Time Well Spent

It’s been a rather long time since I’ve posted a blog, I’m still using occasional Internet and the power situation has been less than favourable.

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The past few days have been filled with ups and down, there was a bunch of volounteers that came down and helped out for a week. Emily and I got a nice burn from the sun at a Dance Party we attended at a school in Cite Soleil… then we had to pick the volounteers up at the airport, which kind of added insult to injury standing in the sun for so long.

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With the new helpers at Ke Kontan being so eager to help out, the backyard had some more garbage cleared.  They were aslo able to assist with taking care of the kids while I was suffering from crazy sinuses. We went to MSC Plus a hardware store and picked up some supplies that were relatively well priced and made some book shelves and an awesome change table… We were all pretty proud with the minimal tools we had… A hand saw, machete, measuring tape and screw driver oh yeah and a hammer duh!

Sketch Change table

My cold/ flu finally started to subside, and everyone loved the idea of helping us build a chicken coop… oh I forgot to mention Emily’s dad arrived a day after the other 5 volounteers showed up, it was great to have him around. We all went out again to MSC this time with crazy amounts of traffic… we finally managed to get everything we needed and made a super awesome chicken coop, I was really impressed how it came out, we worked all through the night to get it done!

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Emily picked up 2 chickens and a rooster they were rather calm when we cut them loose, the next morning they had gotten out of the coop; we didn’t have enough material to close it off completely. The dog had scared them out and the rooster flew over the wall… might be a lost cause now :(.

The volounteers all went home on Saturday, but we had picked up a new temporary addition, her name is Lillian(2) and she is something else! She growls and giggles and runs all over the place.

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I had asked for some sponsors on my last blog and have had a few people curious about “sponsoring” me, what it  might entail and reasons why they should contribute to me instead of a child or to something else. I’ll put up a few points :).

I’m a good extra hand when Emily needs it, and a trust worthy person for Emily to have around incase she needs to go out. I can be there for Emily in person so that she has someone who can relate to her (being a Blan); or if she goes out and wants me to tag along I can pay for my own meals. I won’t be taking away any potential food donations from the kids at the orphanage, and when Emily is tired and needs rest I can jump in and help her out. Haitian’s always have their own way of doing things but when certain needs or rules need to be applied I can assist; whether it’s with sanitation or a building project or to safety. Emily and I have conversed a lot about idea’s for Ke Kontan and to better things in general; having us together to brain storm, 2 people instead of one is always a great help! I hate to ask for sponsors, I feel like it’s begging but I would like to assist off set costs at Ke Kontan. I don’t expect large donations from anyone, anything from $5-$10 helps! I’m look to receive around $30-$60 a month. If you are interested in assisting me please email me at Justinparkinson@hotmail.com

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Anyone wondering about the earthquake that happened the other night, it was only a few seconds, no damage. The kids wanted to sleep outside to be safe, we waited things out for a while; no pun intended.

I’m not sure when the next post will be but keep checking in!

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Upgrades for Cheap

The past week or so there’s been a lot of work around the house little bits at a time. Today my self along with Val and his friend did an overhaul on the backyard. The day started off nothing to difficult. We received our new power source from a different project a couple of days ago… finally semi reliable power… for now. Val though that it would be good to install some lights around the back yard perimeter since it is pretty big and would be safer (The backyard is pretty huge). We picked up some light sockets and set a few up around the yard and wired them up!

Val turned to me while in the backyard and goes “Do you want to try and make a hammock?” I replied “You mean with the mosquito netting I suggested and you thought would not be strong enough?” (The company that donated the netting suggested hammocks with spare netting). Needless to say we went ahead and started to engineer some magic and voila we created an awesome hammock.

Val relaxing

Val relaxing

After we completed the project I turned to Val and made a comment about the garbage in the backyard that was near our nice new relaxation station; if you read one of my past blogs it talks about the layers upon layers of garbage. Anyway he said yeah no worries I’ll clean it even if I’m here all night.

Our genius engineering

Our genius engineering

The next endeavor started as the 3 of us began raking  and clearing the garbage as well as cutting off extra limbs from all the plantain tree’s and many other vegetation.  I won’t get into how we managed to dispose of the garbage let’s just call it Haitian Style. The yard looks amazing there’s still much work to do but it looks great.

The title of the blog I guess I should kind of explain it. Pretty much we paid nothing for all the work we did, other than the light sockets. We used rocks, left over netting and cord, then we strung everything up oh yeah and a ton of manual labour for garbage clearing.

Very successful day I mus say and when I had a shower the water was black; that’s how you know you worked hard… or just rolled around in the mud (I didn’t roll in the mud. I did get pretty dirty digging muddy drainage lines though :S).

I’d say the backyard has had an %80 improvement, give us another 7 or 8 hours and It would look just lovely (^_^). To finish off the day we chopped up some sugar cane that was growing in the backyard and snacked on that… first time I ever had it, it was actually pretty yummy :).

First time trying sugar cane.

First time trying sugar cane

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

~Colin Powell

Windsor Star!

