Haiti Relief Trip
February 19-26, 2010
On February 19, 2010, The Relief Foundation’s response group of 120 volunteers comprised of the Mayor of Miami and the Mayor of Coral Gabels, a documentary film crew, photojournalists, construction teams, trained doctors and psychologists traveled to Port-au-Prince Haiti for seven days. The Relief Foundation teamed up with the nonprofits Clean the World and Project H.O.M.E. to help rebuild the New Life Children’s Home and Orphanage that had left countless Haitian children homeless. This mission was a complete success with our organization bringing down several tons of donations via a Boeing 737 and cargo ships. We also were able to make substantial improvements to the structural facility at the orphanage while helping bring a smile to the faces of so many children.
CLICK TO SEE HAITI VIDEO & PICTURES
“A single text message to a law student from Blue Bell has led to a humanitarian mission to Haiti, set to leave from Miami today with 146 volunteers, a medical team, tents, clothes, and Girl Scout cookies.
Peter Groverman was the recipient.
“Within six minutes of the earthquake being reported, I got a text saying, ‘Are we going to Haiti?’
It was dj vu for Groverman, 27, who organized a similar mission to the Gulf Coast with two fellow University of Miami graduates after Hurricane Katrina. The Haiti text message came from a participant on that trip.
The Villanova University law student immediately consulted with friend Armando Gutierrez Jr., one of his fellow Katrina organizers.
The answer: “I guess we’re going to Haiti.”
Kristin E. Holmes PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
In that brief moment, the Relief Foundation was again mobilized. Within a day of the earthquake volunteers were gathering supplies and collecting donations. The donations started to fill rooms and eventually storage containers destined to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A 747 was rented to transport the volunteers and even more supplies were loaded onto the plane.
It was amazing seeing everyone joining together for such a great cause. In the end the Relief Foundation collected $350,000 in monetary donations and supplies! The Relief Foundation was the first non-profit to have over 100 people in Haiti following the earthquake.
Mayor of Coral Gables, Don Slesnick, Describes His Haiti Relief Trip
This time was different; Coral Gables could spare me for four days and I was anxious for an elected official to take a visible participative role in the volunteer relief effort in Haiti to set an example for others. As the day of departure approached, the serious nature of the trip began to sink in…Read More
My first trip to Haiti was with the RELIEF foundation- they granted me an opportunity that rocked my foundation. My experience on the ground in Port au Prince opened my eyes to the harsh realities of life but also allowed me to meet and experience first hand people with an immense amount of faith. The Haitian people are beautiful, loving, grateful people that are many times misunderstood and thus portrayed in a bad light in the media- this is not the reality of their character! They taught us, protected us, and took all of us into their community- further enhancing the opportunity we had been granted. I have returned to Haiti another two times since my initial trip, with the assistance and supplies provided to me by RELIEF, and every time I fall more and more in love with this country and its people.
I look back at how my life has changed due to my experiences in Haiti and hardly recognize the person I was before it. I have completely shifted my career goals and adopted a new path that will allow me to continue traveling and offering my hands to the people that are most in need. I have conducted fundraisers, kept in constant communication with RELIEF offering myself to assist them in any way possible so they may continue doing the amazing work they do, and continued to travel to Port au Prince- though recently I am saddened to say I have not been able to go, but I anticipate the moment I can return. Haiti humbled me, made me a better person, allowed me to grow emotionally and intellectually, and gave me an understanding of the value of life that we all take for granted.
I have become an advocate for missions in general, medical and non medical. Do not let anyone tell you that your not needed because you don’t have certain background or training, all you need is the ability to give a hug. In the end they do need medicines, food, and shelter, but they also need love and to feel that someone cares for them. Even if what you do on these missions seems like it did not make a difference- don’t be fooled, IT DID! You will have brought joy, laughter, and love to the life of someone that would have not experienced this unless you were there.
RELIEF granted me the opportunity use my hands- to heal wounds, hold children, build structures, distribute supplies, and comfort the Haitian people in their time of need. Now, I ask myself everyday- how can I use my hands to make the world, or at least one persons life, better?
I can’t believe it’s really been a year since I was scrambling for supplies and donations with less then a week to go before the trip to Haiti. At the time I only had the slightest inkling as to how much this opportunity would impact my life. The day I heard about the earthquake I could only dream of going to help until a friend (thank you Jeanne!) invited me to join The RELIEF Foundation on their relief mission to Port-au-Prince. Before we left I received criticism claiming that Haiti didn’t need regular civilians like myself crowding the country and that my efforts would be a waste of time and money. Traveling to Haiti with RELIEF was one of the most profound decisions I have made in my life, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Along with raising donations and collecting supplies I was able to do a lot more than sit around and waste space. Amongst other things I was given the opportunity to help distribute supplies in Port-au-Prince, begin a mural at the World Hunger Mission’s New Life Children’s Home and interact with a large number of amazing people. I will never forget the happiness I felt the first day in Haiti when we were coloring, painting and playing with the children at New Life.
I want to thank those who planned and executed last year’s trip. I think they did an extraordinary job! Even under some of the unexpected circumstances they really came through. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime while keeping me and well over 100 others safe in a disaster stricken country.
Working with The RELIEF Foundation over the past year has been a tremendous experience for me. The humbling adventure to Haiti last February was only the beginning (and an amazing and fulfilling adventure it was)! Since then I have been able to work alongside my new friends helping out with/at events. I have even been able to put my design skills to work! I am proud to be a part of The RELIEF Foundation and I am lucky to have all of my new found friends! I am proud to be a part of RELIEF and I look forward to working with old and new faces within The RELIEF Foundation on future projects, events and trips!
I truly felt that I made a difference in Haiti and if that isn’t fulfilling enough, I feel honored to continue working with The RELIEF Foundation to raise money and supplies for current and future RELIEF projects and missions! Hope to see you at the next event