We are writing to you to update you on the situation in Haiti with the passing of hurricane Sandy. Here in Port-au-Prince the rain has been coming down for three days straight, the most rain we have experienced since the earthquake. We are very lucky that everyone on our staff is safe and dry but our hearts go out to the thousands of people still living under tents whose lives are at risk from flooding and mudslides. Please keep Haiti in your thoughts and prayers this weekend and we will continue to update you on the situation. We also wanted to share with you that SOIL is also weathering another storm, which could directly impact our ability to support our staff and provide sanitation services in the aftermath of Sandy.
Following our most recent newsletter we received some lovely letters from you expressing your relief that we have overcome our recent financial difficulties. Unfortunately, I am afraid that the determinedly optimistic nature that all of us at SOIL share has caused us to downplay the severity of our current situation. Although we have received some wonderful emergency contributions from our friends and supporters, we still face severe funding challenges.
Sadly, SOIL was unable to pay all of our staff members for the month of September, and this month we will fall even further into debt. We have an incredibly dedicated team, and we are so humbled by the SOIL family’s willingness to come together and continue to provide exceptional services, even without pay. Many of our staff members have volunteered to forgo their salaries to ensure that we can continue to provide essential sanitation services to vulnerable communities. That being said, our staff members have their own families and worries, and we absolutely need to find enough funding to continue our operations and pay our staff. It is with this in mind that we ask you, our friends and supporters, to help us in any way that you can.
We need to immediately raise at least $20,000 to ensure that we do not fall further into debt to our staff and to ensure that we can continue to manage our toilets. I know that $20,000 will sound overwhelming to many of you, but together it is achievable. Over 4,000 of you will be receiving this letter today and if each of you gave just $5 we could reach our goal. Please consider making a donation, no matter how large or small. Also consider helping us to broaden our network by reaching out to others (both businesses and individuals) who mayhave the means to support our work.
You can donate quickly online by filling out the form to the right or by sending a check to:
124 Church Rd.
Sherburne, NY 13460
Thank you as always for your love and support.
With love from Port-au-Prince,
Sasha Kramer, Ph.D
Co-founder and Executive Director SOIL
Adjunct Professor of International Studies, University of Miami