PALM HARBOR – A child that received a severe burn on his arm can go to the burn clinic for treatment. Families have safe homes to sleep in at night. They have meals for themselves and their loved one.
For Haiti with Love is a nonprofit organization in Palm Harbor. The organization helps people in villages in Haiti by providing food, medical services, shelters and help to celebrate Christmas. They have volunteers and a team who go on mission trips to provide these services for Haiti.
For Haiti with Love was started by Don DeHart. He worked in construction and management, but he also pastured small churches in Indiana. DeHart grew tired that the contributions were not being put to good use. He spoke to a friend about his frustration and the friend suggested a trip to Haiti.
DeHart helped the people in Haiti by building a retreat for them. After coming home from the trip, he felt that there was still more to do. He spoke to his wife, Eva DeHart, and formed the organization. Don DeHart died from cancer in 2006, but his mission still lives on with his wife, daughter, team and volunteers who still run and help with the organization.
Co-founder and stateside coordinator Eva DeHart’s favorite part about running the organization are the people who are helped, specifically the burn patients.
“Seeing how bad the burn patients look when they come into the clinic and knowing how much pain they are in. Then the realization that we have the medicine, the tools, the personal and in a few months, they will be all better,” said DeHart.
She becomes the buyer and provides supplies for Haiti; she puts out a monthly newsletter, answers the phone, does the requirements provided by the internal revenue and public speaking invitations. DeHart runs it all.
In Haiti, there is a 24-hour medical clinic for the people. This is where the burn clinic is for them. The medical clinic is where people can go to receive treatment for burns or any other issues, such as cuts.
A food program is provided at the organization’s headquarters in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.
“Rather than having a soup kitchen, we request families to come to the headquarters of For Haiti with Love, with their record card. There is a picture on file, also. They receive the correct number of food packets (6 meals each) to feed their family for one week. They have their choice of beef or chicken flavoring,” according to For Haiti with Love.
For Haiti with Love has mission trips where volunteers and the team can build homes for the people. Building the houses in Haiti is simple construction, a concrete block home with a corrugated metal roof.
The nonprofit helps the people of Haiti celebrate Christmas. For Haiti with Love hosts an annual Christmas in August event in Dunedin where people can donate money and provide unwrapped gifts for the children. There is also an auction where people can bid on items that are donated.
In Haiti, they also have a Christmas party on Christmas day. The people dress up nice and enjoy a nice meal donated by For Haiti with Love and other partnerships.
“After the meal is finished, the children are given a gift and get to select a “Warm Fuzzy” from the pile. The mothers get to select a piece of jewelry from our donated jewelry store. The fathers get a T-shirt and playing cards or dominoes, which is a big hit, because those are their favorite pastimes,” according to For Haiti with Love.
Newsletters are the organization’s primary contact with donors and potential donors. DeHart values and appreciates all donations and people who learn about them, but she values word of mouth more.
“What other people say about us, is far more valuable than what we say about ourselves,” said DeHart.
To learn more about this nonprofit people can read the monthly newsletter or visit their website www.forhaitiwithlove.org. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1017, Palm Harbor, FL 34682-1017.