It takes one easy click to visit the website of the bustling charity Helping Haiti, where you see a well-established not-for-profit doing a lot of good for the people of Cite Soliel. Helping Haiti has built a water tower and medical centre since its establishment in 2008, and is working towards building a community centre. However, it took much more than a click for Tammy Aristilde and her team to build the charity. Almost 8 years ago, Tammy, a local Kingstonite working for Queen’s Campus Security, decided she wanted to do charity work somewhere new after spending several months volunteering in Thailand. She can’t explain what exactly pulled her to Haiti, but she booked her ticket with only the knowledge of an acquaintance that could help her. Several fates aligned for Tammy on her journey, and her acquaintance was able to pick her up at the airport, and drop her off in Haiti’s redzone. This was the most dangerous part of Haiti at the time, and also where Tammy met Robinson Remedor.
Tammy now describes him as a brother to her. A local Haitian, Robinson’s dream was to bring water to his people. Astounded by his kind heart, and with their mutual passion for giving to others, Tammy and Robinson began working towards his goal. They spent several years strengthening ties with the Cite Soleil community, and working with them to develop the town. Tammy thanks her friends and family, whose donations powered Help Tammy Help Haiti (the early stage of Helping Haiti) and got the water tower built. With the completion of this project, Robinson was able to bring his people clean water, and so much more. The community has made great strides towards piece, and Helping Haiti, now a well-established charity, also provides classes in basic first aid, and self-defense.
But Tammy still reminds herself of the early days when she could barely give you a receipt for your donation. She is now in those early stages again with a new branch of the charity at Queen’s University – Queen’s Helping Haiti. Partnering with Queen’s, the program connects students with the Cite Soleil community, as they work towards completing the community centre. With the drive of the Helping Haiti team, and the renewed vigor of student volunteers, it is a truly exciting time for the charity.
Campus Care Package understands how hard it is to get a new charity off the ground, and will be donating 20% of November 2014 sales to the organization. With your purchase of a care package, you are helping Queen’s students expand the charity, and continue their work in Cite Soliel.
If you want to learn more about Queens Helping Haiti you can visit https://www.facebook.com/queenshelpinghaiti.
And if you are looking to contribute, may I recommend buying the “Get Well” package? You’ll be helping more than just the student you send it to get well, but all of Cite Soliel’s community.
CARLY WILLIAMS for CAMPUS CARE PACKAGE