Ahead of the tenth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has announced a commitment of $3 million over five years to Hope for Haiti, the Miami Herald reports.
The grant will support the Les Cayes-based humanitarian organization's mobile clinics, outreach efforts in underserved rural communities, and other initiatives in the country's south, where the organization has worked since before the earthquake killed more than 300,000 people, injured 1.5 million, and left 1.5 million homeless. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Renee Parsons, who at the time handled community outreach for GoDaddy, the Internet domain registrar and Web hosting company founded by her husband, wrote her first grant, for $500,000, to the organization.
"We felt that of all the organizations we had looked at and the research we had done, Hope for Haiti had the most significant impact," Parsons told the Miami Herald. "For us, we really were filled with hope that things could improve there, we really could make a difference, and that we wanted to keep investing in the communities that we were serving," she added. "That's why we are sitting here ten years later and still involved with a fresh new grant."
"We are beyond grateful that they trust us, they are our partner," said Hope for Haiti CEO Skyler Badenoch. "I can't state how important multiyear funding is because it really allows you to take a longer-term approach than just having funding for a year."
The grant boosts to more than $6 million the total amount raised by Hope for Haiti’s $10 million Haitian Solidarity campaign — including support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Qatar Haiti Fund.
"The whole idea of it was to raise money in solidarity with the Haitian people, but also to use it to tell this story that is counter to the narrative [that] all of this money flowed into Haiti and nothing happened," said Badenoch. "We know that's partially true. We can go on and on about what went wrong, but I think it does a disservice to say that nothing happened to the fifty-three staff members who have been working really hard on our team over the last ten years. And if we say nothing happened, what are we saying about their work?"
(Photo credit: Hope for Haiti)