Some of you had a chance to see pictures from Bercy, Haiti from my trip in January 2009, (where I taught gardening and seed saving) at the Haiti fund raising dinner and at the presentation I gave at your church. Through your presentation and others, as well as a fund raiser; money has been sent to Bercy to feed 37 families, consisting of 12-15 people per family, and a 1 yr old boy was able to receive medical care and the medication he needed to save his life.
I am coming to you tonight via this letter asking you to have a special offering on Sunday, April 11th to help cover the costs of a trip to Bercy, Haiti, the week of April 18th. This trip started to be planned only 4 days ago after I learned that Haitian farmers and those in Bercy are in a very bad position right now. (I have to go that week because my children do not have school). Even with the money we sent down a week or so ago, there are no seeds available to buy for starting their gardens. The six young men and their families that I consider my extended family, who live in Haiti, come to the United States in June and do not return until September. September is too late to plant a garden in Haiti. I spoke with one of my friends who live just outside of Bercy in the village of Cabaret. I asked him what they need most if I am able to travel to Bercy. His immediate answer was seeds, then food and tarps. He said they are not able to purchase seeds; food and traps are very expensive. No international aid has come to the village of Bercy, even though 90% of the houses there were destroyed in the earthquake! People are living outside even in the 90 plus degree heat and rain, they have no options. A 25 lb bag of rice is 235.00 Haitian dollars, unattainable for a majority of people.
I have seeds (clothes etc.), in my basement, that they purchased last year, that they were unable to take back with them last fall due to an airline issue. I will be delivering their seeds along with donated seeds and other items. I see this is a hand up, not a hand out. Without seeds the cycle of hunger will continue in Bercy and beyond. A hand up that will affect the lives of hundreds. A hand up that will feed children that are currently being fed clay cookies to fend off hunger. Yes, cookies made out of clay, oil and if available some herbs. Will you help give them a hand up?
Currently just under half the money needed for the travel portion of this trip, has been raised. I need another $500.00 to make the travel part of this trip happen. The more money raised the more seeds, food, and tarps can go with me to the people of Bercy. I will carry in 150 lbs of seed, food, tarps medical items and some clothing. I will be in Haiti for only 3 days and 2 nights, sleeping in a tent next to a gazebo type of tent that Edens and his 12 family members are currently living in. My tent will remain behind for someone else to use.
If people feel so moved they can certainly donate seeds, food, and tarps. A list of the vegetable seeds that can be grown in Haiti and the food items needed are located at the bottom of this letter. Mari has by contact information.
I thank you in advance for anything you decide to do for the people of Bercy. And helping me get to these items to them. It goes without saying I would be willing to come in and a present on my trip upon my return.
Seeds: beets, peppers, tomatoes, corn, carrots, melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew), summer squash (yellow and zucchini), dry beans: kidney, navy, garbanzo, pinto, black beans all packaged dry.
Food: dry beans (kidney are a favorite) white rice and peanut butter
Misc.: Children’s chewable vitamins, Advil, bandages, tarps, boys clothes (1 yr old), small toys