Global Family Philanthropy board members, Lori Goldberg, Jo Hayslip, Becky Verdone and Christine Kingen traveled to Haiti to volunteer and conduct meetings with all of our incredible staff members.
Our Thanksgiving experience was even more than we hoped for. We accomplished so much and made so many new friends along the way. Our sincere thanks to Jaime Anderson for capturing all of these beautiful images of our Haiti.
Nothing is better than kicking off the summer by volunteering in Haiti. So much was accomplished on this trip that we really don't know where to begin! We provided healthcare and dental care, spent quality time with our elders, shared school supplies at our kids' school, filled a Chicks4Children chicken coop with chicks, practiced yoga and provided love and laughter to our children.
A Special Birthday Trip, January 2016
Lori took a solo trip to Haiti on her special day and she also received a very special birthday surprise - Little Jo Jo... GFP'S newest family member. Needless to say, it was a wonderful on every level.
By Hannah Goldberg
Judeline was a baby living with her father and grandmother as her mother had passed away. It was heartbreaking. The father could not provide for his child while taking care of his own mother, an elderly woman. It was a very special moment for the organization and especially my mother to have the opportunity to help this family. Bringing a baby, like Judeline, into our Global Family home was life saving and life affirming. Her father later brought Judeline to the house to make sure he was bringing her to a safe environment. They came dressed in their nicest clothes. It was apparent that the father was proud that his daughter could be properly cared for and that he could help ensure that would be the case. Judeline immediately adjusted to the home, and was glued to the side of our oldest boys, Richardson and Evanson. This experience was both heartwarming and amazing; many of the volunteers were in tears.
June 2015, Another Rewarding Trip
Once again a team of Global Family Philanthropy volunteers traveled to Haiti to check up on our projects and spread their love. The team departed in June for Ouanaminthe with full suitcases and hearts filled with excitement and anticipation. The volunteers did not waste a second. Upon arrival they immediately headed over to GFP children's home where the kids were waiting with smiling faces and open arms.
Twenty-five GFP volunteers brought their grateful hearts to Haiti for a wonderful Thanksgiving week! The week was full of amazing adventures and of course, the unexpected! After all, the best way to approach Haiti is to expect the unexpected! The adventure started with a detour due to road closures, making for a long yet scenic drive through the mountains. Once settled in Ouanaminthe, volunteers prepared their abundant donations for all of our family and friends.
A Family in Need
On Thanksgiving Day 2014 we were blessed to meet a family in great need. The family lives in a makeshift home on a property they rent. Our volunteers met with them and heard their story. GFP is happy to announce that we purchased the land for family and we are taking steps to assist them in rebuilding their home. It was a wonderful trip that exuded the message of giving and the importance of gratitude.
Oma's House/Project Dignity opens its doors
With seven months of construction behind us, Global Family Philanthropy welcomed the first 10 residents at Oma's House. Our volunteers — Haitian and American — put the finishing touches on the home by painting and cleaning. A second group of volunteers were on-hand for the opening celebration and moving in of our new residents.
Gifts for Education
GFP volunteers gave out 200 pencil cases full of supplies, a gift donated by Chaparral High School student Rachel Brown. Teachers from two different schools in Malfetty received monetary gifts from GFP. Many teachers in Haiti are not paid consistently and schools struggle with a lack of supplies.
June 2014, Another Successful Trip
In June, Global Family Philanthropy welcomed two groups of volunteers to Haiti, many of them being first-time volunteers. We were especially honored to have three of our past Imagine Award recipients with us: Katie Wilson, Evon Yaro-Fig and Jake Webb, who returned for a fourth visit. GFP had three main objectives for these two trips: 1) launch Project Dignity, 2) set up and open the Malfetty Medical Clinic, and 3) recognize Father Medenel's dedicated teachers. Our volunteers accomplished all of this and so much more!
March 2014, GFP Board Members Visit Projects in Haiti
Board members Seth Goldberg and Anthony Caforio traveled to Haiti to check in on Project Dignity and catch up with Sarah and the kids. They were invited to stay with Father Medenel in his Ft. Liberte home. GFP donated school supplies for Father Medenal's school, enough to last throughout the entire year. Seth and Anthony met with members of the Catholic Church to review construction plans for Project Dignity, which is well underway. Together they created conceptual drawings for a new school in Derac, on the Project Dignity site. In Ouanaminthe, Seth and Anthony joined Sarah and the kids for a day at the beach - a first for our newest addition, Keishna. And Sarah and Elie are expecting a baby girl in May!
