May 12, 2010

UFCW Locals Give Nearly a Half Million to Rebuild Schools in Haiti


When the devastating earthquake struck Haiti earlier this year, millions were moved to make generous donations. Because of these swift acts of generosity, dozens of international relief organizations were able to act to bring the Haitian people their most basic and immediate needs— food, water, shelter, and medical care. Today, Haitians face a long road to recovery, but they are working to rebuild their infrastructure, their country and their lives.

Immediately after the earthquake, UFCW local unions and members from around the country pledged generous funds for Haiti relief. Contributing locals include 1, 5, 8GS, 21, 23, 27, 38, 75, 99, 108*, 135, 324, 328, 338*, 371, 400, 455, 464A, 540, 555, 648, 653, 655, 700, 770, 876, 881, 919, 1059, 1167, 1262, 1428, 1445, 1459, 1473, 1500, 1546, 1776, 1994, 1995 and 1996 along with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Council and the International Chemical Workers Union Council; Regions 2, 4, 5, and 6; the District Council of NewYork/New Jersey, the New England States Council, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council and the Loveall Foundation.

Together, we raised more than $430,000. UFCW local unions decided to work together with two organizations: The Mortel Family Charitable Foundation and Hope for Haiti, both of whom are working to rebuild or expand schools in devastated parts of the country. According to a recent UN report, even before the earthquake, only 50 percent of Haitian children were able to attend elementary school. Of those, only 20 percent go on to secondary school. For children living in abject poverty access to any school is extremely limited. Through the Mortel Family Charitable Foundation, UFCW funds will support the building of a computer lab and library with complete furnishings on the second floor of James Stine College, a high school in St. Marc, Haiti, an area where thousands of Haitians have migrated since the earthquake. The school will provide quality secondary education to poor Haitian children who have completed elementary education in the city and neighboring towns and parishes.

Through Hope for Haiti, the UFCW is also supporting the rebuilding of a computer lab and library at St. Francois de Sales in the neighborhood of Riviere Froide, commune of Carrefour, Port-au-Prince. Before the earthquake, the school provided education to more than 1,350 students in the kindergarten, primary, and secondary levels. Carrefour is near the epicenter of the earthquake, and the school was reduced to rubble. UFCW funds are being matched by Hope for Haiti so that the entire project can be completed.

For more information about these organizations, please visit www.hopeforhaiti.com and www.highhopesforhaiti.org (Mortel Family Charitable Foundation).

If you would like to donate to the fund that will support these efforts, please make a check payable to the UFCW Charity Foundation, Inc. Write in the memo that the check is for UFCW Help for Haiti, and send it to: Help for Haiti, UFCW International Union, 1775 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.

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