Hurricane Matthew has devastated Haiti, a nation still recovering from the earthquake in 2010. Over 1000 people have been reported dead, with hundreds of thousands of survivors still in need. There is major infrastructure damage. Crops and homes are destroyed. Access to clean drinking water is limited. And an outbreak of the waterborne illness, cholera, continues to affect the area.
In the wake of disasters like these, we as a people must rally to help our fellow brothers and sisters. Social media, prayer, and discussion are integral to raise awareness and effect change. But at the end of day, Haiti needs tangible aid. They need supplies, shelter, food, water.
I have researched over the past couple of days seeking advice from native Haitians and people directly involved in relief efforts — any information I could get my hands on from my computer chair in Dallas, TX.
This is the conclusion:
Donate to mid-sized organizations with a proven track record.
Do not donate to an organization too small, as they lack necessary infrastructure.
Do not donate to organizations too large, as your donation may be lost.
And please do not donate to an organization with a bad reputation or track record.
It should be a non-governmental organization (NGO) either Haitian led or directly partnered with organizations in Haiti.
- They should be audited on a regular basis with financial statements available upon request
- They should purchase locally as much as possible to stimulate the Haitian economy
- They need an explicit long-term vision; a commitment to better the Haitian environment, infrastructure, and economy.
After extensive research, I have selected World Renew for Windfall’s donations. 100% of proceeds from our “Haiti Relief Tee” will be donated to World Renew for relief efforts in Haiti. World Renew is a multinational organization with over 40 years experience working with Haiti. You can donate to them directly here.
Haiti Relief Tee
Haiti was the first independent black-led nation, and the first country to establish independence through a successful slave rebellion. But with governmental corruption, exorbitant payments to France, and several natural disasters, Haiti has struggled to establish themselves as a nation.
Still, the Haitian people are resilient. Their culture is steadfast.
This piece features Neg Mawon, an iconic, powerful statue of a Haitian slave. With a machete in hand and in broken shackles, he blows into a conch shell alerting the masses. A symbol of strength, freedom, and resilience. It oozes symbolism — something that I love to incorporate into my designs.
The conch shell is a call to action. It was commonly used by slaves to alert one another and rally together. But it also carries strong symbolism in uniting with our fellow man, especially in events like this. Behind the statue is one of Haiti’s mottos, L’Union Fait La Force — which is French for “Unity Makes Strength.”
I’ve been hard at work on Windfall’s Fall/Winter collection, Madama. It’s scheduled for release next week. But I had to take a slight detour because of this event. I’ve felt compelled to make some sort of effort to raise awareness and push donations for Haiti, and clothing is the best way I know how. The streetwear community is one with massive potential to use fashion as a driver for positive, social change. Let’s make a difference.
You can purchase the tee here. It’s open for pre-order only from 10/18 – 10/23.