Awesome news and thanks to Julia we got some publicity in the local news paper (Windsor Star) the online article was awesome! Unfortunately they spelled  some things wrong on the actually news paper copy and shortened the article a rather large amount, but all publicity is good! Here’s the article from online.

 

Local Man Headed To Haiti To Build Orphanage

A fund raising dinner will be held to help a Windsor man travel to Haiti to help construct an orphanage for a Chatham-based charitable organization operating in the Caribbean nation.

Julia Monk, an area film maker and supporter of the Hime For Help organization, established by Chatham native Emily Hime, said that a dinner will be held at the Caboto Club in Windsor on Thursday, Oct. 11, to help Justin Parkinson raise the funds to travel to Haiti and work on the construction of the Caleb House orphanage in Lanzac, Haiti.

Monk said she is making a documentary about the journey and the work of the charity. The orphanage was founded by Hime this past year and now houses 10 children, said Monk.  She said the goal is to expand the facility. Tickets for the pasta dinner, complete with entertainment, are $25. Those interested are asked to visit the group’s  Facebook charity fundraiser page at facebook.com/justinhime4help.

Monk said Parkinson, a recent graduate of Fanshawe College and the Specs Howard School of Media Arts in Michigan , plans to remain in Haiti and continue working on the project.

Thank you Julia for the on-going assistance!

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” 
― Harry S. Truman

A Post From Emily

Emily Hime just posted a blog the other day that is very emotion filled and I feel that everyone should take a read. Despite already knowing her condition and where she is at today, I was in suspense. Emily has such drive and passion that it keeps me motivated, keeps me pursing what I’ve set out to do and help out. Emily’s blog post is a bit lengthy but is absolutely worth the read! I will be posting her blog link as well as the post it self. Thanks again to every one who is supporting me, whether it’s through monetary donations, clothing donations, or even just reading my blog or saying you’re doing a great job it all helps. Happy reading 🙂

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Survive Now, Cry Later….

These past three weeks have literally been like an ongoing film jam packed full of action. It first began when I arrived in Port Au Prince on July 2nd. I began to feel sick and I developed a harsh cough that ended up leading me to cough up blood, pass out, and to become so weak that I lost the strength in my entire body. It hit me like a tidal wave. I hopped onto a moto during the evening of July 4th and headed to the Medishare hospital. It was dark and dusty and I barely remember the ride as I was going in and out of consciousness; I was barely able to keep my grip on the moto. The moto was stopped at a police checkpoint and the officers kept looking at me and trying to talk to me, I’m still not sure if they were hitting on me or if they suspected that I was on some sort of drugs due to the fact that I could not keep my eyes open and I didn’t have the strength to open my mouth to talk. Finally I arrived at the hospital and was sent for a chest x-ray. As I entered the x-ray room, I lost all strength and fell and hit my head hard against the wall. After the x-ray they sat me down in a chair facing the road and I was still going in and out of consciousness when I noticed my friend standing at the gate with his co-workers and in his uniform. They would not let him through the gate to come and see me. Although he was on duty that night, he stood at the gate for two hours with his co-workers waiting for my test results and making sure that I was okay.Finally the doctors diagnosed me with Pneumonia and sent me home with a small bag of Antibiotic pills and was told to return in a week for a check up. That night I did not sleep as I was having difficulties breathing. The next evening at dinner I felt so sick and so weak that I once again called a moto and rushed to Hopital Espoir- a hospital that I had worked at for two months during one of my previous trips to Haiti. I was brought into the ER and they began doing test right away. My cough became so bad that I could not breathe. They put an oxygen mask over my face and immediately hooked me up to an IV. The last thing that I remember was seeing my friend once again rush through the hospital doors and holding my hand as I received two needles (I am terrified of needles). The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital room and being frozen from the air conditioning. What I thought was going to be a one night stay turned out to be a six day stay. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to have a private room (with a private washroom), an excellent staff who literally kept their eyes on me 24/7, and a great friend who was my “responsible” during my stay. I had many tests done and was loaded with meds every two hours. I completely lost my appetite and did not eat for four days. On the third day my breathing suffered once again and the nurses rushed in the room with another oxygen mask. I honestly remember looking up at the ceiling and thinking “this is it” and praying to God that it wasn’t. I woke up three hours later soaking wet from a broken fever. Sometimes my fever became so high that I actually became delirious and started having conversations with people who were not even there.On top of everything that I was facing that day, I received a call from UNICEF who not only told me that they would be closing my orphanage and taking my kids away, but also threatened to arrest me and to have me deported from Haiti. I was told that as soon as I step foot out of that hospital that the authorities would be after me. I had no idea what was going on and I became so overcome with shock and emotions that I once again started having problems breathing. I felt as if my heart had literally been ripped out of my chest. The lady on the phone did not let me get a word in, I could not ask questions, and I could not inform her that she had her facts wrong. I did not sleep that night, instead, I spent the entire night calling and texting everyone that I possibly could to help me and my babies. I could not bare the thought of losing the children I had grown to love. I was angry. I called my lawyer immediately and he came straight to the hospital to talk with me. After that, I was visited by a man from the Canadian Embassy who told me that the Haitian Police had been looking for me. I began to panic even more. But he assured me that I would not be arrested and that I would not be deported from the country. I still could not help it, I can’t even express the emotions that overcame me. The tears would just not stop flowing. My heart had never hurt so much. I still had no idea what exactly was going on or what had happened, all I knew was that I came to Haiti to do good, solely good, I came here to care for and to love children who desperately needed any affection that they could get. I didn’t know what I could do or say to fix this, I was stuck in the hospital and unable to be at the orphanage to protect my kids, my only option was to leave it in Gods hands.

