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January 22, 2010

Ordinary American Moms Help Haitian Kids

Filed under: Philanthropy/nonprofits — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 12:11 am
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When Katrina stuck, ordinary people rushed to help — including two Moms from Alabama, who realized that parents waiting for hours in long lines for food, water, and medical treament would have no one to watch their children.  Frightened, bored, restless children would have no safe place to play, to burn off energy and regain a sense of normalcy.

The two moms both have extensive nonprofit and childcare experience.  They tried to work within the system.  And when met with red tape, they went around it.

The two Moms — Lenore Ealy and Paige Ellison — did a rapid filing for their new nonprofit, which they called PROJECT KID.  They got a truck, filled it with donated supplies, and drove to MS. They set up a “Playcare Center,” getting more and more supplies and volunteer staff.

Their first Playcare center was up & running 5 days after Katrina struck. Over the next weeks, they replicated their model across several sites and served 5600 children who were Katrina victims.  Project KID went on to assist parents in need in other disasters.

And now, PROJECT KID will be in Haiti.  Co-founder Paige Ellison arrives there January 27th.

This is an amazing organization.  These two ordinary American mothers run this charity by themselves.  Yet, the media hasn’t covered this fascinating story of ordinary women who use their individual initiative to help others, rather than wait for the government or some existing charity to do so.    I only know about this because Lenore is a dear friend mine.

The work of individual Americans outside government and the usual, large charities should be encouraged, and their story is just the kind of positive story with a Haiti tie that people want to hear about.

In case you’d like to reach them, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to forward you the contact information.

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