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After returning from Haiti in July 2013, we really needed to regroup and spend some time planning creative ways to raise funds for our little pals in Haiti. Our sweet fundraising volunteer, Ann, has returned to Notre Dame and we miss her dearly! Planning fundraisers isn’t near as much fun without her, but we managed to get details together for several upcoming fundraisers in October.

October marks Magic Beans’ 1 year anniversary. We’re excited to reach this milestone & also very aware that our work is far from done. There are many, many needs, as you can imagine. Just like you and me, children in Haiti need to eat every single day. Just like you and me, children in Haiti are in need of the same basic necessities. The only difference is, many of their parents are unable to provide, assuming they have parents at all. We work with some of the most amazing children. Their faces, which remind me of my own daughter’s face, are what keep pushing me forward to help them.

I’ve written in the past about O.J.H.A.E.D.’s after school program. While I was in Haiti in March 2013, I met the board of directors of Organisation Des Jeunes Haitiens Pour Aiden Les Enfants Demuins (O.J.H.A.E.D) which translates to Haitian Youth Organization for Destitute Children. They wanted to start this program for 25 children. This program would provide a safe place for the children to go before and after school. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would become Magic Beans’ primary focus over the next couple months, and going into the future. O.J.H.A.E.D. didn’t have a building for their program when I visited in March. They really had no way of creating a program without that. Over the next month after I left, the board searched for a suitable place for the children. In May, they found a building, but they couldn’t afford the annual rent. Magic Beans raised money to cover their annual rent. One week before I was to leave to go to Haiti again in July, we received a donation that covered the balance of O.J.H.A.E.D.’s rent. The only thing to do that seemed fitting was to cry!  And cry, I did!

But there was much left to do! The building was the first step in setting up a safe, productive atmosphere for the kids to learn, complete school work and get, what could be, their only meal of the day. After going over the budget with O.J.H.A.E.D.’s board, it became pretty evident that we can’t do this alone. We really do need the support of friends and family to help them with this program. It never occurred to me all the expenses involved to run an after school program for an entire school year. In Haiti, there are many other variables to consider. They have to pay a seamstress to make the children’s uniforms. In the U.S., students despise uniforms. In Haiti, it’s a symbol of inclusion. Everyone’s the same, and that’s a great thing. They will have to hire someone to cook the children’s meals. This person will get very little compensation, but it’s more than what they would otherwise get, and they’ll be grateful to receive it.  They’ll also provide bags, books, school supplies, transportation to and from school each day, and suitable shoes for school, which in Haiti, can only be solid black. Most of these children can’t afford to buy their own.  The budget for this program includes everything I’ve mentioned above as well as tuition fees for the children. I should also note, the Haitian government has given this particular group of children a discount on tuition because O.J.H.A.E.D. is helping them.
When I return to Haiti in December, I’ll visit the children with this program again. My hope is to offer good news of our support for their program. I believe in this program and the benefits it offers the children. I believe in the board of directors and their desire to help those in need. I also believe a dedicated few can make this happen. We hope you’ll consider becoming a recurring monthly donor. With monthly support from friends and family, we can continue to help these sweet children.
Like I mentioned, October is our anniversary month and to kick it off, we’re hosting several fundraisers:
October 5th – Fort Worth Stockyards Scavenger Hunt
October 13th – Turtle Creek Urban Hike for Haiti
October 26-27th – 3rd Charity Garage Sale
Please check out our Events tab for complete information on each event. We hope to have a good turn-out for each. Volunteers are always much appreciated! Please contact us with any questions or volunteer inquiries. Money raised from these fundraisers will be used to support O.J.H.A.E.D.’s program, provide food to children in need & help with fees involved in transporting supplies to Haiti for our December trip.
It’s been a busy September behind the scenes for Magic Beans. We are a determined, dedicated few that know progress can take time. Before I close, I want to thank everyone who has supported us, shared our story, collected supplies, volunteered at our events, offered services to help our cause, donated prizes for raffles and fundraisers, and most importantly loved us along the way. THANK YOU FOR LOVING US. By doing so, you’re loving them, too.
With every good wish,
April Cooper

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