It’s worth it…

Sometimes, as a board member and fundraiser, this job is overwhelming.  We are constantly getting requests from students we cannot help, there is never enough to go around and that is disheartening at times.  And sometimes our personal lives get busy too, so adding a non-profit to it can be a lot.  Especially 6 years down the road when our students trust and rely on our help.

Sometimes, as a donor, it can be frustrating to always be asked for money, constantly.  Especially when you just donated, or when you’re already a monthly donor.

But then a message will pop up from a student in my inbox or through Facebook…and I hope it’s as inspiring to you as a donor, as it is to me, as a board member and donor.  This is the message I woke up to from Emmanuel:

Halo my friend! how are you? I just want to thank you for all thing you do for me because of you today I have an extraordinary education. you count on my support I promise you, you will not lose that because I am almost finished the college and I hope to go to university and I hope after I enter in the United States to learn some mor experience just so I can help, because I have as a dream, I want to become a donor also. I can also help, because donor support has allowed me reach this level, thank you so much, much love.

Why I Donate: Laura Burns

Our monthly donors are our biggest asset: they provide us with a steady monthly income to cover our small overhead costs (mostly transfer fees and monthly banking fees), and help us save up for the next scholarship distribution.  Read below to see why one of our monthly donors, Laura Burns, thinks investing in Haiti Scholarships with a monthly donation is a worthwhile cause!

I donate each month to Haiti Scholarships because I truly believe my money is going to support a worthy cause.  Not only do I know most of the board members, but I also personally know several of the students who are benefitting from this program.  When I volunteered in Haiti years ago, I was touched deeply by how wonderful the Haitian people are, and how strong they were in the face of such horrible tragedy and poverty.  Haiti Scholarships allows dedicated, hard-working young people from Haiti to pursue their dreams, and operates with very low overhead costs, so you know your money is going directly to help those in need.  And the monthly donor feature makes it easy for me to donate and track my donations each year, and helps provide Haiti Scholarships with a steady source of donations each month.  I am so grateful that I can contribute to such a great cause!

Click here to read why other donor’s choose to give to Haiti Scholarships, and click here to sign up to be a monthly donor today!

Why I Donate: Mike

I was thoroughly disgusted by many of the charities and non-profits working in Haiti. For example, there were career aid workers buzzing around in $50,000 SUVs with tinted windows (which I assume were bullet-proof in a largely gun-free country). This wasn’t a singular sighting – they’re everywhere. That’s a hell of a message to send to the people you’re there to help: ‘I’m afraid of you.’

Non-profits aren’t any different than corporations in some ways: Our money reinforces their practices. Give $25 to McDonalds and it will strengthen McDonalds’s practices all the way down to the chicken cages. Give $25 to Komen and you know that it’ll reinforce wasteful practices within the bureaucracy.
I came away from Haiti certain that the best way to give support is by giving the money directly to an individual. I DON’T KNOW where my money is going when I give it to a large NGO. And I suspect they themselves don’t realize where a lot of their money is in the communities.
There are three types of people to whom I feel confident when giving my money: Locals of strong character, aid workers who are particularly passionate, or small organizations run by people whose character I trust.
I donate to Haiti Scholarships because I know Alex. I trust her. I’m confident that she genuinely, in her heart, wants other people’s lives to improve. This is an organization I feel good about supporting, and she’s an aid worker I feel good about supporting.
Further, I met many of the recipients. I know that they are men and women who are burgeoning community pillars still in the process of learning. I know that my own money is going to one particular guy whose character and values I want to support. I also know, personally, several of the other students and I’m happy that I might be able to support them in becoming positive influences in their communities. There are also many students I don’t know, but I trust Alex’s judgment.
Mike volunteered several months in Haiti in 2011 with All Hands Volunteers.  Haiti Scholarships thanks him for his contribution to Haiti Scholarships, not only financial, but also in taking the time to share his thoughts with us!

Why I Donate: Jessica

I have a dear friend named Alex. We don’t speak often, but thankfully, in the Facebook era, we don’t have to. Yes, it’s impersonal, but social media is such a blessing for maintaining a line of communication with friends, organizations, even celebrities, from afar. Alex shared with me about her experiences in Haiti as an All Hands volunteer and I was truly proud to know someone as amazing as her. I was equally impressed when she told me about Haiti Scholarships and her work in building the organization. Work that I can keep up with relatively frequently thanks to the “social network”.

When Alex asked me to write a little bit about my “giving” and why, I knew the answer. I am a talker and a thinker, for as far back as I can remember. I’m simply not a doer. Not yet at least. For now, I satisfy my need to contribute to the world outside of my comfort zone by supporting those that “do.” Though I am apprehensive about the way money is used to “help,” I choose have faith. Faith that when I entrust an organization (such as Haiti Scholarships) with my hard earned money that they will be able to do something I cannot (or perhaps will not?) do myself.

When I choose to support an organization, it is never because I am looking for a tax benefit, or have money to burn (though I really wish that were true). I donate when I am compelled by a personal connection to an organization – either through a friend, through a respected authority, or through a shared vision. I would always encourage people to give what they can, but to really be cognizant of what they are contributing to. The fact is, we give because it feels good to give.

Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

How about you? How do you contribute to causes you believe in: are you a thinker, a talker, a doer, a supporter?

Why I Donate: Ben

Here at Haiti Scholarships, we think it’s important to highlight not only our students, but also those individuals that help us do what we do.  Ben has been a frequent supporter of Haiti Scholarships, and we can’t thank him enough for that!  We asked Ben why he chooses to support organizations (Ben supports many other great causes, not only with his hard earned money, but also with his time), and here’s his response:

I have been blessed to have seen much of the world in my 29 years on this planet.  In the US Navy, and as a small part of All Hands Volunteers: Project Leogane in Haiti, I have seen that there are people who need real help, and at some point all of us will be in a position to help and need help. That help could take the form of a smile, a hand up, an opened door, or in some cases some really heavy lifting.  Through all of this, the one thing that I am absolutely sure of is that we are better when we come together.  When we actively help each other, our community and our world transform to something better than what was before… Something beautiful.
I do what I can.  I am not rich and I am not influential, so I volunteer and give what I can when I can.  And you know what? Often times I’ve gained so much compared with what I’ve given.  The feeling that comes with doing good is special, and it’s totally free.
When I see groups like Haiti Scholarships spending their energies on causes that help people help themselves, I want to be a part of that.  They are making this a better world, and I am so grateful to be allowed to be a small part of their program.  I have lived, worked, and sweated with the people of Haiti, and they are good, strong, and willing to work.  Helping the people of Haiti gain the education necessary for them to leverage their talents is the single most important thing we can do, next to creating and supporting jobs. I am thankful for the opportunities to help in my own small way make this a better world.
Thanks for sharing, Ben!
Why do you support great causes?  Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page or email us: haitischolarships@gmail.com.