Thank You for Helping Haiti

by Ilinap on October 19, 2016

I should have taken pictures, but the image will be forever etched in my brain, and the corresponding generosity imprinted on my heart. My living room has been the staging zone for donations to Haiti. Friends and neighbors have left packages every day  on my porch.Bird and Deal have been opening boxes and categorizing items. Mac Daddy helped me pack, using every iota of free space. Tonight I stuffed the last diapers and wipes I could possibly cram into my bags. I have one large suitcase and one large rolling duffel bag bursting with donations to Haiti.

Thank you for the diapers, maxi pads, crayons, batteries, flashlights, medicine, first aid supplies, soccer balls, puzzles, games, sheets, and more. I am blown away by your generosity. No one even put their name on the order forms from Amazon or on the many boxes left on my porch so I don’t know whom to personally thank. I am simply thankful to know you. You are angels who show that in aggregate, every little bit helps. You, my friends, are making a difference.

There’s been nothing but love for Haiti. In a political climate brimming with hate, thank you for this reassurance that love does indeed make the world go ’round.

Many have thanked me for taking this trip, but I deserve no accolades. I’m not awesome for going to Haiti; I’m simply taking advantage of an awesome opportunity. Mac Daddy, my sons, and my dad and stepmother are making this all possible. I know this trip brings on some anxiety. I know it’s not easy for my family to see me off to a place they only know from the heartbreaking images they see on the news. Yet, they support me and turn their schedules upside down for me to go.

Much love to you on the eve before I leave for Haiti in the wee hours of the morning. I will be sharing updates here and on Instagram.


Hurricane Matthew’s Wake in Haiti & at Home

by Ilinap on October 12, 2016

I wrote this in 2010.

Te a fatige.

The earth is tired.

No truer words were ever uttered.

The people of earth are tired. 2016 has been a rough year in myriad ways. Americans are exhausted from a particularly vitriolic election season. We are losing faith in humanity day by day, though there are glimmers of angels among us.

Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc during tumultuous times in places that are already weary. I live in North Carolina, among the hardest hit spots in Matthew’s wake. My family was spared and had more hassle than heartache when our basement flooded. We retained power and hunkered down together to ride out the storm. Others close by didn’t fare as well. Neighbors just doors away experienced significant damage and went without electricity for days. A stately old tree has toppled to its side in the park in front of my house, a fallen soldier in Mother Nature’s war.


East of us are the hardest hit counties. The flooding is beyond where your imagination can take you. Crops are lost. Homes are destroyed. Pets and livestock washed away. And so far twenty people have died. The clean up is massive. The rescue efforts heroic. The end is not in sight.

Here are ways to help our fellow North Carolinians.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is working to fortify food supplies and assess the needs of the people in the hardest hit areas. First responders are stabilizing these areas, and when they leave, families will be returning to destroyed homes and ruined food supplies. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is preparing to expand  Mobile Market distributions of healthy food, Backpack Buddies, and grocery bags.

Financial donations will help provide additional food and support to partner agencies serving communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. Please donate to the “IFFS Hurricane Relief Fund” online or by check (designate “IFFS Hurricane Relief”) mailed to 1001 Blair Drive, Suite 120, Raleigh, NC 27603.

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

For every $1 you donate to Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund, the food bank can provide 5 meals to those impacted.

Buy groceries for families affected by Hurricane Matthew through the Virtual Food Drive

The Beach Food Pantry

Phone: 252.261.2756

Roanoke Island Food Pantry

Phone: 252.473.2089


Now back to my post from 2010…Haiti has been hurting since the devastating earthquake six years ago. This nation cannot endure more of nature’s wrath. Yet here she stands in the ruins once again. The devastation at home and in Haiti mimic each other. But Haiti doesn’t have the infrastructure and resources we have. Haiti needs our help too.

I am leaving for Haiti October 20. I face this opportunity equally eager and anxious. The trip was planned before the hurricane, and significant legwork has been done to ensure our safety. It is also important to note that our travels will not impede relief efforts. I’m traveling with a group of writers in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti program and the Artisan Business Network. This is a “trade, not aid” model where Haitian artisans work with Macy’s for a fair wage and receive support to build a sustainable business. Rebuilding the economy one artist at a time seems daunting, but the program is working. I have one of the pieces in my own home and imagine I will return with much more. Scratch that. I am certain I will return with much more. We will be visiting several artists who are part of the artisan network. While we won’t be on the ground delivering aid and providing services, we will be bringing in aid items to support relief efforts. My friend, travel partner, and Haiti champion extraordinaire, Leticia, covers all the details in her thorough post about our trip. Please have a look to see where you can donate to organizations on the ground in Haiti that are nimble and have a pulse on local needs.


You can also support the artists by purchasing their work from one of these sources:


If you are so inspired, here’s the list of items I’m taking to Haiti. Message me if you’d like to donate via Amazon or local drop off.



Let us be a glimmer of angels among us.


I received a scholarship from Everywhere to help cover some of my trip expenses to Haiti to visit Artisan Business Network artists who create products for the Macy’s Heart of Haiti line.


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