Cyclone Isaac Makes Those Of Us At Home Remember Those Volunteering In Haiti

 Faith.  How much do you risk on “faith” for the benefit of another?

 HavServe volunteers are all unpaid. The workers give countless hours to bettering the lives of families in the smallvillageofLebrun,Haiti.

 As this blog is being written, many HavServe volunteers have traveled to the smallCaribbeanisland in the face of a cyclone.  Carline Brice, our fearless leader, works tirelessly with the faith that the efforts brought forth by volunteers will improve the education of the children and the lives of all villagers.  Her faith and efforts are without question.

The dictionary defines faith: 

  • Confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
  • Belief that is not based on proof:  He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
  • Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
  • Belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
  • A system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Mormon faith; the Jewish faith. 

As this blog is written, deaths have been reported from Tropical Storm Isaac, which passed overHaiti.  Members of the HavServe team remaining safe at home in theUnited Stateshave been sending exchanging emails, praying for the well-being of Carline and others in Lebrun.

Wherever Carline Brice is huddled as the storm brought flooding rains to the island (which was pummeled by earthquakes in 2010), she has “faith” that a multi-million dollar education center will find funding.  She believes with unquestioning heart and “confidence and trust” that the HavServe team will “find the money.”

HavServe’s mission is far greater than the faith of one talented leader.  It is the faith of and collective strength of an army of people, around the globe.    

There is Kristin Derry fromCanada, who has traveled to Lebrun.  She is responsible of instructing teachers.  Kristin has volunteered to leave comfort and security behind for the unknown.  She will embrace a group of Haitian teachers for the next 6 months.

Without the services of educators such as Kristen Derry, there would be little hope that education in the small village could be pushed forward.  Nevertheless, with Kristin’s faith, the probability of success is outstanding.  Her 6 months of service will pay dividends for students for decades.

Then there is architect Gavan Lee ofIreland.  No pay. No award. Just a strong belief in humanity. Gavan has completed the initial design of the new education center.  He and engineer Christopher Wright will oversee the construction of the building.  All the effort is based upon the faith that the new center, together with trained teachers, shall benefit villagers.

Attempting to point out all the individuals, who volunteer their time and money for people, who there have never met, is impossible.  What is a fact? HavServe and the volunteers take daily steps in faith for a better life for villagers who face earthquakes, cyclones and poverty every day.    

By the time readers devour this blog, cyclone Issac is history.  We, the collective volunteers, have faith that Carline and the village are safe.  Furthermore, we pledge support to the meritorious goals, including the education center.

In the days and weeks to come, HavServe will post floor plans and architectural renderings of the proposed center.  Staffers will prepare budgets, including furniture and school supplies.    

Then the hard work of acquiring the funding:  the faith of a donor who understands the benefits of a center–which shall become the foundation for a village’s future.

Expanding Preschool Programs: The More, the Better

The definition of preschool is as follows: a school for children whose ages fall below kindergarten or the first grade. In a country such as Haiti, it is important to expand such pre-primary school programs in order to encourage more children to complete their primary education, so that their chances of attending secondary and higher-education institutions may be increased. However, various obstacles stand in the way of achieving HavServe’s mission in succeeding in the expansion of preschool programs, but not all hope is lost.

With a lack of school funding, the Haitian education sector is plagued with issues of high tuition fees and low quality education; this is especially true in the public sector – along with a shortage of qualified teachers and school supplies. It’s a domino effect, with poor quality education leading to failing marks, repeating grades, which in most cases results in elevated dropout rates. Also, up to three-quarters of primary school students are noted to be, on average, two years older for their grade level. This is due to students being pulled out of school by parents in times of economic distress, then enrolling back in school again. Haitian children’s education is at stake; yet, there are strategies in conquering the education sector issues.

With the establishment of more preschool programs in Haiti after the necessary investments are made through partnerships with world organizations, younger children would be more likely to remain in school. Such partnerships refer to the eighth MDG of developing global partnerships. More specifically, this offers consultation to Haitian families, while addressing their concerns about education, the economy, and building an agenda of strategies to overcome existing issues. Participatory development is crucial to the success of development projects, as the voices of those who are to benefit from development are heard.

