As readers of Writing Without Paper know, I ran a challenge last Tuesday, donating to the nonprofit Vassar Haiti Project $1.00 for each comment I received on my contribution, "mourning haiku", to the Blog Carnival on peace. I counted comments left on my post and FaceBook and comments, including re-tweeted comments, on Twitter, and then wrote and sent off a check.
I was delighted that a number of others turned their participation in the Blog Carnival into fund-raising for Haiti relief organizations as well.
I think it is important that those who aided my effort know what is coming of the donations contributed. Today, VHP, which launched its mission in Haiti since 2001, sent word that Vassar College students in Haiti when the January 12 earthquake struck have since returned to the United States and are back at school. Sadly, most of the hundreds of artisans and artists affiliated with VHP who are from Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area lost their homes, and the historic Centre d'Art was destroyed. The Centre d'Art was a champion of so-called naive Haitian art.
In addition to supporting its educational, arts-related, and sustainable development initiatives, the VHP:
✭ has established a fund to benefit displaced artists and artisans and support a music school that collapsed in the earthquake and lost all of its musical instruments;
✭ is collaborating with schools and other organizations to sponsor off-campus sales and exhibitions of Haitian art;
✭ has decided to add PayPal to its Website to facilitate online sales of Haitian art and donations to the project;
✭ is working with Vassar College faculty and student organizations to plan events that will raise awareness of and funds for relief efforts;
✭ is accepting and organizing donations of medical supplies, tends, food, and clothing for shipment to Haiti; and
✭ will accept donations of Haitian art for project-affiliated art sales. The VHP's annual sale of Haitian art currently is scheduled for April 9 -11 at Vassar College.
The project encourages interested parties to network with VHP, share ideas and contacts, and refer to the project's Website anyone who appreciates and collects art or wants to make a donation to support VHP's initiatives to raise extra funds for displaced artists and artisans in their time of need.
I thank all who visited my blog last Tuesday and who continue to remember Haiti.___________________________
Pictured above left, "Mermaid's Song" by Seymour Bottex. Courtesy of Vassar Haiti Project. Published with permission.