For every picture I took in Haiti, there are a hundred better ones I missed or chose not to take. I felt guilty taking pictures at all, especially when people were the subject. Pointing the camera felt like stealing.
I guess that’s why it’s important to try to give something back. Some people have already asked how they can help. I'll be collecting supplies and shipping them directly to Ralph or Mona in Haiti on an ongoing basis for at least the next few months. Once some of the immediate needs are satisfied, I'll likely make a return trip with my group to evaluate other ways we can help. To start, though, this list is pretty easy and straightforward:
The school at Fond Verrette needs rain boots and rain coats for 300 kids grades 1 - 6, plus book bags and supplies. Remember, most kids walk several miles each way to school, where many of them get their one and only meal of the day. Without rain gear, it's not only a miserable commute, but it poses dangerous risks for flu, malaria and other infectious diseases.
The orphaned kids at Mona's house need pretty much everything, but clothes and shoes are a great start. Hygiene products like soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, tampons, and diapers are also needed. The boys asked me for soccer balls and when I gave a few girls some sparkly strawberry lip gloss, they responded like they’d won the lottery. Of course, the most basic need of all is housing, so large tents are invaluable. If you’re interested, I’m happy to provide more details.
On behalf of Mona, the kids, teachers, and parents I met on this amazing trip, thank you for your help and support. Any donation is appreciated and will be delivered by me, directly to the people you've seen in my pictures.