Hand up for Haiti success is a collaborative effort
The unwavering commitment and support of a number of community partners is one of the major reasons the Schlegel Villages Hand up for Haiti fundraising campaign has been so successful in the past six years. That commitment continued in mid-September when the campaign moved from a Walk/Run event to a golf tournament hosted by the Mount Elgin Golfers Club.
Led by platinum sponsors Medi-System Pharmacy, ProResp Inc. and Arvan Rehab Group, the inaugural Hand up Fore Haiti Golf tournament raised $35,000 to support some of Haiti’s most vulnerable families through Fonkoze’s Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) program. Representatives of several sponsor organizations joined Schlegel Villages team members and a few residents to fill the golf course, mirroring in many ways the seamless connectivity that helps enhance residents’ lives every day.
“You are more than partners to us,” Schlegel Villages president and CEO Jamie Schlegel told the sponsors in his closing remarks following the golf tournament. “You are part of the broader Schlegel family and that’s how we view you. By you supporting this event it just emphasizes and reminds us how much you are an integral part of the Schlegel family.”
Jean Lefebvre is a regional manager with ProResp Inc. offering respiratory therapy to countless Schlegel Villages residents. He was also part of the first team of Schlegel Villages to travel to Haiti in 2014 on a volunteer educational voyage, and he spoke of the integration and partnership his team is proud to have with Schlegel Villages.
“We are all about strategic partnerships,” Jean said. “I believe that ProResp has special skills that make the residents’ lives better and I think that Schlegel Villages offers such a high level of service that they challenge us to provide a better service in the home and we’re proud to be a partner and be able to do that.”
Johan Arvanitis from Arvan Rehab group echoed Jean’s remarks and also praised the work that Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA (the organization through which the raised funds will flow) does to alleviate poverty around the world through business solutions.
“We are absolutely privileged and delighted to be included in this great event,” John said. “MEDA offers an incredibly worthy use of the funds that we are raising here. Having business solutions to poverty is such an efficient model and there’s a lot of times you see money being spent in different parts of the world that are not being spent appropriately and my hat’s off to MEDA and the team. It’s a fantastic organization and we’re delighted to be a part of it.”
Since its inception, The Hand up for Haiti initiative has been about building community within Schlegel Villages and beyond Canadian borders. It’s about supporting neighbours in need and providing an opportunity for everyone connected to Schlegel Villages to offer something of themself to a worthy cause. Through MEDA and the microfinance institution Fonkoze, the CLM program offers some of rural Haiti’s poorest families the opportunity to learn the intricacies of commerce and small business so they can become self-sufficient and provide for a future beyond extreme poverty. It is the first step for these families, and their success is something a third team of ambassadors will witness firsthand during another trip to Haiti in early 2018.
Schlegel Villages team members, residents, families and a host of community partners have a huge part to play in the transformation of many families in Haiti by raising nearly $300,000 in the past six years. For that everyone should be proud.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Steelite Int. Canada Ltd.
Schlegel Villages VPs
Alpine Specialty Chemicals
Cowan Insurance Group