School feeding programs, in collaboration with preschools, cannot only improve the health of preschool children, but also their quality of education (enhanced concentration in class), and school attendance. For many preschoolers, they will be dependent on such meals for proper nutrition, because in their households, there could be a lack of food containing the nutrients needed to develop. With feeding programs continuing into the primary and secondary years of schooling, families and students would be less likely to put their education to a halt. Achieving the second MDG goal of universal primary education is more than full enrollment; it’s also about younger children attending classes regularly and retaining the literacy and numerical skills they learned in a high-quality curriculum.

In order to accomplish such a task, funding for the public education system is crucial. The majority of Haitian families cannot afford to send their children to attend private schools, with a portion of them living under $2 per day. Promoting President Martelly’s agenda of the National Fund for Education, in which international funding comes to play for free education for all, is a start to educational development initiatives. Global partnership is important for development projects relating to education to succeed, as more investments and resources can be utilized for expanding Haitian preschool programs. The low quality of education currently present in the education system also needs to be addressed through using the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training as a guideline to ensuring that teachers in training are qualified to teach. Haitian universities can also potentially reform their curriculums in regard to teacher training programs to improve the level of education future educators receive. It’s a domino effect, with improvements in the Haitian education system being passed down in a series of steps, towards a brighter future for Haiti’s preschool programs and even higher-education levels.

We all can do something to help Haiti improve its educational sector into the expansion of its pre-primary programs. Take a look at HavServe’s present initiatives; surely, there is a way for you, the reader, to contribute towards this worthy educational initiative.

Announcing a Strategic Partnership to Improve Classroom Instruction in Haiti MDG2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

September 2012, Maryland –  WebFirst, Inc. and the HavServe Volunteer Network (HavServe) have formed a strategic partnership to improve classroom instruction and better evaluate teachers by collecting student data in rural communities in Haiti, using mobile technology for the upcoming school year. WebFirst will be designing, developing and implementing an elementary school data system for rural communities in collaboration with HavServe in Haiti and will expand data collection for multiple student outcomes and help educators and stakeholders find areas for improvement.

The goal is to improve data collection and analysis, which is needed to comply with the Millennium Development Goals 2 in Haiti and HavServe CEO, Joyce M. Hunter believes it will accomplish three major goals on the country’s education reform agenda:

  •  The data collection will help evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and administrators,
  •  Provide information to help legislators make well-informed decisions and
  • Predict primary school students difficulties to improve learning and encourage career readiness among students.”

The data also will be available for legislators and other stakeholders, so they can address educational issues with an accurate picture of student challenges and performance in rural communities. Carline Brice, HavServe, Executive and Founder along with Kristin Derry, HavServe Education Program Coordinator will launch the data collection project in September 2012 and look forward to the metrics it will produce. “I am proud of the work of HavServe in Haiti to promote access to primary education for all children and we are working  to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for education reform in rural communities in Haiti,” Ms. Brice comments on the program. “Utilizing mobile technology and the use of high quality data will increase the ability of stakeholders to improve instruction and student outcomes.”  “We are very excited to be working with HavServe in applying mobile technologies to helping increase access to education in Haiti,” said Sanjay Patel, President and CEO of WebFirst, Inc. 

“We feel strongly that mobile will play a key role in helping organizations to streamline data collection and assessment efforts, while increasing their ability to deploy resources where they are needed most.”  WebFirst and HavServe look forward to this partnership that will empower villagers with the education, training, and basic services necessary for them to play an ever-increasing role in determining their own futures and creating a sustainable Haiti.

Help Train, Fulfill MDGs Goals and Give Back to Fulfill US Pledge

Recent news revealed the pledge of the United States to rebuild Haiti is not being met.  Despite international donors pledging billions of dollars to help Haitians “build back better,” little progress has resulted.  Despite progress in Haiti being easier with established programs developed prior toHaiti’s earthquake, much of the recovery fund was awarded to projects that were not damaged during the earthquake.   To help the country “build back better,” it is critical for volunteers and relief organizations to offer programs geared to promoting the eight MDGs goals including vocational training and projects that promote economic sustainability for the long term.

Lack of education has had a significant role in impoverishing economic development ofHaiti. The deficiency of education has long been a problem. Haitihas about 4.5 million school-age children, about half of whom were attending school before the earthquake.  The Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR) was the largest funded education program worth $25.6 million before the quake, designed to train teachers.