Finally, I had some answers. My lawyer met with the Haitian authorities and it seems as if there had been a HUGE miscommunication. UNICEF had sent out an alert to the Haitian Government stating that my children were in EXTREME danger. They had cars with flashing lights ready to go and pick up my kids. They had been told that the children had been left alone while I was in the hospital, not realizing that Montanna had been staying and caring for them. So.. When UNICEF and the Haitian authorities arrived at the orphanage the next morning, they did not quite understand why such an alert was put out since our children appeared to be well taken care of and not in any sort of danger. They told us that they want to work with us and help us out to obtain the legal paperwork that we have been trying to have completed for the past two months.

On Monday, July 9th, I demanded to be discharged from the hospital so that I could surprise my mother at the airport that afternoon. I had been texting her all day telling her how frustrated I was that they would be keeping me until Wednesday when my test results were in. With weak legs, sore arms from IV’s, and a very tired and heavy head on my shoulders, I marched out of the hospital leaning on my friend who had stood at my bedside for my entire stay at the hospital, who ran all over port au prince searching for my prescriptions, and who showed up everyday with gatorade, milkshakes, and even M&M’s and who spoon fed me when I did not have the strength to feed myself.

I was granted access to go all of the way inside of the airport to wait for my mother at the luggage claim. I hid behind a sign and when I spotted her I jumped out and surprised her. I was so glad that she had come to visit and it made me feel better just by having her here. I was very sad to see her go after such a short stay- a week just didn’t seem long enough; however, I am so happy that she was finally able to meet my babies.

Last week I received a call while I was in Port Au Prince informing me that our security guards house had been destroyed in the storm. Tiny is not just my security guard though; he has become a great friend and almost like a father to me. I love his family and all of his six children. I was sadden to hear this news as they did not have much to begin with. His small house on the top of the mountain was literally completely destroyed while his 15th month old son remained inside. We have opened our arms to his family and have allowed them to sleep at the already crowded house with us. We feed his children and wife almost everyday and we have given them some clothes, toys, and hygiene packages to keep them going. We are in search right now for a building team to come down and assist in rebuilding his small home as he does not have the funds to do so. If anyone is interested in donating to him please visit our website at http://www.himeforhelp.org and click “donate”- make sure to add in the comment box that it is for “Tiny’s House Project”. Thank you !

Although these last few weeks have literally been the most difficult and trying weeks of my life, there is something even greater than having the police after me, being threatened to be deported, being sick in the hospital, and even having authorities threaten to shut my orphanage down that is weighing on my heart. On Saturday morning as Montanna and I stood at the bus station in Cite Soleil waiting for our ride, a mother ran past us holding her grown child (about 10 or 11 years old). At first we thought he was just sleeping, but after a closer glance, we noticed that his feet were dragging on the ground. We realized he was more than sleeping. There was something seriously wrong. A man that I have become friends with at the bus station ran over to the woman and assisted her with carrying her son. He ran through the crowds and I was trying my best to see what was happening but after seeing the boys neck go limp, I lost site. My friend came back towards us and I asked him what was wrong with the boy and he told me that the boy had been possessed by voodoo and that his mother was bringing him to Saint Marc. I became furious, I wanted to shake the mother and tell her to get him to the hospital NOW, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t see her or the boy anymore and I had no idea what bus they had gotten on. I began to panic. All I could think about was how badly that boy needed medical attention. If he was not dead already, he would be by the time he got to Saint Marc. all I can think about now is that if I would have just stepped up and assisted the mother when I noticed her son’s feet dragging on the ground, I could have possibly saved him, or at least attempted to save him. I thought that I had become desensitized to these types of situations after encountering so many of them here in Haiti, but now I realize that it is impossible to do so. I am a human being. My heart is aching so badly for that little boy and his mother as well as for the two other men’s bodies I had passed on the side of the road the same week (one was that very same morning). Everyone tells me that I cannot save everyone, but it does not make it any easier when you know you could have at least tried. My insomnia has been reactivated and I have many moments where my eyes fill with tears. If only I could turn back the clock.

Right now we are still desperately searching for another house to rent since the Haitian Government did not desire us moving to Tabarre like we had planned. The house we are currently in is beyond unsanitary and has developed a great deal of mold. Right now we have two children that are sick, one of them being Christine who had a fever of 103 last night. Thankfully we have her on antibiotics and we were are working hard to keep her fever down. I am hoping and praying that we can find something soon.

