Frequently Asked Questions about Servants for Haiti
Q. How did you become interested in helping the people of Haiti?
A. Back in 2000, several of us went on a short-term mission trip to Haiti with our church. In the people of Haiti, we saw tremendous suffering and need. Yet in the midst of it all, we saw a joy and faith we had rarely encountered. We were humbled and challenged. Out of that challenge, Servants for Haiti was born.
Q. When did SFH begin?
A. Laurae Richards, now president of SFH, and her husband Howard founded the organization in 2005.
Q. How do you accomplish your work in Haiti from a base in Westford?
A. Besides making frequent trips to Haiti, we partner with trustworthy Haitian nationals who live with their country’s problems every day.
Q. Can I deduct donations to SFH on my taxes?
A. Absolutely! We are a an officially recognized 501(3)(c) non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code. Your gifts to SFH are fully tax-deductible.
Q. How much of this money actually makes it to Haiti in the form of tangible help?
A. Servants for Haiti works on a very lean administrative budget. We will never use more than 10% of our income for administrative and fund-raising purposes. The board is composed entirely of volunteers. The only paid staff are Haitian nationals. This in itself is a source of assistance as we supply meaningful employment in a nation with 70-80% unemployment.
Q. I want to sponsor a child in Haiti. Can I do that through SFH?
A. SFH gives our supporters a chance to sponsor young adults in college and trade school programs. We no longer maintain sponsorship for Haitian children as we have in the past. Those programs have been taken over by Haiti International Alliance, a new organization that is run by many of the same people who ran our old programs. Other groups offer child sponsorship programs in Haiti as well. Please review these posts to read about the rationale behind these changes.
Q. I want to send some food and other supplies down to Haiti. Can you help me do it?
A. Not only will we not help do it, we will strongly discourage you from doing it. While it might seem like a good idea to send things to Haiti, such well-meaning acts can actually do long term damage. We encourage you to read this post for more on this important issue.
Q. OK, I’m sold. How can I help?
A. The easiest way to help is to support us financially through any of our programs, listed here. Beyond that, you can come with us on a work trip to Haiti. In this way, you can see exactly how your gifts are used and meet those who benefit. For information on trips, go here. Finally, you can hold an event to help raise funds (and awareness) for SFH. See the fund-raising posts here for ideas. Contact us and we can help you with your planning.
Q. How do I make a donation?
A. You can either send a check to:
Servants for Haiti
P.O. Box 1214
Westford, MA 01886
…or visit our online donations page here to donate through PayPal.
Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question that is not answered here.
More to come…