Disaster Relief Employee Volunteering - Field Report from Haiti and Update on Japan Plans

We are taking this opportunity to provide you with an update on the significant progress being made by Elevate Destinations Disaster Relief Programs.  In addition to completing another successful Haiti trip, Elevate Destinations won a prestigious honor from National Geographic Traveler and is planning a volunteer relief initiative in Japan.

Haiti – Report from the Field: In March 2011, the Elevate Haiti trip was an unequivocal success.  Volunteers from all over the United States were able to:

  • Raise over $10,000 for the St. Joseph’s Family and the rebuilding of their homes for orphaned and ex-slave children.
  • Bond and play with the kids, sharing extraordinary moments filled with laughter and music.
  • Contribute to amazing progress on the construction of both the Port-au-Prince Home and the Jacmel Community Center extension.
  • Show solidarity with Haitians during their rebuilding phase.
  • Support the employment of over 20 Haitian workers hired for the rebuilding process.

We invite you to review the report and “Before & After” pictures from Urgent Service Travel Director, Andrea Atkinson. “The first time I was in Haiti was in May 2010. It was 4 months after the earthquake. It had been 4 months since St. Joseph's School for Boys had been ravaged and Bill, the director, had fallen from the 7th story to the ground below, saved from being crushed by the rubble only by the strength of a sturdy tree that held it back”. Read the full report from Haiti here.

However, there is still more to be done.  Ongoing funding, volunteers, and support are crucial to the completion of the new orphanage – which will benefit more children than in the 28 years prior combined. The building will be completed in 2013.  Until then, we have a monumental but achievable task ahead.

Disaster Response in the Gulf: Our trip to the Gulf to help with restoring marine habitats after the BP Oil Spill is being planned for next year. Our partnership with non-profit, Ocean Foundation, is developing and expanding as we learn of additional needs in the region caused by the recent tornadoes. A custom trip is possible upon request.

Disaster Relief Plans for Japan: Elevate Destinations is saddened by the tragedy that continues to grip Japan and is moved by the amazing interest in volunteering in the country. Elevate Destinations is working to secure effective partnerships with non-profits in Japan, so that when the country is ready for second response disaster relief, we are ready to mobilize. We are focusing again on the needs of the many children orphaned by the earthquake and tsunami to help them rebuild their lives.  We expect to offer a volunteer trip late this year or early in 2012.

National Geographic Traveler Award: The trip "Elevate Haiti: Jacmel Community School Volunteer Build-Out," has been selected as one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s 2011 “50 Tours of a Lifetime,” and is featured in the May/June 2011 issue - Read the article online

About Elevate Destinations Disaster Relief Programs: Elevate Destinations is a social enterprise with expertise in travel organizing and humanitarian issues. Elevate’s staff has extensive knowledge of international sustainability development issues to ensure that each service opportunity is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable for the long-term. Elevate Destinations custom designs extraordinary individual, group, and family trips, donating a percentage of profits to the protection of natural resources and community development in destination countries. These programs provide communities with funding, resources, and human capital, enabling concerned citizens to engage in urgent service and life-changing experiential learning. Additional information about the sponsorship benefits and costs is available at http://www.elevatedestinations.com/urgentservicesponsor.html

Elevate Destinations and Reputation Dynamics has partnered together to help corporations combine corporate contributions with first hand employee participation, maximizing positive impact for employee engagement and the communities that are most affected.  Please contact us to explore how we can help you design signature programs worldwide, tailored to your company's strategic giving interests.

Sam Taylor