However, after the quake, AIR vice president Jane Benbow said. “We need you to take the resources you have left, and we need you to redirect them. We need you to start doing other things with that money.”    Fortunately, last year USAID announced that a $12 million AIR project had “constructed or is in the process of constructing more than 600 semi-permanent classrooms serving over 60,000 students.” In actuality, according to AIR spokesperson Larry McQuillan, only 322 classrooms were built. They were serving at least 38,640 students each day, many in two shifts.

Today, about half of Haiti’s school-age children attend school, about the same as before the catastrophe.   The dearth of qualified teachers contributes to the low caliber of many Haitian schools, which is why it is critical for volunteers to offer educational training.

Many Haitians cannot afford to pay even the modest school costs for uniforms and books.  About 92 percent of schools are privately owned and financed, meaning they are tuition-based. Because ofHaiti’s extreme poverty, schools are unaffordable and therefore inaccessible to the majority of families.

As a result of limited family resources, families are forced to have their children drop out of school.  In addition, there is an extreme shortage of textbooks, desks, chairs, and teaching materials and inadequate infrastructure that has created the impossible challenges for students and teachers. There are not enough school buildings to accommodate all the school-age youth inHaiti, and the lack of technology in the schools (computers, Internet access) further limits learning.

To help improve educational conditions and ensure that proper progress is being done,Haitineeds the assistance of donations to help Haitian families offset the costs and resources needed to provide quality education.  Understanding this need, HavServe recently organized a back to school drive to fill 2,000 backpacks–filled with school supplies.  The HavServe drive for funds to help the little ones ofHaiticontinues online. A donation of $10 can make the difference in a child’s education and life.

Haiti suffers from an overwhelming amount of debt. When the earthquake hit, world lenders were already several years into forgiving Haiti’s substantial loans, many of which dated back to funds used by the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. Lessening the debt is one of the most powerful things the US can do for Haiti, and we can assist through donations, grants and projects that create economic sustainability.

Although progress has been made in the last two years, it is not enough. Haitiis falling behind the goals set by United Nations as the MDG 8 goals–ending poverty and fostering economic development.  To meet the pledge of theUnited States, it is more critical than ever for donations of money and time. Haitians need help with training and development projects to improve the social and economic infrastructure. Vocational and teacher’s trainings are a key factor for the development of human capital in Haiti. Fortunately, HavServe offers teachers training programs, assistance with school supplies and provides ongoing economic development programs to assist with these needs in the small village of Lebrun,Haiti.

HavServe volunteers are designing an education center, which will house first class teachers and classrooms.  The architecture is being designed in Dublin, Ireland by architect Gavan Lee.  Gavan and Team Education Center Lebrun are all volunteers.

To learn more about how you can help, become a volunteer, trainer or donate school supplies log onto havserve.org and  http://shop.kitsforkidz.org/catalog/havserv,245.htm

It’s Hot! Chip In for A Cool Water Bottle – Help A Haitian Child!

Can Something As Simple As A Drinking Bottle Save the Life of a Child? Indubitably – YES!
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

These are the words of E.E. Hale, who enrolled at Harvard University at the age of 13.  Hale was an American author and historian.  More importantly, he fought for the little guy, for children and to improve intolerable situations and had the chance to reach his full potentials as a student, an opportunity not existent for most children in Haiti.To provide such opportunity and hope, HavServe volunteers have joined forces with Peter Hall, Hope2o CEO, in a focused attempt to support the most vulnerable in Haiti by provide long-term clean water solutions to the children in the village of Lebrun, Haiti.  Jointly, they are inviting you to get a cool, decorative 22-ounce stainless steel water canteen. The goal is for you to get a bottle so that a child in need can receive a similar canteen. By doing so, you will help eliminating the use of plastic water bottles. This will reduce serious health and environmental issues caused by the plastic containers currently polluting the small village.

The canteen makes a superior gift for any occasion.  Treat yourself today to one of the amazingly decorated jugs with a daily inspirational message.  With every purchase, $7.00 will go to a project for the children in Lebrun, and, additionally, a container will be provided to a Haitian child.

