My favorite charity – Real Hope for Haiti

by Nick on December 4, 2012

I love what I do for a living. Being an entrepreneur and working with a smart, energized team is something I hope I never have to live without. Even though money isn’t my primary driver, it’s definitely one of the big things I’m motivated by. I want to make a lot more money than my family needs so that I can give generously to charities that are making a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives. The charity that I feel most connected to is called Real Hope for Haiti. It’s run by a missionary family that has been living in Haiti, selflessly serving the people there for decades. I went to college with their son, and I started donating after the Haiti quake. They  have two main humanitarian ministries in the area of Cazale, Haiti. The first is a “rescue center” for malnourished, unhealthy and abandoned children. Unfortunately there are many children that fit that description in their area. A very common problem children in Haiti have is called Kwashiorkor, which is basically a massive swelling / bloating of the body (not just the stomach) due to a lack of protein. Kids’ parents may feed them relatively well with rice, but protein is expensive and many parents are unaware of the need to provide their children with it. Kwashiorkor can be (and often is) fatal. RHFH treats the children primarily with an awesome product called “Medica Mamba” which is a fortified peanut based food product made right in Haiti, and it gets the kids back to healthy in a matter of just a few months. The changes in the children are wonderful to see.

A little boy named "Jn" after successful treatment

A little boy named "Jn" after successful treatment

The second ministry they have is treating cholera patients. In the wake of the earthquake there was a terrible outbreak of cholera all throughout Haiti. Cholera thrives in areas where clean water and good sanitation is rare, and much of Haiti’s infrastructure in that area was destroyed in the quake. When people started showing up at their clinic in mass numbers during the beginning of the outbreak they took hundreds in, made makeshift beds all throughout the facility and even outside, and did their best to treat them with hydration and medicines. They lost many to cholera due to the advanced state they were in when they arrived. Since then they have gotten a program organized around cholera treatment (it looks like cholera is going to be around for a while in Haiti) and are building a 60+ bed cholera treatment center on site. They employ many locals in as nurses and aids. They also run a weekly health clinic where locals can come for free healthcare.

All of these things are great, but what really gets me is the passion and love the family has for the children and adults they serve. Their blog posts about the many successful recoveries are so amazingly joyful, and the posts about losing people are heartbreaking. The family totally puts themselves and their experiences out there, are honest about their fears, doubts, frustrations, etc. You would do well to read some of them and learn about the problems people are facing just a few hundred miles south of our country and “meet” a family that is doing something great about it despite many setbacks.

Fair warning, some of the pictures on their blog are disturbing: www.realhopeforhaiti.org.

If you feel moved to give, that money will go straight to helping the people of Cazale. I feel that it is the best money I give on a regular basis, and I’m honored to be partnering with such an amazing organization. I hope to be able to continue to support them more  and more over the years.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

momig07 November 21, 2013 at 7:19 am

My name is Erica Peters. I am an emergency nurse at Highland Hospital, the coutny hospital in Oakland, CA. I recently returned from my second two-week stint in Haiti doing relief work at the Port au Prince General Hospital. I am writing on behalf of Dr. Megan Coffee whom I had the pleasure and honor of working with while in Haiti. Her unremitting work begs recognition, so I wanted to give an eye witness account of what she is accomplishing down there and how important her work is to the hospital staff, her fellow volunteers and most importantly her patients.Megan has been down in Haiti since January and is working seven days a week for a minimum of 12 hours each day with very few exceptions. She established and now supervises a 3-tent, 45-bed inpatient tuberculosis treatment center, and she runs a Monday through Friday outpatient TB clinic. She treats many patients diagnosed with both HIV and TB, and collaborates with other clinics to attain supplementary medications or a more appropriate setting. Just in the first week of June, Megan coordinated (and funded) a plane transfer to a local surgery center for a 23 year old boy who was paralyzed from spinal TB. All this, it is important to remember, is happening on a hospital campus where retrieving one working tank of oxygen presents any number of obstacles. Her work load is overwhelming.Dr. Coffee impresses everyone she works with. The American volunteers including Doctors, Nurses and NGO staff are awestruck by her and describe her with words like, commited , amazing , inspirational , dedicated , and tireless . More importantly, The Haitian community adores her: not only does she commonly receive phone calls from her old patients thanking her and updating her on their recovery, but on her birthday, despite their very real poverty, her patients and their families decorated their tents and celebrated her with a party. The nurses she works with come in on their days off to make her lunch, and one of the head hospital administrators jokes with her that they are the only two people at the hospital everyday.Megan is providing TB treatment to a population that would otherwise be abandoned. There is no intention to continue TB treatment on the General Hospital campus without her presence, and TB treatment in Port au Prince before the earthquake was painfully limited. Her contributions to the public health of Port au Prince are impressive, to say the least, and I am truly proud to know her.I would encourage you to volunteer with Dr. Coffee in Haiti to really grasp what she has tackled, but since that may not be possible, I want to relay to you her compassion, enterprise, selflessness, energy and unwavering commitment to the people she serves. Erica Peters, MSN, RN

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