November 2013, Ouanaminthe, Haiti
We were so excited to share our projects in Haiti with some new volunteers, including students from Xavier and Brophy College Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, AZ. This trip we caught up with our kids, as well as our housemother Sarah and her husband Elie. They're newlyweds. We introduced our kids to our friends at Bon Samaritan, where we hosted an impromptu dance party. We're proud to announce that we broke ground on Project Dignity, a proposed elderly home to be built on land donated by the Catholic church. While we were there our Project C.U.R.E. shipment container arrived and with the help of residents in Ft. Liberte, we were able to unload all the medical supplies and began setting up our clinic for the community. Our volunteers also got the chance to be tourists at 27 Falls of Damajagua, Dominican Republic. We had an incredibly productive trip and can't wait for the next one.
April 2013, GFP shares Ouanaminthe with Project C.U.R.E.
Lori and Jill brought Chuck Irion, an assessment officer with Project C.U.R.E., to Ouanaminthe, Haiti and the proposed site for a new medical clinic serving the people of Ft. Liberte. With Chuck's assessment, we will be one step closer to securing a shipping container of $400,000 worth of medical supplies.
January 2013, Rural Medical Clinics in Ouanaminthe, Haiti
Merry Christmas 2012 and Happy New Year 2013
May brought big changes for the GFP children and staff. Lori Goldberg and Jill Richards went to Haiti and secured a new home for our family in the town of Les Cayes. The move from our rural to new urban setting not only reduced costs but provided many new opportunities for our children and staff: better educational opportunities, greater access to food, staples, and health care and easier and safer travel for volunteers. Lori put out a call for more volunteers to help and Stacey Berman Webb and her children, Jake and Sophie, jumped on a plane and arrived to complete the moving process and help the kids settle in. During this time, GFP welcomed new volunteer Chloe Suberville a student at McGill University in Canada, into the GFP family. Chloe visited our home, fell in love with our little ones, and has become a valued member of our volunteer team.
In March 2012, seven volunteers joined the entire Goldberg family in Haiti. The volunteers had the opportunity to visit and work with many of the local and regional governmental offices to secure GFP's custodial rights to the children they care for. It was an amazing opportunity to experience the good and bad of the Haitian judicial and social service processes. All the volunteers agreed it was the learning experience of a lifetime.
In October 2011, eight GFP volunteers traveled to Haiti to work in our children's home. This was the first trip for Chaparral school teachers Mary Gilley and Brad Dicus and photographer Jill Richards who joined founder Lori Goldberg, board members Jo Hayslip and Karen Zorn along with Junior board members Maria Zorn and Brit Nilsen. During their stay in Les Cayes, Haiti, the group spent time with the GFP kiddos, visited Sister Flora's home on Ile-a-vache and welcomed two street boys and two neglected dogs into the GFP family.
Weather was a constant problem: the rainy season was in full force and the group witnessed the severe flooding that routinely takes out roads, homes, and crops. They also saw the amazing resiliency of the Haitian people: walking in water up to their knees or standing on chairs on their porches they somehow still had smiles and waves for the volunteers. It is that spirit that keeps one coming back.
As we said goodbye to our first group, we were greeted by a smaller and younger generation of volunteers. We were fortunate once again to experience an immediate connection. Bonding and playing with our children was easy. We built, shared and filled our second Chicks4Children sustainable program. We made great progress on repairing and painting our first vehicle and we trained our housemothers how to properly manage and clean our home. This was GFP’s first back to back volunteer trip and it was a successful one at that. We grew as individuals and as a family.
Our love continues to grow. 15 new and returning U.S. volunteers met up in Florida to travel to Les Cayes, The group bonded instantly and could hardly wait to meet GFP’S 18 children. Our hearts remained full despite the daily downpour. The weather enabled us to play more and work less. We still managed to create some beautiful murals, install cabinets, paint our front wall, study English and French, sew chicks, sing, dance and laugh as we learned how to play the ukulele with Heidi and Daniel. Editorial Director and volunteer Odeen takes us on a day-to-day account of the trip.
