Monday, July 14, 2008

HELP WANTED: Gathering School Supplies For Haiti.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, than you are likely aware that our son Isaac was born in Haiti. If you are not a regular reader, than please allow me to introduce my "Haitian Sensation", Mr. Isaac Watson the Beautiful ...

I apologize if his gorgeous-ness gave you a bit of a shock. It happens.

Anyway, our visits to Isaac's birth country have given us such a love and admiration for his country, the culture, the people, the history, etc. What appeals to us most is that Haiti's people are so rich in faith, courage, and hope ... even in the face of such adversity. Though we were so often struck by what they "lacked", they seemed to constantly rejoice in all they "had" ... seeing blessings in everything around them. What lessons Halis and I learned there! ... Abundance, humility, thankfulness, joy, hope, appreciation, faith, etc.

As you are likely aware, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world (economically) ... often one of the most volatile and definitely one of the least educated. This lack of education is largely due to the fact that there is no public education system in Haiti. In order to educate their children, parents must pay private school tuition. With yearly incomes averaging about $270 a year ... and tuition costs averaging $250 a year ... educating children is an impossibility for most families. This situation creates an endless cycle of poverty.

Sadly, many families are unable to feed their children, let alone educate them, and are often forced to either give their children up for adoption, give them away to 'wealthier' familes to work as house servants (resteveks / slaves), or abandon them to the streets.

There is much political work that needs to be done from within Haiti in order to break the cycles of poverty, hunger, ignorance, child abandonment, etc. ... BUT there are gestures both great and small that well-meaning people like you and I can make NOW in order to change the lives of as many children as we can.

There is some amazing work being done to assist the children of Haiti by two organizations that I wish to plug here: Haitian Roots & Hearts With Haiti. Please visit their websites to see the hands-on work they are doing NOW in order to change lives. I have personally seen the results of their work first hand ... and can assure you that any assistance you give them will be used directly toward educating, feeding and clothing the children of Haiti. Halis and I have seen what an education can do to change a life ... and let me tell you ... it is one of the most beautiful gifts you could ever hope to give. By visiting Haitian Roots, you can directly sponsor a child to attend school ... (where they will also recieve a daily hot meal) ... and you will be well informed as to their progress.

As for our current contribution to the cause (and regarding the title of this post) ... our family is gathering school supplies for Halis to distibute during his upcoming trip to Haiti. He plans to distribute as many handmade (by me) schoolbags filled with supplies to as many Haitian children as possible. And this is where we ask for your help :) ....

I recently bought all of the above school supplies at Wal-Mart for less than $25! They are having an amazing back-to-school sale that includes some of the following prices:

Crayola Crayon boxes: 21 cents each
Glue Bottles: 17 cents each
Colored Pencil Boxes: 60 cents each
1 Subject Notebooks: 5 cents each!

Though we would love it if all the folks we knew could sponsor a Haitian child's education for $250 a year ... we recognize that is not a possibility for everyone (especially given our own country's current economic crunch) ... but if folks could contribute some inexpensive school supplies or a Wal-Mart gift card to the cause, it would surely help as well.

For anyone wishing to contribute to this project, we can use the following:

New/ Unused School Supplies (seen in above photo)
1 Subject Notebooks
Wooden Rulers
Pencil Sharpeners
Gift Certificates to Wal-Mart (to purchase school supplies)
Denim Fabric (for school bags)
Gift Certificates to Jo-Anns (to purchase denim for school bags)
(Paypal contributions are also welcome. Please send to sirimogluestate@hotmail.com).

Please e-mail me at jrenshaw@hotmail.com if you need our shipping address.

Thank you for reading this rather long post, and for considering what you may be able to contribute to our project. We will keep you posted on the progress of this endeavor.

With hope for a brighter future for Haiti ...
Love,
Jodi, Halis and Isaac

4 comments:

perchedonawhim said...

Hi Jodi! Thanks for dropping by my blog. I was so excited to see that I had a comment from someone other than my mom (she's my biggest fan). I'm happy to make my way over to your blog as well. Issac is such a sweetheart! We plan on adopting a child ourselves one day. We look forward to that! Thanks for sharing your amazing story and love of life. I'll be visiting again soon!
Heidi

Perla said...

thanks so much for this, jodi. you are AWESOME!

Paula said...

Jodi,
I can't do much, but would love to send you a few school supplies for this wonderful project. Will you email me your address again. I should have it somewhere around here, but....
xoxo
Paula

Aislynnd said...

Its really very great to donate school supplies..!