We've managed to cross paths with a few very worthwhile and like-minded smaller organizations over the years. In some cases we've been able to collaborate on various fundraisers or collection drives. In other cases, we've simply provided kind words of encouragement for the work their doing in their communities.
We'd encourage you to take time to learn a bit more about some of our partners and the work that they're doing.
Check back as we hope to partner with other groups in the coming months.
Schools Count Corp.(Chicagoland area) - Devastation brought us together - the devastation left by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to be more specific. In the days following Haiti's quake we learned about Dick and his work and learned he was looking to try and assist a school that had been impacted by the quake. We reached out to applaud his efforts and make him aware of our established relationship with our adopted school, Institution Mixte Nao, in Leogane, since 2007. We shared that our friends had lost everything and would be turning to our group, Kids4Good, to help them fund their rebuilding. It was at that point that Dick offered to partner with us for our Hope4Haiti initiative but only if he could travel to Haiti, as soon as the government would allow non-medical visitors, to assess first-hand the level of progress and need. Dick made helping our friends in Haiti his priority in those months following the quake and his efforts and those of his many committed donors was pivotal in our success to assist in rebuilding IMNCS. Dick's organization has been one of the key contributors on our Hope4Haiti initiative to date. Dick has worked tirelessly in recent years to build his NFP and provide much needed resources to students in need both locally and across the U.S. Dick's projects have taken him to New Orleans, post Katrina, over a dozen times since 2005 to deliver school supplies and various other donations. He's quick to reach out following natural disasters and connect with those on the front lines to provide additional support as he deems necessary following a very focused assessment with local officials. The majority of the work that Schools Count Corp. does is focused right here in neighboring communities in Chicago where Dick has established long-term relationships with so many administrative staff throughout CPS and other districts. We've continued our work with Dick for both his annual Go Green School Supply Drive as well as his annual winter gear drive with our WINTER CLASSIC COAT DRIVE. Visit his new site: http://schoolscount.weebly.com
Safety Village of Darien - Started by Cindie and Dave Hagen following the tragic death of their son Mark while on a family vacation. Mark was struck by a distracted driver. Safety Village of Darien started their child safety education programming in 1988 and they've been the premier provider of child safety education here in Darien and surrounding communities for decades now! We were fortunate enough to work with the Hagens and utilize their space when we were running our after school club, Kids4Good, at Lace school for many years. When we had the idea to possibly start a community garden, the grounds of Safety Village felt like a perfect fit and Cindie and Dave were so generous and encouraging when we pitched our Sunny Patch Project to them. We are so grateful to the Hagens for allowing us to utilize their beautiful grounds and hope that our garden continues to grow and reflect positively on their wonderful nonprofit - Safety Village of Darien. To learn more about their programming, visit: http://safetyvillageofdarien.org
Global Hope (Chicagoland area) - through our work with Schools Count Corp. we were able to meet this small grassroots group of high energy, fun loving folks working to assist and empower those in need. They've traveled the globe to assist others and we were able to connect with them at a time when we were working 24/7 to fundraise for our dear friends in Haiti following the 2010 quake. Since our chance meeting in March of 2010, Global Hope has worked with us to raise significant funds for our Hope4Haiti work. They've funded teacher salaries as well as the construction of the first ever source of water for our friends at Institution Mixte Nao. Additionally, in 2013, we partnered to organize Festival Lespwa to raise funds to build a new modern toilet facility for our adopted school. The funds raised through this festival- over $10,000, put us over the top of our goal and our friends in Haiti have had a new toilet facility for their school since November of 2013! We're very thankful for the effort that this organization has made to support our work!
Haiti Partners (Haiti/Vero Beach FL) - one of the worst natural disasters in history led us to this impressive nonprofit organization. In the days following Haiti's quake of 2010, we were fortunate, through a friend at the time, to be introduced to this group. The directors, John Engle and Kent Annan, had been doing work with other organizations in Haiti for over a decade before establishing their own NFP just a few months before the quake. They were both living in Haiti off and on over the previous decade. John Engle and our friend Erik Badger agreed to act as our fiscal agents at the time since we weren't a 501(c)(3) nor did we have any knowledge of Haiti and all of it's complexities, much less trying to direct significant funds to our school as they were digging out of the rubble. Since 2010, we've worked very closely with Haiti Partners to fund and successfully rebuild an entire school. We've been hosted by Haiti Partners on our inaugural trip in October 2012 for IMNCS's 10th Anniversary celebration. Haiti Partners has acted as our fiscal agent since 2010. Please take time to visit their new site: http://haitipartners.org and learn more about their various initiatives in Haiti.
Kids Off The Block (Chicago/Roseland Neighborhood) - we identified this small organization, back in 2009, as a group that was working to truly make a difference in one of the roughest areas of Chicago - they were working to provide a safe haven for so many of the area youth who were struggling to stay out of trouble and off the streets. The founder of this incredible organization, Diane Latiker, was named CNN Hero of the Year 2011. Diane has continued her tireless work with her small organization and has gained much attention in recent years since her CNN exposure as a local expert on youth violence in Chicago. Please take the time to visit their site and follow their work - http://www.kobchicago.org/aboutus We're hoping to further partner with Diane and KOB in 2015 - check back for updates!
Haitian American Museum of Chicago (Uptown Neighborhood) - following our trip to Haiti in October of 2012, we returned with a renewed desire to better understand the culture of these people who we'd spent the past five years trying to assist with our Hope4Haiti work. A random Facebook session led us to a link about this small organization that had just opened their doors in the Uptown neighborhood. They were excited to be the only Haitian American Museum in the Midwest and this seemed like divine intervention. A quick email about membership and an offer to possibly exhibit some of our Hope4Haiti story, led us to our first museum exhibition of our Hope4Haiti work in January of 2013. For a link to their page about our exhibit - http://www.hamoc.org/#!haiti-post-earthquake-three-years-later/c158w
This exhibit enabled us to share our story and to accomplish some modest fundraising for the new toilet facility at the same time. HAMOC is now approaching their second anniversary and they're as committed as ever to becoming the premiere resource center for showcasing Haitian art, history and complex culture here in the Midwest. To learn more about this small museum, visit: www.hamoc.org/