Paradise Fund helps Haiti recover, one mission at a time
Supporters of the Paradise Fund recently returned from their third mission trip to Haiti. The primary objective of the latest visit to the seaside town of Jacmel, Haiti, was to renovate a dilapidated restaurant, turning it into a much-needed community center.
It will provide a safe and encouraging environment for after-school tutoring, group activities, town meetings and continuing education opportunities.
Haitians are still rebuilding following the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people and injured more than 300,000. After the quake, 1.5 million people became homeless, and 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed, according to the Disasters Emergency Committee.
The nonprofit’s focus is to educate the public, locally and abroad, about the ongoing political, environmental, health, educational and social complications plaguing children around the world, The Paradise Fund had an exceptionally unconventional start. Founded by a few friends who were looking to make a difference with the leftover funds they had after throwing a party, in eight years the organization has grown to include chapters in Palm Beach, Miami andNew York with plans to open a new chapter in Los Angeles in the near future.
“Going from the gala floor to the dirt floors of Haitian tent cities is incredibly moving,” said Paradise Fund Chairman and CEO Kent Anderson. “Seeing the joy on the children’s faces as we unveiled the new facility and sharing in their excitement was immensely gratifying.”
With the support of The Paradise Fund, the Haiti Empowerment Mission (HEM) has also created a transitional village in Jacmel. The housing structures are made of durable and sustainable materials, which provide shelter to the 27 families who have been relocated from tents in Belvil, near Port-au-Prince. The village has recently been equipped with showers, toilets, a sanitation system and solar-powered lighting. In addition, The Paradise Fund currently sponsors the educational needs of more than 60 children living in the village by providing tuition and transportation to attend school. Uniforms, shoes, lunches and school supplies are just a few of the necessities the organization has donated to local private elementary, middle and high school institutions.
Paradise Fund’s signature fundraiser, the sixth annual “Paradise Casino,” is set for Nov. 29 at Flagler Museum. All proceeds from the event will benefit hands-on projects and strategic partnerships with related nonprofit organizations that support the organization’s mission.
For more information, visit www.theparadisefund.com.
Paradise Fund volunteers with members of the village in Jacmel, Haiti.
Haitian children help decorate a school in their village.