Through these past three weeks I have had so many people tell me “maybe this is a sign em, maybe it’s time for you to come home”. And to be honest, I have thought a lot about that lately. I have thought about just giving it all up and returning home. I have thought about how much easier that would be and how much I am missing the comforts of home and my family and friends. But.. I have to keep reminding myself that this is also my family now. I can’t just give up on them, I have vowed to never leave any of my family members behind. If I leave now, it would be the most selfish decision that I could ever make. To simply leave when things get tough. I know that I was born to do this, this is what God has asked me to do, this is why I wake up at the crack of dawn every morning at the sound of the roosters crow. This is why I endure heat rash, bug bites, ringworm, being covered in dirt and dust 24/7, illnesses, muscles so sore and tired that they feel like needles. And I have learned that through all of this, life is a lot like the ocean. Sometimes you get caught in the undertow and you have to use all of your strength and all of your faith to keep your head above the water, to keep you from sinking. As soon as you let go, your life is over. You don’t get another chance. You have to keep fighting to keep your head above that water.. because you never know what could be over that next wave. And I truly believe that if you have faith, anything is possible, anything at all. But most of all, the greatest lesson that I have learned is that there is something much stronger then tidal waves that destroy lives, stronger than winds that blow away homes, stronger than rains that wash away one’s only belongings, and stronger than earthquakes that allow one’s world to fall to the ground around them and leaving them standing among the rubble… it’s called love. And it is the most powerful thing in the world. Without the love of my friends, family, and children, I don’t know if I would have been able to make it through these past three weeks. I know that God has a plan for me. I know that this is all part of His plan. I know that these trials are a test of my strength and determination. I know that this is one of the greatest learning experiences I may ever encounter. I have learned that I trust others way too easily. I have learned that the people you trust the most- may be the ones that you should trust the least. I have realized that the people who have forsaken me are merely desperate and possibly uneducated and were never taught proper morals or how to carry themselves. How can I hold them responsible when they have been stripped of life’s most basic lessons? I can only hope that these people begin to realize that when we forsake others…we are actually forsaking ourselves. And although things have been tough, I would not change a thing. Because then I wouldn’t have this chance or this opportunity, in front of all of you, to chase a dream, to show you that impossible possible, to show you how you can achieve anything that your heart desires, and to embrace more people then I ever could have before. I know that I must take everything I can from this and keep pushing onward. I know that I cannot give up.

Big thanks to my lawyer (Robert), Alison Thompson (my rock), Barbara Guillame (our new Haitian Director), Brunache (my amazing friend), my mother (for dropping everything and coming to visit when I needed her the most), Montanna Butler (for staying with the kids while I was in the hospital), Bill Farrar from Fountains of Hope (for continuing to encourage me and for helping me in any possible way that he can). And most of all my kids, who can bring a smile to my face even on the hardest day. Love you all !

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win” – Mahatma Gandhi

Here is the Link to Emily’s blog: http://help-4-haiti.blogspot.ca/
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Don’t forget to smile!
~Justin Parkinson

Exciting Things Are Coming!

Lots of good news instead of re-writing it all I’m just going to re-post what Emily has said; but just to sum it up quick, Emily has been travelling a ton as well been in a lot of meetings. She has been working on teaming up with  FEMAD who’s offered land to build on, and getting the orphanage “official”. 

Without any more delay here’s the news

The past week has been absolute chaos. I began the week with a trip to Port Au Prince last Tuesday. I had a meeting with some government officials in regards to registering the orphanage and obtaining permanent residency. From there, I headed to Cap Haitian. I knew it was going to be a long drive, however, the 7 hour drive turned into a 9 1/2 hour drive due to a road block that made us take a detour through the mountains and voodoo villages. This wouldn’t have been so bad if our truck had proper shocks and if the roads were paved. Let’s just say I was a hurting unit after that trip and the three men I was traveling with sure got a kick out of it when I was crying in pain and asking them to stop and get me duck tape so I could tape down my boobs!! So, we finally arrived in Cap Haitian but we were all so tired from the drive that we had to post pone the meeting until Friday. We drove to Ouanaminthe (its about an hour from Cap Haitian) and we met with the organization called FEMAD. They have been sending children to school and helping their community for many years, however, since the earthquake they have been having financial problems and had to quit the sponsorships. They have a huge office, a medical clinic, and a big piece of land. They had many plans to build on the land but since they do not have the money to build, the land has just been sitting there. They said that if I am willing to help them and their community then they would allow me to have the land. I agreed we could partner and we decided to keep my organization name “Hime For Help” and I will simply add them under my organization. On Saturday they took me to the land and took me around to meet some of the children. I was introduced to two babies: 1. Stephanie- 4 months old – her mother died a week before I met her. 2. Christela- 6 months- her parents have abandoned her. They asked if I would be willing to take them into the orphanage. Of course, my heart could not turn them away. But, I made an agreement that I will only take them once I have a new house since ours is not big enough and once they complete the paper work for me to take her. Hopefully the girls will be joining us in July !!! 

