My fundraising page is finally up, through an awesome new crowdfunding site called EverydayHero. Check it out at https://give.everydayhero.com/us/kenny!
So what am I fundraising for?
My 25th birthday is coming up, and with almost a quarter century of amazing experiences under my belt, I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but much much more to strive for. This became especially clear to me after a recent visit to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS Haiti, ww.hashaiti.org), an incredible hospital in central Haiti which I’ve had the honor of working with over the past 4 months. I came back wanting nothing more than to support HAS Haiti however I could, both by letting other people know about their work, and to raise as much money for them as possible. My birthday seemed like a perfect occasion to try to do both!
5 Years After the Quake
In addition to that, January 12, 2015 (exactly 2 weeks before my birthday) will mark the 5 year anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti was already long-plagued by debt, corruption, and shoddy infrastructure. I feel a need to say this: It’s important to recognize that after any disaster (natural or man-made), challenges remain long after they leave the news headlines. And while awareness is one thing, it’s critical that when we try to help, we ensure that our efforts meet the affected population’s real needs. Spending a bit of time performing our due diligence on an organization can make the difference between saving lives and actually being counter-productive.
For me, going to Haiti was sobering, yet inspiring. In a place where roads, clean water and electricity remain scarce, I find it to be nothing short of miraculous that a single organization can provide accessible healthcare for 350,000 people over a 610 square mile area. Of course, this is only possible with the hard work of over 500 staff (99% Haitian), and a 58-year history of innovation, care, and excellence. I’m fundraising for the hospital’s Integrated Community Services (ICS) department, which focuses on preventive measures for healthcare, such as vaccines, malnutrition screenings, health education, clean water, and more, through a network of community health centers and mobile clinics around the whole region. I was drawn to ICS because I have a personal interest in holistic and preventive approaches to healthcare; also, there’s something that changes inside you when you meet the eyes of a malnourished infant and don’t know if she’ll still be alive the next day/week/month. When as little as $22 can cover vaccines and other preventative healthcare measures for a child for a year, every donation can give children like the ones I saw a much better chance at having a future.
How you can help
Anything you can give will be much appreciated, both by me and by the people you’d be ultimately helping. I’m setting a goal on here for $5000, but I’d really like to do more if possible. The best birthday present I could imagine is if I could reach 1000 people ($25 each is $25,000!!). I don’t know how outlandish that is, but I do know I’ll probably need some help if I’d like to get anywhere close to that. So even if you can’t donate, I’ll be eternally grateful if you share this page on Facebook/Twitter/etc., tell people who might care, or anything else you can think of! For those of you that do donate, don’t be shy about telling the world how awesome you are! Along with your tax receipt and thank you letters, you’ll also have a personal IOU for one big hug from me (optional, non-transferable).
Thanks, and much love!