haiti will hand-carry the dresses and gladly give them to young girls in orphanages.
- raised awareness of our Haiti helping ideas among our friends in Chicagolands’ sports community and succeeded with the donations of gently-used pillowcases.
- foster on-going friendships with local bi-national chambers of commerce
We understand that Haiti needs lots of help. Water, food, shoes, clothing, housing and employment opportunities are of top important for many, many years to come.
In 2011 we wish to be instrumental in setting up in Haiti an affordable factory to make 23-gal. portable plastic containers. It is to ease the daily tedious tasks of children and adults carrying drinking water in 5-gal. buckets on their heads.
Become part of our team. Join us now. Any of your skills is in demand. Haiti appreciates your help. Only requirement for joining: A meaningful 200-250 word abstract (including spaces; exclude your name from the copy, exclude phone, e-mail and www’s.) for your profile. Add a little flavor and consider including an optional snapshot from you.
Why Haiti needs continious HELP . . 8-months report summary *:
Based on surveys undertaken in Haiti some key findings are that:
· 75 % of families "had someone go an entire day without eating in the past week"
· 44 % of families "primarily drank untreated water"
· 78 % of families "lived without enclosed shelter"
· 48 % of families "had been threatened with forced eviction"
· 27 % of families "defecated in a container, a plastic bag, or on open ground in the camps”
· 37 % of families "did not have a single family member with a fulltime job, a part-time job,
a cash-for-work arrangement, or self-employment”