In America, having a sanitary container is nothing.  In Haiti, having one of those canteens for safe drinking water could mean the difference between dying of cholera or other diseases.

Inevitably, HavServe asks for donations to sustain educational programs for the children of Lebrun, Haiti.  Every cent is spent on the families of the small, hillside community.  Every activity of HavServe is by unpaid volunteers.  Here, however, is an opportunity for you to join our team of change-makers by purchasing a unique item – a standout gift.  No donation necessary.  The purchaser is the winner, because the water canteens are truly special and can be used by everyone in your family and friends.

The National Geographic reports “All the water that will ever be, is right now.”  Water is so precious to life that in some places a gallon of water costs more than a gallon of gasoline.

All of us share life’s challenges, but some are reaching for the stars.   Winston Churchill said, “the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, duty, honor, mercy and hope.”

Providing a clean, reusable, stainless steel water canteen for every child in Lebrun is simple.  Simply, purchase a colorful gift for yourself or a member of your network.  A child in Lebrun will receive a container, and $7.00 will be donated for textbooks or supplies when the child returns to school.  As Winston Churchill said, “Simple.”

Here is another “Simple” ways we would like to make a difference: 7,000 water bottles and we will get enough donations to provide a safe soccer field in Haiti for 250 children.  10 water bottles purchased would sponsor a primary school teacher.  As few as 3 containers sold would provide enough funds for a soccer uniform for a child.  And still 3 water bottles would provide school supplies for a child in need for an entire year.

For the past few years, you and I are reading in the daily news about the cholera outbreak. Thousands of deaths in Haiti are caused by unsafe water and under hygienic living conditions, every week.  Children under five are more at risk. Would you chip in  into  a “Simple” solution now to help two great causes?

Sweet Tweets to support 2 great causes with one great bottle!

Help two great causes with one great bottle!

Click to support 2 great causes with one great bottle of water! http://bit.ly/HavHope20

Join our Safe Drinking Water Campaign for the children of Haiti!
 
Help two great causes with one great bottle!
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti.
 
To eliminate the use of plastic water bottles by giving every children in Haiti a stainless steel water bottle
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti.
 
Hope-2o works with eco-conscious businesses who sponsor stainless steel water bottles for schools & organizations
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti
 
Whether you represent a school, organization, or are a potential sponsor or non-profit company, we’d like to hear from you:
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti
 
Show your commitment to the environment with our water bottle pledge for Haiti! :
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti
 
Support @HavServe with a great water bottles: Check ‘em out:
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti
 
Thousands of deaths in Haiti per week caused by unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are children under five years old.
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Haiti
 
10 water bottles purchased can sponsor a primary school teacher in Haiti?
http://bit.ly/HavHope20 @HavServe @hope2o #Water #Education #Haiti
 
22 water bottles purchased will provide a monthly stipend to one HS4D coaches:
http://bit.ly/HavHope20  #Soccer #HS4D #HYSP
 
7000 water bottles purchased can build our safe soccer field in Haiti by 2013.
http://bit.ly/HavHope20  #Soccer #HS4D #HYSP
 
3 water bottles purchased can provide soccer uniform to 1 player
http://bit.ly/HavHope20  #Soccer #HS4D #HYSP
 
3 water bottles purchased can provide school supplies to a child for 1 full year
http://bit.ly/HavHope20  #Education #Haiti.
 
Make a difference with 1 tweet a day! Thanks for all you do and thanks for promoting safe drinking water in Haiti while providing access to education and promote soccer as tool for the development of Haiti.

Be Part of Something Special On July 18: Mandela Day!

“Nelson Mandela turns 91 on 18 July, and the call has gone out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday – and the global launch of Mandela Day – by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.” (http://www.southafrica.info)

The HavServe Team for Haiti is answering this call to action by launching their own “Inspire Change & Promote Access to Primary Education for ALL Children by 2015”  campaign. We are inviting all volunteers, existing and potential, to give at least 67 minutes of their time, symbolized by Mandela’s 67 years of service, to the cause of educating children in Haiti. A great place to start is a click on this link to HavServe’s Kits for Kids page http://shop.kitsforkidz.org/catalog/havserv,245.htm and place a donation for the School Supplies Drive. I just did that on Jean Baptiste KATTIE’s own fundraising page, http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/jean-baptistekattie/give-a-child-a-backpack-with-school-supplies and it was easy to do. There is a link there to post the information on your facebook page to share with friends and family members. The drive will be going on for one month (July 18th- August 18th) and Jean’s goal is to raise $1000.

