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Healing, helping and hoping for Haiti

Haiti, September 17, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Courtesy of Holly Wolfe  </span>
    My new roommate Rachel (right) was in Haiti when the earthquake struck. She survived, but her friend Molly did not. Photo: Courtesy of Holly Wolfe

Inspired by Mercy Corps' tireless efforts, I ended my last blog wondering what more I could do with my time, resources and talents to help Haiti? Sometimes, fate has a way of answering our questions…

My new roommate — as of this month — is named Rachel Prusynski. As it turns out, Rachel was in Haiti volunteering and visiting her good friend Molly Hightower last January when the tragic earthquake hit. The building Rachel and Molly were in collapsed around them. Rachel made it out alive; Molly did not. When Rachel told me her story, my heart broke for her and for the Hightower family; but it lifted a little when Rachel spoke about the activism she has taken on since the earthquake in Molly’s honor. Rachel has organized fundraisers, put on a benefit concert and traveled through three states speaking about her experience as an earthquake survivor.

I can’t help but feel that Rachel and I meeting this summer was no coincidence! Like Mercy Corps, Rachel inspires me to continue hoping for Haiti. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when Rachel asked me recently if I would return to Haiti with her later this year. Just like that, I’ve been given opportunity to donate my time and my talents to help a country in extraordinary need! This December, Rachel and I will embark on a 17-day-long trip to Haiti to volunteer our time with Friends of the Orphans (the organization where Molly lived and worked).

In anticipation of our trip which we are calling the "Heal, Help, Hope Initiative", we are raising support for two organizations (that we love) doing work in Haiti: Mercy Corps and Friends of the Orphans. I’m raising support for Mercy Corps because I deeply believe in what they do. Mercy Corps works on the ground in countries like Haiti with integrity, with creativity and with a steadfastness that’s simply amazing!

In honor of our trip: will you make a donation on my fundraising page to Mercy Corps for Recovery and Rebuilding in Haiti? Your gift, however small, is a sign that we haven't forgotten what happened; and that, together, we still hold out hope.