Have you donated to Haiti?
Or, like me, do you have concerns about where the money really goes? I know how non-profit works. I have worked in the non-profit industry for a long time. I enjoy it and it allows me to feel good about what I do at the end of the day. The non-profits I have worked for are careful with their money, spending as little as possible on admin and as much as possible on their mission.
I guess my issue with supporting non-profits that suddenly spring up when there is an emergency in a far away land is I don't know how careful they will be. And, with a place like Haiti, which doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation, I'm concerned that my donation may end up lining the pockets of someone who doesn't need it at all. I have made a donation to Haiti and I am confident that it will be used to buy much-needed food.
On Facebook I am friends with one person from Haiti. His name is Vital Max Robert. He "friended" me some time ago and, since he was a friend of a good friend of mine, Clay Kilgore, I approved him. Last Sunday, while I was on facebook, Vital sent me a direct message. I asked how things were going and, in his fairly understandable English, he let me know that there are a a lot of children who are without parents because they lost them in the earthquake. He also let me know that there isn't enough food, water or medical care where he is and that he is taking care of five of these children himself. His internet service was spotty and I lost him a couple of time over the course of the conversation. The full transcript of our conversation is at the end of this email.
Clay Kilgore is an amazing man who cares deeply about Haiti. He started a non-profit in 2007 to empower Haitian people through partnership, helping them help themselves, called Kledev, Empowering Economic Development in Haiti. He has spent time there and developed a network of people, through friendship, empowerment and the actions of his non-profit, who he can depend upon to do what they say they will do. They have integrity and so does Clay. Please do google for more information and read the website and blog. Also, see Clay's cause facebook page.
Here is the mission of Clay's non-profit: "Kledev works with people in Haiti to envision, nurture and empower a brighter, more prosperous future".
I contacted Clay to see what $100 would do for the community he works with in Haiti. Here is what he told me:
I found out that the price of a "small bag" of rice (approx 70 servings) has a street price today of approx 45 dollars US. If a person still has a pot, and a way to make fire (not a given), then we could say that a portion of plain rice for one person is currently about 75¢ under current conditions. The food aid that is promised is getting to about 250,000 people, leaving the other 1.75 - 2 million to fend for themselves.
In other words, if I donate $50 through his website, by mid-week Vital and the five children he is supporting will be able to eat two portions of rice for a week, or one portion of rice for 14 days. I get that that isn't really much, but it's a start. And it's as close to direct help as I can provide. It is my hope that my donation will provide a "bridge" between now and the time other aid arrives.
It's been more than 2 weeks since the earthquake. People can't go without food. They will start starving to death before long. And the children will die first. Donations through kledev.com are passed on quickly - at 100% of the donation minus bank transfer fees - Paypal is currently waving their fees for kledev.com.
I have donated $50 today. It was easy and I can afford it.
What can you afford to donate?
My 47th birthday is Monday.
My birthday wish is that you will send a donation to Haiti through Clay's organization.
Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.
Let's help some people in Haiti.
Here is the direct message transcript from last Sunday:
Hi Miss Tamara
this is Vital max Robert haiti
hi Vital. How are things there?
o we are ther , but we live in the streets
I am so sorry about what has happened in your country.
but we need foods ,water and medical aid
I know you do. I understand things are coming in slowly. Are you safe?
so we need aid for some family in haiti specially the kids of CCEMY
there are much small kids that they haven't mother and fathers actually
the y are died
That's so sad. What will they do? Will they be adopted by other families?
yes i need to find people may adopted, but now i can't
Are you getting enough to eat? are they? It seems (from here) that there is difficulty getting supplies distributed.
not now we haven't posibilities to help hem
Clay is collecting money, isn't he? Has he sent some?
yes he sent some the last week
you can contact him for you support
I am so glad. I will encourage my friends to give to Clay's organization and I will give something myself.
ok ou can use too the money gram for you help
and too i invite you help us in Haiti to find people may adopted the kids with families
specially the small coming to have one one month
I will put a message out to my friends. I wish you well, Vital. I hope things improve soon.
ok for your info , please you can contact Clay kilgore and me at email@example.com or 00118451506
Thank you Vital. What did the money that Clay sent last week provide for you?
just to help my family
but now we can use money gram
to help the people
What were you able to buy with the money? Were you able to buy food or water?
yes foods, water and milk
for the small kids
Great. Are they your children? How many do you have?
good thanks to God and i have only one soon
How many small children are you feeding or taking care of?
for now 5 kids
They are lucky to have you helping them.
for me i assist them with the small money that i have, because Clay sent and Susan came to sent
so the things are very expensives here
What could you buy with $100?
i will buy the milk and gerber for the small kids
P.S. When I picked pictures for this blog, I thought about posting pictures of the aftermath of the quake. Then I decided that we've all seen enough of those pictures, so I chose to post beautiful pictures instead. Have a great day.