A letter from our founder, Sarah Hackett and our Board Chair, Jim Tew
Dear Friends and Supporters:
What an interesting and remarkable year this has been! We started 2013 with news of a grant of $474,000 from the Kellogg Foundation – a transformative event in the history of Haiti Projects. We moved from that news to a reckoning with the difficult financial results of 2012, in which overhead expenses outstripped sales, revenues and donations. Starting April 1st, we began a recovery effort under the direction of Cherie Miot Abbanat, our new CEO and former Board Member. Along the way many of you stepped forward with assistance and your help was bolstered by a $72,000 donation from a long-time contributor to the Artisanat program, and a $100,000 anonymous unrestricted gift.
By the end of September, we had turned Haiti Projects around and elected five new Board Members (their brief bios are on the attached page), hired a new accounting firm, and brought on a new General Director in Fond des Blancs. During all of this, Cherie, working with Renee Ryan, our Office Manager and Director of Sales, has put in far more time and effort than we have paid her for, and for this we owe Cherie and Renee our sincere appreciation.
Through all of our changes, our impact remains steady and strong: Fond des Blancs, where we operate, is composed of 45 scattered villages, 70 miles southwest of the capital. It is in this region of Haiti where we run the artisan cooperative, which employs 95 women; the health clinic that conducts over 4000 patient consultations; the library with its 700 members, daily newspaper, and Cyber Café, and many educational programs for adults and young people. In addition, our new all Haiti Projects girls’ soccer team has 64 members and counting…
The Kellogg Grant will be allocated to each of our three major projects – the Clinic; the Artisanat; and the Library/Community Center. The Clinic will expand its outreach to the more rural areas of the Fond des Blancs region. The Artisanat will enhance its production capacity and capabilities. Finally, we expect to break ground on our new Library Building in 2014. It is an exciting and challenging time for us.
Now our challenge is to meet Kellogg’s requirement for matching funds. To date, we have raised $234,500 against the 2014 donation and need to raise an additional $93,000 this year to qualify for the remaining $46,500 of the 2014 grant.
This is where you come in. Kellogg considers the total dollars in the match, and is also aware of the breadth and depth of our support. So, as you consider your support for our objectives this year, please keep in mind the following:
1. To contribute to the range of programs we offer in Fond des Blanc, go to our website haitiprojects.org. Our Goal is $93,000 by January 1, 2014.
2. Order holiday gifts from the Artisanat through our on-line store: haitiprojects.org. Our Goal is to reach $67,000 in Sales this holiday season.
3. Consider making a gift of appreciated securities in lieu of cash: a tax deduction of the market value for you, a wonderful donation for us (Please contact Cherie at email@example.com), for further information or specific delivery instructions.)
4. Your tax deductible contributions can also be made by check written to Haiti Projects and sent via US mail: 136 Rantoul St. Beverly, MA 01915.
On behalf of our 95-plus employees in Fond des Blancs, I would like to thank you for your past and future support!
Sarah A Hackett, Founder James D Tew, Board Chairman