Friday, November 25, 2011

Hard Hats for Haiti - Launching Event

Honorary Consul General of Haiti -
Mr. Ralph Latortue
 Thursday, September 22nd at 7p.m - The Little Haiti Cultural Center
Among the pictures and paintings on display at The Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, more than 100 business leaders, community activists, neighbors and people who care turned out to support the “Rebuilding Haiti” program through a new campaign called Hard Hats for Haiti. Spearheaded by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the campaign’s main goal is not only to raise awareness, but to raise funds to build safe homes and neighborhoods for hundreds of thousands Haitian earthquake victims, through a private and public partnership.

“We want to rebuild Haiti by implementing the 3R’s: Rebuilding communities, Revitalizing neighborhoods, and Restoring livelihoods (creating jobs) by making sure the people who need the most help, really get it,” said Paul Fisher, Director of Corporate Partnerships for PADF.
Fisher and Haiti’s Consul General, Ralph Latortue, kicked off the night’s event and campaign, then introduced the community and corporate sponsors who have pledged to donate money and time to the Haitian rebuilding effort. More than 180,000 homes were damaged and 1.5 million people were left homeless after the January 2010, 7.0 magnitude quake struck near Port-au-Prince.

“Unlike other movements to help Haiti, every dollar will go directly to the hardest hit areas, like Delmas 32, a neighborhood at the epicenter of the crisis,” added Latortue. Event attendees got to see how that would happen first hand as a slide show of the devastation and rebuilding process in Haiti played on a big screen at the front of the gallery. Guests watched and clapped as Daniel O’Neil, PADF’s Senior Director of Programs for Haiti and Dominican Republic spoke about the reconstruction process, and the group’s higher goal of creating 14,000 sustainable jobs across the country.
The list of sponsors of Hard Hats for Haiti is impressive. Among the community and corporate partners are: Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and the City of Miami, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Caterpillar, Diageo, RIM Blackberry and MTV. PADF also receives backing from institutions such as the United States Agency for International Aid, the World Bank, the American Red Cross and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

The overall goal is to raise money, and no amount is insignificant. That’s why before the evening ended, guests were asked to text HARDHATS to 27722 to make a $5 donation. Organizers also asked people to tweet about the initiative through its Twitter at the hashtag #HH4Haiti or to follow the efforts on its Facebook page.

For more information please visit Hard Hats for Haiti's website:

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