As you may know, I'm on the board of directors for the Vertile Foundation. Vertile provides a safe home, food, medical care and an education for abandoned children in Haiti, our mission since 2010. Last year, we expanded our charter and opened a much-needed school, since only 20% of kids in Haiti make it past the 6th grade. In our 10 years operating in Haiti we’ve learned many things, including that without an education, breaking the cycle of poverty is virtually impossible.
This organization - led by people who understand the culture and what it takes to make a difference - is changing the lives of kids who would have had nowhere else to turn. I believe in what they are doing to support and uplift some of the western hemisphere's most vulnerable people.
Our annual fundraising gala was cancelled this year due to COVID, which dramatically impacts our ability to take in, care for and educate children, as the gala funds approximately 80% of our annual operating budget. Please donate today - the money will go directly to helping kids like Violetta (see her story below), and relocating our home to a safer location.
All donations are tax deductible, and Vertile is a 100% volunteer organization, so your money will go directly to the programs in Haiti. Read Violetta's story below to learn more about what Vertile does.
We urgently need to move our kid's home to a safe location
Extreme poverty and civil unrest continue to fuel protests, roadblocks and violence in Haiti. Most of our kids have a 45-minute drive to school, and there is only one possible road through two very unsafe and desperate areas. The kids have been leaving before sunrise to avoid roadblocks (as in the photo above), but are stopped in the car at gunpoint and told to turn around with increasing frequency. So we are accelerating plans to rebuild our home within walking distance of the school. As we expand the capacity, we can move more kids to the safer location.
Simply put, this will completely change the lives of the kids in our care, allowing them to live in a safe environment with clean air, grass and trees. They will be able to walk to school without the fear of seeing a gun pointed at them, and they'll be able to be kids again.
Help us take in more kids like Violetta
Violetta (pictured solo above)'s story is an all-too-common one in Haiti. Her mother couldn't find work or food, and was no longer able to breastfeed when Violetta was just four months old due to malnutrition. Desperate, alone and unable to care for her child, she abandoned her with a local woman, hoping that she could find her food.
Recently - after complaining about foot pain - her caretaker passed away suddenly before she could get to the hospital. Violetta was only 7 and had no one. Vertile took her in and she is attending school for the first time, catching up on her eating, and enjoying all of the attention and love from the other kids.