Heart of Haiti DC Event
Yesterday really could not have been any better! I started the day with ONE and (RED) for World AIDS Day and ended my day celebrating the Heart of Haiti program at the Macy’s in downtown Washington, DC where they were debuting some of their newest pieces from their collection.
If you haven’t heard of Heart of Haiti it is a remarkable trade not aid program that was started by Willa Shalit, the CEO of Fairwinds Trading, and is supported in part by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Talented Haitian artisans create their wares from vases and jewelry to bowls and picture frames and they are then sold in Macy’s stores around the country. Artisans earn half of the retail price of each piece sold allowing them to not only continue the artistic history of their country, but also provide for themselves and their families since employment is scarce since the earthquake. Heart of Haiti has helped an estimated 5,000 Haitians.
Last evening was a celebration of the newest pieces in the Heart of Haiti collection. Pascale, a noted Haitain artisan, attended to tell us how much buying Heart of Haiti wares at Macy’s is changing lives in Haiti.
We also heard from Meg Galloway Pearce, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. She mentioned that with $54 million dollars the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has been able to generate 11,000 jobs in Haiti.
In a specially cordoned off area of Macy’s bloggers were able to mingle and buy Heart of Haiti products. Special Caribbean hors d’oeuvres were served as well as fresh citrus beverages. After the event we all headed around the block to The Oceanaire Seafood Room for a reception, drinks, and a special thank you from Ananda Leeke, founder of Digital Sisterhood, to Pascale. Leeke traveled to Haiti with Everywhere earlier this year and reported on her visit.
I had such a wonderful time meeting Willa Shalit, Pascale, Veronica and Meg from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and seeing Danica and Britton from Everywhere again and so many blogger friends. And I am even happier that I will be going to Haiti to join Everywhere and Heart of Haiti to visit these spectacular artists in January!
Visit Heart of Haiti at www.macys.com/heartofhaiti Photos Copyright of Jennifer James, except photo of me with Willa Shalit