Parties and Pledges Officially Underway to Help Rebuild Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti

Sep 30, 2011, 17:10 ET from Pan American Development Foundation

New South Florida-based Rebuilding Campaign Kicks off with Overwhelming Corporate and Community Support  

MIAMI, Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Among the pictures and paintings on display at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, more than 100 business leaders, community activists and neighbors turned out to support the Hard Hats for Haiti campaign, a new  "Rebuilding Haiti" program spearheaded by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) that aims to increase awareness about living conditions in Haiti and raise funds to build safe homes and neighborhoods for thousands of earthquake affected families through private and public partnerships.

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"We want to rebuild Haiti by implementing PADF's 3Rs approach: Rebuilding homes, Revitalizing neighborhoods, and Restoring livelihoods (creating jobs) by making sure the people who need the most help really get it," said Paul Fisher, Director of Corporate Partnerships for PADF and campaign coordinator, during the event launch held at the Little Haiti Cultural Center at 212 NE 59th Terrace in Miami on September 22.

Fisher and Haiti Consul General Ralph Latortue kicked off the night's event and campaign, then introduced the community and corporate sponsors who have pledged to donate funds and time to the Haitian rebuilding effort.  More than 1.5 million people were left homeless after the January 2010, 7.0 magnitude quake struck near Port-au-Prince.

"Unlike other movements to help Haiti, every dollar will go directly to the hardest hit areas, like Delmas 32, a neighborhood at the epicenter of the crisis," said Latortue.

Event attendees learned about PADF's rebuilding efforts in Haiti from Daniel O'Neil, PADF's Senior Director for Caribbean Programs, who spoke about the reconstruction process and the Foundation's goal of creating 14,000 sustainable jobs across the country.

Fueled by more than $50 million in investments from the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other donors, including the American Red Cross, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and Caterpillar, the campaign will boost PADF's efforts to rebuild homes and improve infrastructure, such as roads, schools, clinics, and water sources, while training and employing thousands of Haitians. Hard Hats for Haiti seeks to raise $1 million each year from individuals and corporations over the next three years in order to access and implement the $50 million in funds already committed by PADF's institutional donors.

The campaign includes community and corporate partners, such as Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and the City of Miami, Caterpillar, Diageo, RIM Blackberry, MTV, CBS4, Miami Magazine, and Social Miami.

"We want to build a better Port-Au-Prince where lives are better, where we can say we built back the community better," added O'Neil.

So how does it work? Participants can join the cause by visiting and doing one of three things:

  • Create a Team
  • Join a Team
  • Join as an Individual

Teams are encouraged to set a minimum goal of $2,000, the amount needed to rebuild a home in a revitalized neighborhood.

An early campaign supporter is Miami television anchor, Jawan Strader, of CBS, WFOR-TV who attended the event. On October 21, 2011, he will host a party at Cadillac Ranch, a restaurant in Kendall, Florida.

Another supporter is Reggie Canal of AKSYON who is organizing a fashion and design gala called "Contemporary Haiti". The gala is scheduled to take place on November 19th at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Artwork by Haitian artist and photographer Carl Juste will be part of a silent auction.

Also, photographers Jordan Zuniga and Henrique Souza will travel to photograph PADF's program in Haiti. The artwork will be auctioned at Art Basel, the most prestigious art show in the Americas.

Individuals can also support the campaign through their mobile devices by texting HARDHATS to 27722 to make a $5 donation, or by calling 877.572.4484.

Follow the Hard Hats for Haiti campaign on Twitter (#HH4Haiti) and Facebook.

Pan American Development Foundation
Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF is a is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1962 to promote, facilitate and implement social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Today, PADF is closely engaged with the South Florida community through its Miami office. PADF develops public-private partnerships that assist the least advantaged people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Having worked in every country in the western hemisphere, PADF engages community-based groups, governments and the private sector in the process of implementing appropriate solutions for sustainable development. In 2010, PADF helped more than 10.2 million beneficiaries in 22 countries. To learn more about the Hard Hats for Haiti campaign, please visit To learn about PADF, go to

SOURCE Pan American Development Foundation