Back in 2012, I went to Haiti with Help One Now. My friend, Dan invited me. He said a bunch of other bloggers were going, too. Then, he listed some names: Jen Hatmaker, Jennie Allen, Sarah Bessey, Mary DeMuth, Kristen Howerton, and Duane Scott. “Hmmm,” I said, trying to be excited about the whole thing. But, honestly? I didn’t know who half those people were. I had never heard of Jen Hatmaker or Jennie Allen, that’s for sure.
I was skeptical. It was back when blogger trips were all the rage and I was not falling for it. I chalked their passion up to bleeding hearts and all the rest, and I fought to figure out how bloggers could pack up and go off to other countries when people are dying right here in our neighborhoods, of gun violence, domestic violence, AIDS, poverty, and more. Not to mention the fact that I was up to my eyeballs with trying not to talk about racism in America, even though it was clearly a problem in our society (and remains so). I asked Dan if I could bring my sister with me. “I don’t want to be the only black American on the trip,” I told him. But, trips like these cost money, so my sister had to stay behind and pray me through the experience.
On the flight from Florida to Haiti, I sat next to Jennie Allen, and she told me all about this plan she had for a conference that wasn’t really a conference, but that would bring together a bunch of women and equip them to impact the world. “If God is real,” she said to me, “then what does that mean for how we live our lives?” Good question. And, turns out, girlfriend was serious.
I’ve written a lot about that trip to Haiti (here’s one place you can go to read more). I was impressed by Chris Marlow, the founder of Help One Now. His commitment to the people in the countries Help One Now serves is impressive. And, of course, the need is great. The need there doesn’t cancel out the needs here. I can live into the calling I have to help elevate the conversation and build bridges among people who are different, here in the United States, while at the same time, helping support ministries in other places around the world.
So, when we realized an orphanage in Haiti needed a school, we decided to build one. Remember that? We called it the Legacy Project. We asked for your help to raise $150,000 in just a few months and, because you are amazing, we did it! The school you helped fund was up and running in Haiti, less than one year from the time our team returned to the States.
For the past two years, I’ve served on the board of Help One Now (HON). That’s how much I believe in this organization. By the time I made my way back to Nebraska from Haiti, I was a believer in this organization and the work they’re doing around the world. Help One Now humbly seeks out leaders in the communities they serve, then they find ways to partner with those leaders—letting them lead in ways they know work in their communities. And, the staff members at Help One Now keep going back. Chris Marlow and the HON team are deeply committed to serving the people of these communities well.
This year, you can help sustain the work we began, back in 2012. That little school? It’s still going strong. But, as with the schools we send our children to here at home, they need supplies, their teachers need salaries, and the building needs maintenance. So, HON is looking for help to raise a mere $36,000 to help offset these costs. We raised $150K in a few months, just a few years ago. Raising $36K by the end of the year should be no big deal.
Education is key, and you can help by purchasing the gorgeous 2015 Legacy Necklace made in Haiti, with hand-punched leather sequins and brass accent beads. Your purchase helps fund the following in Haiti and Uganda:
- Support 12 classrooms — 6 each at Aclaprotech in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and His Mercy School in Uganda.
- 12 annual salaries for local teachers
- Provide classroom resources such as textbooks, school supplies, and other necessities
- Fund minor repairs to facilities
- Provide training seminars for local teachers
And, when you buy a necklace, HON will also send you a free copy of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are. Be sure to choose my name in the dropdown to get your copy of the book with the necklace. This offer is only good for those who choose “Deidra Riggs” when placing your order.
See? Like this:
So, let me break it down for you, because this could be us, right? Making a world of difference, right where we are! It works like this: You get a necklace to keep or give away. You get a book to keep or give away. The person making your necklace in Haiti gets a job, and gets paid! The children at the schools in Haiti and Uganda get to learn, which leads to jobs, where they can get paid! The teachers get to teach, and get paid! The maintenance people get to work, and get paid!
Maybe you’re like me? Maybe you’re skeptical about the whole thing, and you wonder to yourself, “Why bother?” I want to tell you to take my word for it, because I wasn’t going to being easily convinced. I wasn’t. So, just know I feel you. I know it may be a tough sell. Especially at this time of year. But, if you can swing it, it might just be the difference that makes a difference, far beyond what you’d ever imagined possible with just $30, a necklace, and a little book.
To order the 2015 Legacy Necklace, click here (and don’t forget to choose my name in the dropdown). Thanks so much!