Hope Help & Relief Haiti, a foundation created by New York business, fashion and music icons to support relief efforts in Haiti, kicked off fundraising activities on Monday, February 08, 2010.
The Foundation was created by music executive Andre Harrell, hotelier André Balazs, musician Mary J Blige and Steve Stoute’s Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now and fashion icon Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation.
Music executive Andre Harrell stated, “The people of Haiti need to know that hope, help, relief and empowerment is on the way. What better way to show Haiti that love is out there than to create this organization, and I cannot think of a better person to symbolize the idea of hope and rebirth than Mary J Blige, who has more integrity and humanity than anyone I know.”
It is a labor of love for Ms. Blige, who also took part in the nationally-televised Telethon for Haiti. “I jumped at the opportunity to help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives and community because I understand what it's like to feel unempowered, and I want to set an example as a woman who works to empower all people. I've really enjoyed having a direct impact on the lives of women and uplifting my hometown community of Yonkers, New York, through my work with FFAWN, and this is a natural outgrowth of that work.”
Funds from Hope Help & Relief Haiti’s events will support Partners in Health, Yele Haiti and Habitat for Humanity, which will partner with the New York City Housing Authority to provide volunteers and raise additional funds.
The kick-off events on Monday, February 8, 2010, included “A Night of Humanity” dinner at the Urban Zen Center and a “Relief Party” at the neighboring Standard Hotel, with performance by Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean, DJ QTip and Marc Ronson. Whoopi Goldberg was the auctioneer, and CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien was the Master of Ceremonies. Guests included Jay Z, P. Diddy, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Diane Von Furstenberg. The events were underwritten and produced by High Fidelity Concerts in conjunction with AEG Live!
Organizations to be supported by Hope Help & Relief Haiti
Habitat for Humanity – New York City
Habitat for Humanity – New York City transforms lives and the city by building quality homes for families in need and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing. With the help of thousands of volunteers every year, Habitat-NYC has built more than 220 affordable homes in the five boroughs of New York City. Habitat-NYC is working in collaboration with NYCHA,* the partners of Hope Help & Relief Haiti, and other concerned New Yorkers to raise funds for rebuilding Haiti. For additional information, visit http://habitatnyc.org/ .
Partners in Health
Paul Farmer’s Partner’s in Health has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years. They urgently need support to help those affected by the recent earthquake. Partners In Health works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities and to share lessons learned around the world. For additional information, visit http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti .
Grammy Award-winning musician Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Haiti foundation is changing lives in Haiti, a desperately poor but optimistic nation. Through Yéle Haiti, Wyclef uses music, sports and the media to support projects in education, health, environment and community development. Yéle Haiti is committed to support the people in Port-au-Prince who have been affected by the earthquake. For additional information, visit http://yele.org/ .
*The New York City Housing Authority
The New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in North America and provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate income residents throughout the five boroughs. NYCHA has 336 housing developments with 400,000 residents. The Authority also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. NYCHA serves approximately 1 in 13 New Yorkers through its public housing and Section 8 programs. NYCHA and Habitat for Humanity – New York City have an ongoing partnership focused on housing revitalization and renovation projects. Given the devastation in Haiti, the Housing Authority and Habitat will build on their partnership to galvanize public housing residents and NYCHA’s 11,700 employees to raise funds as well as volunteer in a multi-year effort to rebuild housing in Haiti. For additional information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycha/html/home/home.shtml .
Urban Zen Foundation
The Urban Zen Foundation creates, connects and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children. The Foundation designs forums and events, partners with existing organizations and brings together experts to define solutions and implement action. For additional information, visit http://www.urbanzenfoundation.org/ .
The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Woman Now
The mission of FFAWN is to inspire women from all walks of life to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their individual potential. FFAWN accomplishes its mission to empower and encourage women by shaping and supporting programs that foster education, career development, strong self-esteem and personal growth. FFAWN hopes that their contribution and long-term commitment to the rebuilding of Haiti will stand as an example for women around the world that we must always work to empower those in need. For additional information, visit http://ffawn.org/ .