It's been seven months since the earthquake that devastated Haiti and the media spotlight has long since left this little island nation. Yet, in spite of all the foreign aid that has poured in, well over a million people are still homeless. The live in tents that are tattered and worn by the fierce sun, hurricane winds, and torrential rains that mark summertime in Haiti. They live, if you can call it that, under whatever pieces of shade and shelter they can find, under old tarps held up by sticks, trying to stay dry, trying to protect and feed their children. They live in overcrowded makeshift camps, thousands upon thousands of precious souls, with nothing to protect them from disease, flooding, theft, and rape.
A Haitian woman and her children.
I've written before about the work of my dear friends Shelley and Corrigan Clay and their non-profit organization, The Apparent Project. They are working to provide employment for Haitians, as well as providing education, food, and housing as they're able. Many of Haiti's orphans still have parents, but their parents are unable to provide for them; they are poverty orphans. Shelley and Corrigan's heart is to provide families with the tools they need to stay together. At last count they were employing around 70 people making jewelry and other products which are sold here in the United States.
A beautiful necklace crafted by Apparent Artisans; even the paper beads are handmade!
One of the latest endeavors of The Apparent Project is to help build permanent homes for families who are still homeless. With a matching grant from the Netherlands, they are able to build a small but sturdy house for a donation of only $1600. That's about what many of us pay a every month or two for our rent or mortgage, and this will build a whole house! They're able to purchase these homes from a company who also employs Haitians in the pre-construction phase. The $1600 includes everything- the labor (more Haitians given work!), all the supplies, paint, floor, etc. The Apparent Project doesn't take any overhead on house donations.
One of the four houses already built by The Apparent Project.
Now I realize that $1600 is more than most of us have jingling around in our pockets; that's where my friends and family come in. I felt challenged to see if I could raise the money to put up one house in Haiti, so here I am asking for you to join me in making this a reality. When I break it down it doesn't really seem like such a big deal. If all of my Facebook friends gave $10, we could put up a house! Or if 40 families could each give $40, we could raise enough money to get one family in a safe home! I'm going to ask my homeschool groups, friends, and family to join in this project, and my husband will ask his co-workers.
This is my challenge to you, my plea on behalf of someone who is desperately in need of our help. Here's what I'm asking you to do:
- Click on Chipin at the top of this post. You will be taken directly to The Apparent Project's paypal page where you can make a donation.
- Come back here and leave a comment letting me know that you donated. You'll be able to see how much progress we're making in the Chipin widget at the top. I have a couple of lovely necklaces from The Apparent Project, and everyone who donates and leaves a comment will be entered to win one of them.
- Grab a "Houses for Haiti" button above or from the upper left corner and put it on your blog. (Just copy and paste the code and it will link back to this post. Also, please share this on Facebook, Twitter, through email, etc. Spread the word, share the love... let's build a house!
- If you blog it, Facebook it, Twitter it, or otherwise communicate it, then leave an additional comment and you'll receive more entries to win a necklace.
- Pray for the people of Haiti, the work of The Apparent Project and all the others who are working there.
In the event that we're unable to raise a full $1600, then our money can join in with other donations to help build a house. In the event we raise more... awesome!
Special thanks to Shelley Clay for the use of her photos, and to my friend Ali Telfer who designed the button. Ali does blog design and all proceeds go to help fund her family's adoption journey.