The trip to Ouanaminthe was successful. Due to the meetings being pushed back I had to try and rush back to Port Au Prince for my second meeting with Convoy of Hope. On our drive back from Ouanaminthe to Cap Haitian we stopped on the side of the road to get something to eat. The guys ordered me my food and we all sat in the truck and stuffed our faces. After I took a few bites they all started laughing and asked if I thought it was good. I said “yeah it tastes like every other goat I’ve eaten”. They then informed me that it was not goat. They had tricked me into eating horse. I was so mad and disgusted. I definitely lost my appetite after that !!! Gotta love hanging out with men. We received news that there was a second road block- which meant I would not make it home in time for the meeting. Blanchard decided to make a pit stop at the airport and booked me a seat on the next plane which would be departing at 3pm. The flight was only 25 minutes long but it was the craziest flight I have ever been on. The pilots sure did not know how to fly a plane. It kept raising and dropping and I was sure we were going to crash. Everyone on the plane was beginning to panic and feel nauseous. But we landed safely !!! 

I waited at the airport for my moto driver (Daniel) to pick me up. I was going to be staying at the Caribbean Lodge with my friend Seanna. My meeting with Convoy of Hope was successful. They handed me an envelope with a donation and also told me that they will be sending food for us. 

Since my meeting with Convoy of Hope, the meetings I was supposed to be in during my time in Port Au Prince have been multiplied. After every meeting it seems as if I gain two more meetings. I also had the opportunity to meet with Miriam Fedrick from New Life Orphanage who gave me amazing advice and guidance and also offered me a house to rent in Tabarre until we can complete the building. It is going to be $500 a month but it is big enough and has a large yard and a gate with barbed wire surrounding the property. I am hoping that we can come up with the funds to rent and that we can move down there within the next two weeks once our kids have finished school. Due to the safety of our children, volunteers, staff, and Montanna and I, as well as for our health and to meet the requirements of social affairs, we must move. I am exhausted and stressed but I am happy to finally get things going! I also met with an architect who is drawing out the plan for the orphanage, school, and guest house to be built on the land in Ouanaminthe. There is already a partially built building on the property and we are going to finish building that first so we can move there as soon as possible. It will be our temporary orphanage until we can build a larger one. However, to finish building that completely it will cost just under $40,000 US. So until we are able to come up with the funding, we are going to try to rent the house in Tabarre. Although this trip hasn’t been the most “fun” trip, I have gotten a lot accomplished and I have met so many wonderful people that have now become close friends. Seanna, Daniel, Miriam, Blanchard, Julio, the staff at Caribbean Lodge, and all of the UN workers I met have made this trip even better !!! 

I am still in Port Au Prince and will be until tomorrow afternoon as I am meeting with a lawyer tomorrow morning to complete some paperwork for the registration of the orphanage. It is a long and tiring process- but it will be worth it !! 

I am missing my babies so much and I was so glad to receive a phone call from them this morning. They passed the phone around and all said hi, asked how I was, when I would be coming back, and said I love you. That is the perfect way to start the day 🙂 I can’t wait to see them tomorrow. 

Things have definitely not been easy for us, we have faced a lot of obstacles, but so far, we have been able to overcome them, and I can only hope and pray that we will be able to continue to overcome obstacles in the future as I know we are going to be facing many. One thing I’ve learned is that nothing worth having comes easy – especially in Haiti !! 

I am still overwhelmed by the amount of support and encouragement I am receiving. I could not do it without it. Last night I received a phone call from Saghar- a lady who has done amazing work in Iran as well as in many other countries- her words of encouragement were definitely needed. I was amazed to be talking to someone who I had never met, who lives in another country, and who has the same passion as I do, and who was so inspired by my story. But the entire time she was talking, I was also very inspired by hers. She is planning to come and visit and to try to find us the support we need. I cannot wait to meet her !! I am also looking forward to receiving our two new volunteers on June 27th – Brooke & Madison who are also very young ladies with big hearts. 

Still missing everyone back home. 
Much love & God bless

Some more news on my end I was able to drop off some of the mosquito netting to a fellow supporter, who will be giving some if not all of it to one of the girls going to meet up with Em. I have also received my Solar Charger in the mail and have begun to prepare it for full battery capacity (three 12 hour charges with power drains), I’m also trying to figure out how it works, just found out it has a mosquito killer sounds maker… neet (^_^).

I have a few leads on venues for fundraisers in August hopefully, I’m getting really excited because I have a lot of people telling me to expect to reach well over my goal,

I expect nothing but am trying for everything!

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to raise a large amount so that I can give a good chunk to Hime For Help for the orphanage, remember you guys can always donate through the button on my side bar :). 

“Sometimes the best things in life aren’t actually things <3”

 

Things are Falling Into Place

So hopefully I can remember everything I wrote prior because I accidentally changed windows and lost the new blog!

