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Old December 8th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Default Helping the Poor of Haiti - Mariner of the Seas 12/16

Greetings,
In doing research for my first RCI cruise (leaving port 12/16, Mariner of the Seas), I discovered that Labadee is part of Haiti. Did you know Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere?
My family and I are gathering small toiletries, clothing, toys and the such to give to charity to distribute on the island.

Please take a moment to look at these two links:
tp://web.winltd.com/Article.aspx?PageURL=Pages/English/givingback/htfh.htm

http://www.htfhaiti.org/

A representative from Hearts Together for Haiti is going to meet me at the ship in Labadee and pick up our goodies. We have about three full suitcases we are going to give to him as of now. If you would like to join us in donating your unused, clean clothing, toiletries, toys for the kids, etc - please email me or better yet, just bring it with you and meet us on the dock in Labadee at 9:30am.

Thank you and Merry Christmas everyone!
see you on board.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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That is really great for you to do that.

it is odd that one of the biggest islands (second only to Cuba which is almost the sixe of Florida) and closest to the US, Hispaniola, is one of the poorest islands in The Caribbean.

As you know, it is 1/3 Haiti and the 2/3 Dominican Republic. The island is actually very rich agriculturally, and we get a lot of produce from the DR, but Haiti has been hit with so much political strife and sheer danger to regular people that tourism is almost non existent on Hispaniola.

Of course, the people you are helping have to come to you, because although the RCI private "island" is in Haiti, they do not take visitors outside of their own region.

In any case good luck to you, and that is a wondeful thng for you to do.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Thats awesome wolfchike - you are very generous to these poor folks - god bless
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Old December 8th, 2007, 10:07 PM
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Wow that is wonderful especially right before the holidays!

god bless!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Thats a good idea. I went to Africa this year and brought tons of stuff but the one thing I overlooked and would have been appreciated was condoms. I am NOT kidding!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 11:22 PM
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On Labadee you get no idea of the abject poverty in Haiti. I know first hand because of my time there in Port-Au-Prince while serving in the US military. It remains the worst poverty I have ever seen outside of parts of Africa. Anything that can be done, even in a small way, to alleviate this situation will be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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This is a wonderful gesture. The world needs more Christmas spirit like yours.

I recently sailed to Haiti on the Grandeur and experienced a couple of moving experiences related to this port of call. First of all, while having the barbeque lunch on shore, I noticed a goup of around 20 or so school children also having lunch at one of RCL's pavillions. What was notable was how well behaved and well groomed these elementary aged children were in their uniforms. As I finished my luch, I waited until they also finished and asked if I could photograph them, which I did to their delight as they saw themselves reviewed on the camera. Precious little girls and boys very much entertained by something simple like seeing themselves on a digital camea screen.

Secondly, in Captain Rob Hempstead's navagational PowerPoint presentation, he showed a slide of a donation check given by the Grandeur crew to the Hatian school there in Labadee. We should all take the crew's lead and give to those less fortunate.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Thank you all for your support. I've been offered by Hearts Together for Haiti to go to the village and pass out the gifts myself. I'm really excited about this and hope I can be granted permission to do so (I guess the ship has to let me out of the gated area???)

If anyone would like to do a little part on their own, I know they are in need of supplies for the school they are opening in January. They have asked me to bring a radio with 5 disc changer - which, regretfully, I can not haul that along with a baby car seat and stroller plus four suitcases! They also need a TV and DVD player. But anything you could donate would be appreciated.

Our family picks names out of a hat and we only buy one gift at $50 then we contribute at least $50 to a charity in that persons name. We forget HOW FORTUNATE we are in this country. Share the love....

Merry Christmas!
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:38 PM
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This is a wonderful idea!

We just did something simliar in Jamaica, and I think it was a real eye-opener for my children. They've heard of poverty in other countries, and they've packed up Operation Christmas Child boxes, and they've taken part in various helps and fund-raisers for all sorts of things . . . but I don't think they had any idea just how little these people have.
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