Be Part of Something Special – Only 1 Month To Go To Take Action and Inspire Change!  Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

HavServe Joins A Billion + Change to Connect to the Future of Corporate Service

Can you imagine a future where collectively 500 companies decide to lead social change and tackle the most pressing challenges of the 21st century through skills-based volunteer service? Where thousands of communities tap into the skills and talents of businesses to address specific needs? Where millions of employees grow professionally while championing causes they believe in? Or where companies pledge billions of dollars in corporate service to address the most complex challenges facing our country?

This is the vision of A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize the power of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services in America’s business community by 2013. As a representative of HavServe, I recently had the opportunity to join the campaign at a special forum, “A Billion + Change in Action: Connecting to the Future of Corporate Service” at the White House on June 27, 2012.

HavServe offers pledge companies a unique opportunity to build partnerships to address the significant social, economic and environmental challenges in Haiti. Inspired by Haitians’ great passion for soccer, HavServe’s Youth Soccer Program is using sport as a tool for development to help Haiti achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Through community-led development, education and training, Haitians will play an active role in determining their own futures.

At the forum, leaders in industry, civic engagement and policy discussed the opportunities for businesses to scale efforts and partnerships to meet the challenges of the 21st century through skills-based volunteer service. Most importantly, leaders inspired businesses to challenge themselves to reach the phenomenal possibilities of collective action, working in partnership with nonprofit professionals to change communities for the better.

In less than a year, nearly 200 companies have joined A Billion + Change and have pledged an estimated $1.8 billion worth of skills-based services to build nonprofit capacity. This outpouring keeps the campaign on track inspiring 500 companies to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program in their workplace by 2013.

Recently, companies of all sizes have begun to reap the benefits of pro bono service – strengthening their communities by expanding nonprofit capacity and boosting the skill set and morale of their own employees. According to True Impact, skills-based volunteers are 142 percent more likely to report job-related skills-gains than traditional volunteers, and 82 percent more probable to report that volunteerism generated new recruits for their company versus conventional volunteers. For nonprofits, the value of skilled support in areas such as general operations, technology and professional services can be 500 percent greater than the value of traditional volunteering.

When companies join A Billion + Change, they gain access to a national network of exclusive resources and connections that will help them maximize the benefits of their pro bono work.

To see a full list of companies that have taken the pledge, and to learn more about A Billion + Change, visit: www.abillionpluschange.org.

To find out more information about HavServe’s Youth Soccer Program, visit: http://www.havserve.org/soccer.php or contact us at hs4dhaiti@havserve.org

A Healthy Appetite for Education

Proper nutrition is a crucial factor in the healthy cognitive development of a child. In Haiti, chronic malnutrition affects 24% of children under the age of five and rises as high as 40% for children living in the poorest of areas. With rural households spending more than 70% of their income on food and more than half of Haiti’s population living below the poverty line of $1 a day, it is undeniable that proper nutrition is an imminent concern. By offering basic health services and free meals to children in need, we are directly improving their health and development, and subsequently their ability to learn within the classroom.

The need for healthy nutrition begins before birth. The nutrition of the mother is a strong determining factor in the brain development of her child. Due to poor diets, many women and children suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and anaemia is a strong concern for children between the ages of six months and five years. When a child is suffering from malnourishment within the first two years of life, the effects can be both permanent and irreversible. A poorly nourished child has an increased difficulty fighting infections and as a result may miss more school and fall behind in their learning. In an environment that struggles to provide strong educational opportunities to children, it is difficult to understand how a child can overcome the inherent struggles that accompany many developing nations struck by disaster.

Any child that suffers from malnourishment is being deprived of basic nutritional needs, but these children also show decreased levels of curiosity, activity and cognitive functioning. Regardless of the quality and availability of the education, a child who is not eating properly and given basic health services is unable to extract any useful knowledge from the classroom. A good education must start with a healthy mind and body. A recent study explained that children who ate breakfast performed better on tests than children who did not, further highlighting the link between the two factors.

