May 12, 2010 Letter From

Life and Hope Haiti

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Dear Friends

It has been a long winter with much sadness coming to Haiti, but a great deal of generosity as well.

Since Jan. 12, Life and Hope Haiti has focused a huge amount of its energy and resources on helping with earthquake recovery. Although we are a tiny organization, new donors found their way to us as they searched for ways to help via more grassroots efforts. Many people who wanted to donate supplies, money or time, but to an organization with direct and close ties to Haiti, were drawn in by our school, our efforts and the fact that we are run by a Haitian American who is deeply connected in Haiti.

Over the last three months, Life and Hope has sent 32 people and dozens of tons of supplies to Haiti. This included three trips by people carrying a total of about 10,000 pounds; an American Airline cargo relief flight carrying 2,000 pounds, and finally a container that left April 12 and is en route to Port Au Prince by ship carrying at least 15 tons of appliances, electrical equipment, medical supplies, clothes, tents and more tents.

The numbers do not tell the story, however. Nor do the headlines in the local papers – about dances and dodgeball tournaments, film festivals, hat days and Rotary Clubs. They provide simply a glimpse of the remarkable generosity shared with Life and Hope Haiti this winter.

The real story is about the people who helped make a difference: who drove to stores to pick up paint and left it on our doorstep; who picked up and dropped off refrigerators, stoves and generators; who loaded shoes and more shoes in the rain; who went to buy boxes or packing tape so we could repack clothes tumbling out of boxes; who drove from Connecticut, or New York, or Massachusetts so a generator or batteries or tents could get to Haiti; who sold tickets, served food and put up decorations for a dance that raised $7,000; who ordered tools necessary for building or rebuilding and who took time from homework and sports to run school games, bake sales and dances that made all other fundraising efforts tiny in comparison.

So many people gave their hearts and their time. No one does this for the thank-you, but the shipments and final container to Haiti could not ever, ever have been sent without all this help. And the school in Milot could never have been built without caring from the north.

Today, Life and Hope is returning to its focus on educating the children at the Eben Ezer School in Milot. The earthquake brought unprecedented attention to the plight of Haiti. We know the media coverage will die down and the world’s eye is already looking in other directions. But we are hoping that the devastation and suffering caused by the earthquake will translate into longer term support and understanding of Haiti.

We continue to believe that sponsoring children is one of the most effective ways to help from afar. The money used to sponsor a child tells him or her that someone is looking out for them and cares. It allows a relationship, however limited, that makes the world seem a little bigger and more generous to a child with little sense of hope. Nearly a half of the children at the Eben Ezer are sponsored at this point. We hope to get sponsors for all of them by the end of the year.

Because the sponsorship donations go to the school, the funding helps improve the education for dozens of children. Sponsorships and other donations over the past five years have allowed the Eben Ezer to expand its size and offerings. The school serves children kindergarten through sixth grade and Lucia Anglade, founder of Life and Hope, has plans to go through eighth grade, at which point children must go to a bigger city for high school.

Among the progress being made at the Eben Ezer, Life and Hope is on the verge of adding electricity to the school. The lights and refrigeration this allows will be great, but the most profound change it will bring will be in allowing the school access to the internet. Computers will bring this isolated school contact with the rest of the world and will give teachers, who have almost no supplies, access to educational resources they would never have otherwise. In a town with no mail, no power, unpaved roads, and no running water, your contributions are truly making a difference.


The relationship that Life ad Hope has built with sponsors, other contributors and several school groups in southern Maine made a huge difference when the earthquake hit. Some of you know the feeling of wondering if “your” child was affected by the devastation. Although the tumult from the earthquake was in the south, our relationship with Haiti gave us a more personal stake in the country’s wellbeing.

We believe, as the saying goes, “where there is life, there is hope.” But this truly depends on educating Haiti’s children. To all of you – sponsors, drivers, teachers, students, benefit organizers, donors (of cash, medical supplies, shoes, clothing or time) - thank you. Life and Hope could not keep its school going and growing without you.

We will keep you updated in the months and years ahead.

With gratitude,

Amy, Agnes and Pauliina from the Life and Hope Haiti team