Anyway good news Emily/ Caleb’s House will be taking on **EDIT**2 more beautiful children Christela 6 months and Stephanie who is 6 months. Sadly Stephanies’s mother passed away on Saturday but she will have a great and loving home at Caleb’s House.** Hime For Help has partnered up with another organization and was offered land to build on! yay. As Emily said

“Now we just need to work our butts off to find the funding to do so.. But ..It is official.. We will be moving to Ouanaminthe :)”

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The good news just keeps on rolling in, I went to the U.S. yesterday to pick up the mosquito netting there was 2 huge boxes… I don’t know why I was so surprised it was 100 Lbs. anyway thanks Kurt and www.mosquitocurtains.com. While I was there some vinyl’s/stickers came in from www.vinyldisorder.com so we can give some kids some like things to play with. While I was in the States I was able to visit some old friends from school, and was at my friends Hole in the wall bar and told her about my plan for Haiti and she was ecstatic and tossed me a donation without hesitation which I’m not surprised she’s a great Gal. While at the bar I got talking with gentleman sitting next to me about Haiti and then he told me how he did some work in Baghdad doing architectural engineering,  and later handed me his card saying to get in touch with him if we ever needed an addition/ building a new facility and that he may know some people who would be happy to help out for free!

I have to say during this whole adventure of raising money to help get to Haiti and getting supplies donated I’ve met some amazing people!

I have started brainstorming and asking people for help to put together some benefit dinners/ BBQ’s and I’ve had a lot of positive results. I went to my church recently and asked if I could use their gym to hold a dinner and I’m just waiting on a response on that, I was also thinking of having a BBQ after a Sunday service. One of my other friends may have snagged a lead on a tribute group that has performers from Elvis to Bob Marley and even Adele that says they can get venues for free and don’t charge anything for charities. Any money raised would go straight towards my cause and Hime For Help. I’ve had a lot of people tell me about other fundraiser’s that friends and family have done and have raise incredible amounts of money; I’m not expecting it but I still have my fingers crossed and am praying, hopefully you can do the same! A few friends of mine have offered to donate things such as paintings and gift certificates for paintings, Gift Baskets, I will also head out to some stores once I have a firm date and place to see if they would donate some stuff such as gift passes etc…

Earlier I said I’ve been meeting amazing people along my journey and one of them is Seanna, she’s also working in Haiti as a sort of placement guide. Seanna helps people find placements/ lodging to help out in Haiti, yet another great soul :). Recently she posted on her Facebook page that a local artisan will be selling some bracelets to help support his family, these works of art are only 10 dollars and are really unique I’ve already purchased 2 for when they come in hopefully at the end of July. I will be purchasing 10 in July if you are interested in buying any or you can go straight to Seanna’s page and message here there! Haiti In My Heart

ONLY 10 Dollars!

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I usually only post one quote but I really liked both of these.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
~Margaret Mead

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
~Andy Warhol

Progress!

I have some good news to share the orphanage purchased some wood and had a table built! The table is also big enough for family meals, which is awesome. They are also working on benches.

Some of the girls were going to a party that the school was holding and Emily with such a great heart decided to give them some money to go buy new outfits, like sandals and shirts. I guess they had a blast! and were showing of their clothes when they got home. There’s nothing like going out and buying new clothes right? Just imagine how the girls felt who have almost nothing in the first place and got to go buy some clothes for a party.

Other news people at work have been so generous with donating I get some donation in my can that I have on my desk everyday which really keeps me motivated. I spoke to one friend and she’s shocked I’m doing this and is so happy for me and jumped at the chance to help out. I brought her some posters today to hand out as she requested and has already spread the word to friend and we may have some kids that will be sponsored, keep your fingers crossed! I’d rather have a child be sponsor for a simple 30 dollars a month then receive a donation for my project to get out to Haiti.

Today I put in my order for a Solar charger which will help out with Emily’s computer so she can keep up on her blog and stay in contact with everyone as well keep any other minor electronics running so we can talk with supports through the country.

I got back in touch with a company vinyldisorder.com that was more than happy to send out some samples and free vinyl’s/ sticker so that we can spruce things up at the orphanage and things for the kids to play with.

Recently I’ve been really thinking hard about putting together a Pasta Dinner auction for some time in August. I have an idea for ticket pricing now I’m just trying to think of some venues I can use there’s a few idea’s floating around. My biggest concern at this point is publicity getting people to buy tickets. I know a lot of people who would love to go to shops and ask for donations for the auction and I’ve had a lot of people excited for me to do a dinner as well and say I’ll bring in a lot of money; I hope so because anything in surplus of 2500 dollars goes straight to Hime For Help and they really need it for the new orphanage.

I want to thank everyone for the amazing amount of support so far.

Remember don’t forget to Smile

~Justin Parkinson

In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.

~Karl Reiland

Emily’s Request

Here’s just a small excerpt from Emily’s blog she requesting help for getting donations and sponsors for the kids.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance anyone could offer us right now with funding and also with finding a new location for Caleb’s House. Literally, every cent counts! I think that it is essential for the children’s safety, health, and all around well-being for us to relocate. We also still have a few kids that need sponsorships !!!! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to overcome new challenges everyday. Life sure is exciting here, you never know what is going to be thrown your way (Hopefully no more moto accidents or malaria). Thank you to everyone who has been assisting us and offering us words of encouragement. Special thanks to Alison Thompson, Cindi Courbat, Rachel Girard Mattsson, Patty Higgins Blaise, Justin Parkinson, Mary Thompson, P.J Pitts (for helping me find a cast & crutches), Melissa Berman, Alexandra Genis, Convoy of Hope, Terry Kivell, Susan Steinhauser, and most of all my Mommy & Daddy.

