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Since January of 2009 I have been traveling to Haiti almost every other month.  Our last trip was in August, our next is in October.  Following the earthquake we collected, sorted and distributed goods to 20,000 people.  This was an incredible project, but it was missing the element of sustainability that is so critical to create real change in Haiti.

I can’t wait to get back there.  I live in the San Francisco fog, and west coasters know how miserable our summer has been.  In Haiti it’s hot, baking hot, but I love it.  I love being in the countryside with the farmers who are working with us.  I love being with the kids at the orphanages.  When people think of Haiti they think of poverty.  What most people don’t know is how Haitians rely upon each other, how tightly knit their communities are, or how incredibly welcoming they are to people who come to be with them.  What I find almost incomprehensible is the general happiness of the people there, and unwavering gratitude for acts of kindness.

So much needs to be done, and we move a bit forward every trip helping create sustainable businesses, bolster the economics of rural areas, and we help those who support kids health and education.  We don’t create new programs, we support Haitian ones that desperately need advocates.  We focus on our sustainable development projects to empower people, to help them achieve independence from charity.

We‘re setting our goals for the next year, and they are achievable.  Farmers will plant 250,000 Jatropha seedlings to give them a supply of locally produced fuel for their generators (the only form of electricity in rural areas).

Getting attention to our work is a primary concern right now, and I would love any feedback about what inspires you, the women of fabulously 40, to support non-profits.  What do you need to get from organizations to feel like you’ve made a difference?  It’s incredibly easy for people on the ground to literally change lives there.  Only $15 buys a school uniform for a child that can otherwise not attend school.  What I would LOVE to know from you all is what inspires donors to give money to organizations and help them help others?  Thanks in advance for (a) reading this, and (b) any comments.

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