Help Heath Help Haiti

I’ve long been a fan of Architecture for Humanity and the work they are doing. Last night I got an email from Kate Stohr asking for small donation to help fund reconstruction work they are planning in Haiti. I wanted to do more so I came up with a plan to try to raise some money and spread awareness of what they are doing over the upcoming weekend. Here’s the plan:

January 15-17: Heath will donate 25% of sales from our Sausalito, LA & online stores to Architecture for Humanity’s earthquake reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Why Architecture for Humanity: AFH is a non-profit organization that brings design, construction and development services to communities in need. AFH is expanding their current efforts with Yele Haiti, the local NGO, to provide relief and recovery as well as meaningful long-term reconstruction to the Haitian community. We have an ongoing relationship with Cameron Sinclair, Kate Stohr and the folks at AFH and really believe in their work.

The more people, the bigger the impact. We’d love your business to support this cause; visit our store(s), shop online (free shipping through Sunday) or donate directly to AFH. Either way, we hope you’ll join us in making a contribution.

Facebook, twitter, email, use your rotary phone – please spread the word…

I’ve posted Architecture for Humanity’s Plan for how they will help the re-construction after the Haiti earthquake. If you read it I hope you’ll see why I believe their plan has important points that are worth funding.

-cathy

From the AFH site:

“Our Current Plan
Right now the need is relief and recovery but very soon it will be long term reconstruction. In the New York Times we noted the pre-existing issues with the building stock in Haiti. The NGOs focused on rebuilding need to be aware that in areas of great need structures are usually rebuilt in unsafe ways by well intentioned volunteers.

As we survey the damage, and in talking with our partners, what we think would help is a recovery centers – much like the ones we help develop after Hurricane Katrina. The two Katrina studios, supported by local partners and staffed with our building professionals, were integral in the housing of hundreds of families in East Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana. If there is to be a community led long term reconstruction initiative for Haiti, we need to do the same.

Three reasons this is important:

1) Aid organizations, especially local groups, will know where they can go to get professional design and construction services. We can serve not one organization doing one project, but many. When we get it setup, they know they can walk in any day at any time to get professional help. This will prevent a lot of shoddy construction. We can host training sessions in job site safety and in basic building. Make sure that these volunteers really do have the skills and knowledge they need to build safely in a seismic and hurricane zone. We can engage local officials and coordinate the services we and they provide better.

2) Volunteer professionals who want to come down for a week or a month or just a few days will have a place to check in and be helpful doing damage assessments, housing plans, etc. Architects and engineers partnering with NGOs will have a local place where they can touch down, understand the local building codes and conditions. They can design remotely and know that someone will be shepherding the project on the ground and assisting as they need it. At the same time the services will have some continuity and the community will have a place they know they can come for design and construction help.

3) All of the work produced in these centers are shared openly, under Creative Commons license, and distributed through the Open Architecture Network. By connecting with other NGOs and open sourcing construction documents we can influence many building programs in the region. We can leave a legacy of innovative locally appropriate solutions to protect from future disasters (inc. hurricanes and climate change)

Right now, we are mobilizing a team on the ground that can support the many volunteer orgs flooding into the area and take advantage of the volunteer spirit of the professional design and construction industry that want to get involved and help rebuild.

If you want to support immediate needs, give to the Red Cross, Partners in Health or UNICEF. If you want to support transitional and the long term reconstruction of Haiti in a more sustainable way then donate to us.”

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