The smiles were bigger. More hearts were full. Global Family Philanthropy took its biggest group (16 volunteers) on its longest trip (10 days). And they accomplished more than they could ever imagine. The group helped complete the first floor of the new GFP home, move the children and even built a soccer field for the kids! GFP also welcomed two new additions to the family. It was one of the, if not the most, rewarding trip yet. Read more about the trip through a volunteer's eyes and words. eeko studio Editorial Director Odeen Domingo, an award-winning writer, blogged daily about his experiences on the trip. eeko studio is a green graphic design firm in Phoenix.
Holidays in Haiti
There was love, laughter and even loathing. The Global Family Philanthropy group (volunteer Brit Nilsen and the Goldbergs - Lori, Seth, Hannah and Olivia) toured Sean Penn's JPHRO camp in Port au Prince and were astounded by the 60,000 there who were displaced after the earthquake in January. The field of makeshift tents stretched to the horizon. The love and laughter came during Christmas when GFP celebrated the holiday in Les Cayes with its adopted children, who saw Santa for the first time. They didn't know what to make of Santa Seth but they did love his gifts of toys and candy. GFP also celebrated Christmas at the school, where the students enjoyed singing Christmas carols, playing games and sharing gifts. The trip was also productive, GFP painted the school's exterior, purchased 16 chickens for the home, and had a movie night (Madagascar 2!) with the kids. The group also visited a cholera camp and made a friend in Dr. Walter, who is committed to caring for cholera patients and educating the community on prevention. The love and laughter continued as GFP rang in the New Year with singing and dancing.
Not even "beautiful" can be of justice. No, not to describe what the Global Family Philanthropy group (Lori Goldberg, board member Pauline Forrester and volunteers Stacey Caron and Kim Hupke) experienced. The group visited the new GFP home, which was still in construction and shared crafts and keepsakes with the kids. Stacey, a former hygienist, cleaned teeth and gave fluoride treatments to the entire Family. The group shared 250 donated backpacks with GFP's students. The group also took the kids to the island of Ile a Vache, a trip that included a boat ride to a heaven-on-earth sandbar full of starfish in the middle of the ocean, a play day on a postcard-worthy beach and lunch at Port Morgan. But no other beauty can beat what came next. GFP volunteers and the Les Cayes police department rescued a newborn baby girl in the most rural, impoverished area of Les Cayes. The little girl was born to a mentally handicapped woman that had been sexually assaulted. She was ready to abandon the baby because she couldn’t even care for herself. GFP and Les Cayes police took the baby to the hospital to confirm she was healthy and GFP welcomed Clara Rose to the Family.
There was nothing like it. The freedom, the grace. The water that fell from hundreds of feet above. The water that washed ashore from hundreds of feet out. Global Family Philanthropy took its adopted children to a waterfall then a beach for a day of swimming, playtime and lunch. It was a first-time experience for most of them. GFP also broke ground for the new center for the children. At the ceremony, musicians performed, a special presentation was made and new meaningful relationships were established. There was nothing like it. The freedom, the grace.
It has begun. The momentum toward building a bright future is beckoning toward unstoppable, like water flowing down the Colorado River. After the Goldbergs visited and shared donations with orphanages in Port au Prince, they flew to Les Cayes to meet with the architect/contractor for the new GFP Community Center. But best of all, the Global Family was born. After GFP decided on the new plans, the introduction of orphans and families in need began. GFP rented a temporary home for the children to live in while the new GFP Center was under construction, purchased all the basic living necessities and welcomed its first Family members and staff with open arms.
Amazing happens here. The Global Family Philanthropy group (volunteer Alex Wolin and the Goldbergs - Lori, Seth, Hannah, and Olivia) traveled to Port au Prince to visit and share donations at Hannah and Olivia’s House of Hope (sponsored through Planting Peace). They then flew to Les Cayes and took a small boat to the island of Ile a Vache, where they volunteered and shared gifts with cooperating orphanages. The group also made a special visit to the pediatric hospital to share donations from Blankets for Babies. New Year's was celebrated in Port au Prince visiting another orphanage, the Presidential Palace and spending the last evening at the Hotel Montana. This was just the beginning. Amazing starts here.