Missing everyone back home. Much love.

Thank you everyone for the support so far I will link her blog and child sponsorship, which can also be found on the link bar on the side :).

Links:

Emily’s Blog

Sponsor a child at the orphanage

Broken Bones But Not Spirits

Here’s a quick update on things recently Emily was in a moto(Motor bike) accident, and she had broken her foot, dislocated her knee and has some burns from the bikes tailpipe. Please keep Emily in your prayers along with Seanna who was in the accident as well who is working very hard to help people in Haiti also (please check out her site Haiti In My Heart also on the links page). Emily was able to get an “Air cast” and will be on crutches for a while. She’s such a tough girl strong spirited and motivated, prayers are much needed because she cares so much for these kids and will no doubt push her limits… if she even has any. Keep an eye on the blog for updates.

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On a side note Kurt from mosquitocurtains.com shipped out the boxes today and I will be able to send at least one of them off at the end of June yay! I also received some water purification tablets that I can send off as well for back up in case they have the water purification issue in the future.

We can’t hope for a better future if we’re not doing something to get there.
-Peter Parkour

300 Hits n’ Counting

So today I reached 300 Hits on the site yay! So far my top views was 50 in one day back in may and yesterday I hit 40.

I’ve recently publicized more at work about my plan of going to Haiti and the support and help has been fantastic. The other day I was talking to a colleague and she said that she would bake some desserts and sell them, and all the profits would go to helping me get to Haiti. A lot of people were saying bring in a donation can of sorts so I had a few that I hadn’t handed out yet. When I went into work people already handed me all the change that they had in their pockets and some people all of the change in their wallets. I’m really grateful for everything that I’ve been receiving it’s really heart warming to know that there is so many people who are willing to help out.

I went to the store today and got my new memory card for the camera I’m getting for video once I get to Haiti I got a great deal as I’ve been looking for trying not to spend more than what is needed. Both store I had gone to said the camera I’m looking at getting will be going on clearance soon, I plan on waiting it out despite my excitement. I got an email this morning as well as a call regarding my old Cannon Rebel XS showing interest in buying it, I will be holding onto that money until the new camera Cannon T2i goes on clearance.

Some photo’s have been added to the “Caleb’s House Orphanage tab go check them out!!!

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.

~John Ruskin

Good Things Are Coming.

I got a call this morning from Kurt at mosquitocurtains.com and informed me that the first package is almost ready which is great! I was told the other day that two other girls are heading out to Haiti soon to Help Emily and Montana and that we could send the netting off with them.

I also want to thank Rachel Mattsson for mailing out the Hime For Help Stickers, they showed up pretty much the next day. I put them right on my car and I like it, it stand out great and the QR code works as well… I tested it 😛 .

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I have dropped off a donation can at my other Job Footlocker in the back area for my co-workers to donate so far I have a few coins in there (^_^).

Things are looking up and getting exciting I wish I was going tomorrow! but I still have to get some things in order and raise some money. If you would like to get some of the stickers for yourself or anyone else and support Hime For Help, please let me know! Call or email me and I will get you lined up with the right people!!!

226.345.2951

Justinparkinson@hotmail.com

Recently I received a suggestion of setting up a day at a park or down by the river and doing a photo shoot for anyone who is interested a simple 30 minutes 30 dollars and 30 Photo’s on a CD and all the money would go towards the donations! I think it’s a great idea, I’ve even thought about expanding it maybe 10 dollars 5 photo’s 10 minutes. While thinking about expanding the idea of doing photo’s I thought about heading down town on the weekend and doing what the performers do, sit around with a hat and ask people if they want their picture taken; maybe charge a dollar and give them a paper with my facebook photography page. Sure people can take their own pictures but with my portrait flash and giving them the ability to choose their pose I think it could be a huge hit!

New QR Code created for Facebook and everywhere else for the blog 🙂

“Dont forget to smile!”

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.//To help change the world

~Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy//Justin Parkinson

Efforts Paying Off

Recently I said I received an email from a mosquito curtain company well here’s the news: I called Kurt and he said that they gather a lot of scraps that they cannot sell because of “Cosmetic” errors and purely cosmetic. Kurt and I spoke for a bit and he gave me a lot of good rigging suggestions. There were two things that he requested of me

1. Pay shipping (not big deal it’s worth it)

2. He would like Photos of the kids and the orphanage

What Kurt told me is that he has done this a few times before but people never hold up their end of the bargain of sending photos so I told him that because I plan on doing a lot of photography out there that I would make sure he gets some pictures!

I’ve done some minor updates to the posters and posted them on the blog as well I have added a “Donations” Button yay!

On other news I am selling my Cannon Rebel XS (DSLR) camera since it only takes photo’s I’m planning on upgrading to a Cannon 2Ti so that I can take some video’s while in Haiti since Emily was asking me if I could do that. So if anyone is interested in the camera let me know it comes with a lot of accessories. If you’re interested you can comment on this post, call/txt me 226.345.2951 or email me at justinparkinson@hotmail.com

So Emily’s communications have been down for the past few days since her power has been out I was able to talk to her for a bit today she’s doing well along with Montana. The girls have been a bit sick the past few days since the water they were drinking wasn’t purified but they didn’t know that since they were purchasing it.

