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I'm currently working on growing my startup (a YC company), but previously I spent 2 years building a non-profit that sets up volunteer centers in disaster areas and I'd like to ask you for your help in supporting it. We are a super lean organization with an executive director that takes a $0 per year salary. Donations are being gathered to directly help the people in Haiti.
Haiti has suffered a catastrophic disaster. It's quite hard to fully conceptualize what something like this does to a country. For those of you who have experienced life in a 3rd world country, you know how shocking everyday life can be for some people... add on top of that chaos, pain, fear and a collapse of basic services... The people in Haiti are greatly suffering now and will be for the months if not years to come.
My organization (Hands On Disaster Response, www.HODR.org) sets up volunteer centers so that anyone can spend a day/week/month volunteering and doing meaningful work to help people recover from a natural disaster. If a volunteer can get themselves to one of our projects, we provide the food, housing, tools and work management. There is no cost to volunteer with us. We source work locally in connection with local residents and officials to make sure we're doing the work that the people really need. We live in the communities we are working to help and we form personal relationships with them.
We will give 100% of the donations we receive for the Haiti Earthquake Response to Haiti. We may also set up a volunteer center where we would welcome any of you to visit and lend a hand personally.
The immediate needs will be for cash donations and for PR help. Cash donations can be made directly on our website www.hodr.org/haiti_earthquake and our Development Officer Andrew Kerr is available via email at Andrew@HODR.org or by phone at 919-830-3573 for inquiries. We can also use support in spreading the word about us and the work we do. Any connections to the national media or to PR firms willing to help with Pro Bono work would be greatly appreciated.
How You Can Help:
Make a donation. It will all go to help the people in Haiti. 100% of it. (You can make a secure donation online at www.HODR.org)
Spread the word. Let your people know about us and if you need any information, photos, material, etc. contact Andrew@hodr.org or by phone at 919-830-3573.)
Our Haiti Experience:
We ran a six-month-long hurricane response project in Haiti from October 2008 to March 2009, organizing 151 volunteers from 14 countries and collaborating with dozens of other organizations like CRS, UNICEF, Oxfam Intermon, Oxfam Great Britain, IFRC, UN OCHA, OIM, and Action Against Hunger. We did all of this meaningful work on the small budget of $200,000. Your donations go a very long way with us. $5,000 - Provided 25 contamination-resistant wells to hundreds of families. $30,000 - Sponsors an entire project for 1 month, bringing direct assistance to those who need it most.
We're sending an assessment team down this weekend to reconnect with our local contacts to establish how best we can help the people of Haiti. This might mean we'll deploy a team to organize a volunteer center... or it might mean we'll decide that we're not the best organization to help the people and we'll give 100% of the funds we've raised for Haiti to organizations that will be their helping.
During this critical time it is important for everyone to be patient and realize that with the amount of the devastation this will be a long term recovery process. Search and rescue will be critical over the next week, and then the long term work of helping the country recover will begin. We post regular updates to our blog and our twitter streams. You can learn more about us at www.HODR.org.
Info From Our Previous Haiti Project: http://hodr.org/pages/haiti/
Read Our Annual Report from 2009:
(HODR is an official 501c3. We've been running now for 5 years and have organized 12 volunteer projects in 7 countries. Our annual financial reports are available on our website)
For a lot of people who feel compelled to give, they're going to do what a majority of the press are telling them to do... and that is to donate to the Red Cross. I am going to urge you to reconsider that. I'll speak lightly about my frustrations with the Red Cross, and focus more on the positives about how you and your donations can make a real impact... But, the Red Cross is $600,000,000 in debt. They spend $200 million a year on their administrative costs. (I understand that they do important work and that good people deserve good living wages, but they have a history of mismanagement with their funds) 100% of donations made to the Red Cross right now will not end up in Haiti. So if you or your friends, co-workers or family want to help the people in Haiti; help them give to an organization that is on the ground and who will spend their donations directly on the people in Haiti. Tell them about HODR.org