So what can we do now? We need to continue supporting programs that provide basic and necessary nutritional and health care options to the students living in Haiti. In a country that has been so deeply affected by unfortunate circumstances, it is critical that the international community continue to reach out and provide opportunities to children who are in need. Education is an important tool that all children should have the chance to benefit from; however, absorbing the benefits that education affords depends on fuelling the body with nutrients. We cannot dismiss the role of a healthy diet and consistent health services. Let us continue to extend a helping hand, but remember that a good education needs to be accompanied by a good diet.

 

 

 

200 companies pledge nearly $1.8 billion in pro bono services to nonprofits. HavServe Joins A Billion

HavServe Joins A Billion + Change at the White House to Envision the Future of Corporate Service
200 companies pledge nearly $1.8 billion in pro bono services to nonprofits.

Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2012) — HavServe, a volunteer-driven not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, joined A Billion + Change at the White House today for a forum on “A Billion + Change in Action: Connecting to the Future of Corporate Service.” Leaders in industry, civic engagement and policy will convene at this forum to discuss opportunities for businesses to scale efforts and partnerships to meet the social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century through skills-based service. They will also explore ways to align corporate skills-based service programs with national initiatives to boost innovation, competitiveness and models of effective collaboration.

In less than a year, 200 companies have pledged an estimated $1.8 billion worth of skills-based services to nonprofits, keeping the Billion + campaign on track to inspire 500 companies to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program in their workplace by 2013.

“As a non-profit organization working in Haiti, HavServe’s goal is to alleviate poverty, hunger and illiteracy through education, training and health services, to encourage people within the villages to work together to solve problems within the community and the country,” said Joyce Hunter, CEO of HavServe, adding “Through our partnership with Points of Light and A Billion+Change initiative, HavServe will be able to provide additional resources for the villages to be motivated to accomplish these goals.”

Hunter and fellow HavServe volunteers are attending today’s forum, which will challenge each pledge (mostly private sector companies) to look ahead at what they are poised to do. “Our challenge now is to expand A Billion + Change while partnering effectively with nonprofit professionals so we can change communities for the better,” said Senator Mark Warner, Honorary Chairman of A Billion + Change. “It’s through collaboration and collective impact that A Billion Plus really does add up to meaningful change.”

Every day, A Billion + Change pledge companies harness the skills and talents of their best and brightest to build nonprofit capacity, create empowering opportunities for veterans, strengthen our workforce, improve STEM education and to promote global development.

Corporate skills-based volunteer programs have also proven to be effective talent management tools, and can help businesses boost their own competitiveness while giving back to their communities. According to True Impact, skills-based volunteers are 142 percent more likely to report job-related skills-gains than traditional volunteers, and 82 percent more likely to report that volunteerism generated new recruits for their company versus traditional volunteers. For nonprofits, the value of skilled support in areas such as general operations, technology and professional services can be 500 percent greater than the value of traditional volunteering.

In this spirit, HavServe organizes both individuals and private sector volunteers to assist with a variety of programs to support the positive development of Haitian youths. Their efforts and successes in LeBrun provide a model for effective community-based change throughout rural Haiti. For more information, visit: http://www.havserve.org

A list of pledge companies, and information about how to take the pledge, is available at: www.abillionpluschange.org.

About HavServe:

HavServe Volunteer Service Network (HavServe) is a volunteer-driven not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports community-led development through volunteerism in least developed countries. HavServe believes that volunteerism benefits both society and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity, cooperation, and reciprocity among citizens, and by creating opportunities to empower citizens to realize their potentials and shape the direction of their communities, their country, and the world. The name, HavServe, comes from the understanding that if you have, you serve.

About A Billion + Change:

A Billion + Change is a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services by 2013. It was launched by the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2008 and continues as an initiative of the federal agency. Reinvigorated in 2011 with expanded leadership under the honorary chairmanship of Senator Mark Warner, it is now housed and managed by Points of Light. The initiative is powered by the support of Deloitte, HP, the Case Foundation and IBM with additional founding support from State Farm, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Morgan Stanley.

Media Contact:
Beth Hilton
The B Company
310-560-8390
bethhilton@theBcompany.com