I recently got her address over there and will most likely be sending some Water Purification Tablets. Emily informed me mail doesn’t always reach people out there because the system is so corrupt but I was able to find a fairly cheap price.

I have spoken to a co-worker who is in talks with someone she knows at Rotary International and have been giving me tips on writing a letter for Donations/support I wrote up a draft today and will let everyone know the updates as soon as I know myself.

 There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

-Dalai Lama

Research Pays Off!

Recently since I’ve made this project “public” or gotten it into full swing it’s all I’ve been able to think about. Emily and I are corresponding several times a day and my motivation is high!.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into other organisations for tips and potential support for Hime for Help. Not only have I been inquiring about getting tips and such but I have been looking at companies for resources and things that could be donated or discounted potentially in bulk. Here’s the great new well good news, I’ve been in talks with a bug net wholesaler (www.mosquitocurtains.com) and he’s already responded; he being the owner of the company. I received an email this morning stating:

Call me.  We accumulate large scraps with only minor cosmetic errors that we can’t sell.
In addition,  we have some interesting improvised rigging ideas.  We’ve done this sort of thing before.

Fingers crossed that we can get a great deal or even stuff for free!

The other day Emily was telling me she needed a Video person and of course having a background in photography and at Specs Howard I would jump at that chance! So more research has been done I was looking into a solar power battery charger for my camera. I found a Solar Charger for my camera’s battery specifically which is fantastic. I also found a Universal Solar Charger, most are running for 150 dollars but with my great skills of hunting the internet I found the same model for 72 dollars plus shipping so I may look into that.  Because the power over at the orphanage may be sporadic I figured solar would be the best route to go; if I ended up getting the universal charger then we could use it for a lot more things like Emily’s lap top or camera’s or other gear. Keep in my this is not a huge solar panel, it’s only little and can fit in a backpack even a purse a “regular” purse not a granny one that can carry 5 bricks it in.

Last post I mentioned about talking to my mum about going to Haiti and that she was not pleased, well I had someone there for support and later that night I ended up going to his place just to talk about what some worries were. It was a very good conversation and we talked about things that I have thought about and some that I hadn’t but I am still very confident in what I’m doing. I’m somewhat glad people are challenging me in my decision because it prepares me for when people are really against me going. The more and more people challenge me more the more confident I because same with when people encourage me. I kind of feel like I’m being driven to do this really put my talents and skill where they can be used!

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

-Dalai Lama

Getting the ball rolling

So far I’ve trimmed out most of my pamphlets and handed a bunch of them out, my one friend has gone to a few local store that were more than happy to promote my “Great Cause”. Let me first start by thanking “The Dollar Store” which is on Parent and Ottawa, Milk as well as Dr. Disk for helping support my cause.

My friend Jess dropped off most of the flyers and such, but my plan is to go to each place and thank the managers in person it’s the least I can do for their support no matter how much I pull in even if it’s only pocket change, it all counts!

I’m currently researching into larger organisations that may want to sponsor me but more specifically Hime for Help, because they need money to build the new orphanage on the free land that the Mayor graciously gave to Emily and Montana.

I have another friend that is looking into getting a donation/ sponsorship from Rotary International, which would be fantastic. Depending if they choose to support me and how much if it is large enough I will put a good portion of it to Hime for Help because the really do need funds to start the new building project. I am hoping by the time I get there that we will be in “Full swing” of starting or even coming close to finishing the new home!

I’ve talked with a few people about creating an educational video about what’s going on in Haiti at the orphanage about Emily and Montana and their progress as well as goals. I want everyone to people to listen and share this video because having something to watch and hear sometimes yields a great impact. I also plan on putting together a little speech incase anyone wants me to talk to them about what is going on; mind you I can already do that but something more prepare is what I mean especially if they want me to present it to an organisation.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
-Dalai Lama

1st Progress Report

So a few days have gone by since my last post, and there have been some good developments. I took my finished posters and got some printed up, which by the way looks much better than coming out of my printer! Just a reminder the money came out of my pocket to pay for them 🙂 .

I took a bunch of the posters and pamphlets and handed them out to some friends that were more than willing to go to stores and help me. I want to thank these people very much it makes things much easier and keeps my confidence high. I also went to the dollar store and picked up some “piggy bank/ donation cans” I just need to make some banner wraps for them or paint them.

Today I officially got my first pledge which is fantastic put a huge smile on my face and it’s just one step closer to reaching my goal and getting to Haiti to help out Emily. With the enthusiasm of my friends that are volunteering to help me (once again thank you) I feel I will reach my goal and then some. Like in the previous post anything over the 2500 dollar goes straight to Emily’s organisation Hime For Help.

Extra donations past my goal will help buy supplies for the kids and upkeep of the new orphanage that will be built. The Mayor offered Emily free land now it’s just a case of raising money and getting it built; I will definitely need to start doing more push-ups especially to help out with labour building a great home for these kids.

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

-Dalai Lama

Thank you for the support everyone and please share my blog!