We’re pleased to bring you the following guest post by Random Acts Co-Founder Misha Collins:
Four years ago, in the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake, I asked you guys to take a leap of faith with me and pitch in to help build a children’s center for the community of Jacmel, Haiti. Random Acts didn’t have much of a track record back then – all we had were some architectural drawings and a big dream – but you leapt.
We fundraised for the Jacmel Children’s Center with great gusto that first year, but I’m not sure we quite knew what we were getting ourselves into until we went to Haiti in person. This is what the site looked like in 2011: rocks and rubble everywhere, and part of a broken truck in the corner. It couldn’t have been further from the beautiful children’s center we’d pictured, but we did what we could, bought boots for the workers, and settled in for the long haul.
And what a long haul it’s been. We fundraised for three years in a row, funneled almost $500,000 into the center, took three trips to Jacmel, and completed construction in 2013, but even then we were far from the finish line. There were subsequently a number of setbacks ranging from Bonite needing back surgery to a mosquito virus putting almost the whole crew out of commission to various delays in getting electrical systems in place.
Students who were freshmen in college when we began this journey are graduating, the world almost ended (when, in 2012, we came to the end of the Mayan calendar) but didn’t, a new pope was elected, smart people landed a probe on a comet, a lot of grass has grown (and been cut), and a lot of paint has dried.
And now we can finally say: We did it!
The Jacmel Children’s Center is officially open! Ten kids live there already, and more will start moving in next week.
It’s been an epic journey. Thank you to project leaders Lisa and Philip Schneider and to everyone who joined us:
Elwyn Zabrina Way
and hundreds of other fundraisers and donors. You guys made this happen. Thanks for leaping.