One year ago, the roar of the earthquake that shook Haiti was heard worldwide but no where more loudly than here in Brooklyn, home to one of the largest Haitian communities outside of Haiti itself. The days that followed the earthquake brought horrifying images of the devastated capital city of Port Au Prince. It was obvious that this disaster would be orders of magnitude larger than anything Haiti had experienced before. It had the power not just to destroy lives, but to extinguish the bonds of community, kinship and culture that make life sustainable.
When the tragedy struck, we knew we needed to do something here in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Community Foundation was just three months old in January of last year and we knew we could not make a tangible difference in Haiti, but we sought to help buttress and sustain the Haitian community in our own hometown. So, we partnered with the United Way of NYC to create the NYC Haitian Community Hope and Healing Fund. Hope, because the community’s greatest enemy now was despair. Healing, because that would be its greatest need, for many years to come.
The NYC Haitian Community Hope & Healing Fund addresses the short and long-term needs of individuals, families and communities in the New York City area affected by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The Fund provides financial support and critical resources to local nonprofit organizations that are attuned to the needs of their neighborhoods; it focuses on strengthening these organizations so that they can most effectively serve the anticipated increased number of people who need assistance with immigration, grief and trauma, job training, housing, English language acquisition and more over the coming months and years.
Learn more about the Fund and its work.