February 2012 Update

**We’re going to post our monthly email updates here on the blog. You’ll be able to find links to past editions on the Updates page in the future. If you would like to receive these in your inbox please visit our website and sign up.

February 2012 Update

Dear Friends and Supporters of Clean Water for Haiti:

Another year of work and ministry is underway here at Clean Water for Haiti and so far we’re off to a good start.

In our December email update we shared that while we were able to work at a good, steady rate of production in 2011, there was a chance that we would be cutting back in 2012 if our funding was slow coming in.

We always want to be good stewards of what we are entrusted with, and that means spending responsibly and working at a level that is consistent. It’s not responsible to know that we have a certain amount of funding available, then to work until it’s gone and stand there wondering what happened. It is responsible to look at what we have and make a calculated decision about how we can best use it with the most positive results.

As we looked at the funding we have available right now the most responsible thing we could do is to cut our work week back to three days from five. This has been a hard decision for Chris and I. Not only does it mean less filters getting out each month, but we know that our employees have families that are dependent on their work at the mission. As I was doing pay roll last week it was hard to be putting less money in the envelopes, knowing that it would be hard for their families to make due. But, we would rather keep all our employees working some days, than lay off a few to give the others full time work.

So, the question begs asking… What do we need to get back up to full production?

I think I can safely say that one of the most uncomfortable conversations to have is anything that involves money. It’s easy for us to shy away because we don’t want to be those people. But, we have a God entrusted responsibility. If we don’t tell you what our needs are, then how can you know how to be involved? It’s our job to be here doing, and at some point you made the decision to let us know you wanted to support that, so I’m going to be very frank with you.

When we’re at full production and installing about 200 filters each month our average expenses run around $12,000-13,000. In this is about $2,500-3,000 for payroll, about $3,000 for materials to build and install the filters. We have vehicle expenses that can range from $750-2,000 and include everything from fuel to maintenance and repairs. We have general operations to cover which would include fuel for our generator (our main source of power), office supplies, telephone and internet expenses, security expenses, and maintenance and repairs on our facilities. Of course, there are always other expenses that pop up in any given month, but you get the idea. It takes money to make this place run.

Recently I was reading some articles about fundraising for non-profits, and the underlying idea that people expect non-profits to be really productive – for next to nothing. The truth is working in Haiti is expensive. Things cost money. They are not free. We need our donors to do what we do, or we just can’t do it. We try to make our funds go as far as they can, but we can only do so much before we need to increase the funding we have coming in.

We’ve been happy to see our donations have gone up in December and January and we’re hoping and praying this is a new trend. Until we see a consistent difference though, we’ll be maintaining operations at 3 days a week.

We know you care about the people of Haiti. That’s why you signed up to receive these emails in the first place. We’re asking you to dig deep now and to consider how you can further support the work of Clean Water for Haiti this year. A filter literally changes the life of a family here. As a mother, it breaks my heart to think of the feeling of helplessness that most mothers here must feel on a daily basis when they look at their kids and know that they’re letting them drink dirty water. Water that can be a death sentence. We can help change that. Children don’t need to die from something as simple as dirty water. We can change it.

Water sources like these are the norm in Haiti, and are one of the leading causes of disease.

 The year is still new. There’s still time to make some decisions about how you want to make an impact on the world this year. We can install a Biosand filter in a Haitian home for just over $50. That one filter can help an entire family. How can your family, or you as an individual, make a difference this year?
What would it take to help ONE family in Haiti this year? I can tell you – a single donation of $50.

SIX families? $25/month.

TWELVE families – about 120 people – $50/month.

When it gets broken down like that it doesn’t seem so hard.

Some young boys at a school in the Artibonite Valley where many of our filters are installed.

 I would love to challenge you to think about how you can do something different this year that would lead to life change. Maybe it means sitting down as a family and thinking about creative ways to save up $50/month. Maybe you decide to cut out junk food or certain entertainment things so that a family in Haiti can have access to clean water. Kids love to get on board with these types of things. Did you know that in 2010 an elementary school project in New York state raised over $10,000 for Clean Water for Haiti through a penny drive? Maybe deciding to go without a large coffee on the way to work from your favorite place just 3 days a week means you can help families in Haiti. The average large coffee costs about $2.50. In a year you could help over 7 families get a filter – just by not buying coffee three days a week.

Some of our donors have signed up for subscription payments through Paypal. Did you know this option was available? It is! If you don’t want to give online, you can also send post dated checks to either of our mailing addresses to commit a monthly donation. Of course, you don’t need to commit to anything to give, you can just do it any time either online or through mail in donations.

One of our goals this year is to be more specific about our needs, so you know better how you can help. Sometimes us just saying “we need more funding to build filters” isn’t enough. We’re excited for growth things that we see on the horizon, and next month we want to share more details of how we see those plans unfolding and how you can be part of that.

Until then, help us meet our first goal – getting back up to a 5 day work week so we can help more people have access to clean water, and so our workers can breathe a bit easier knowing the needs of their families are being met.

Michelet finishing up a filter installation in a home.

As I close I want to draw your attention to the address information at the bottom of this email as we’ve had an address change in the US. Please note that all donations to Clean Water for Haiti US should now be mailed to:

Clean Water for Haiti
PO Box 871181
Vancouver, WA  98687

If you have recently sent a donation to our old address we have set up forwarding for the next little while, so don’t worry, it will get to us!

Thank you for all your support, prayers and encouragement as we help change lives here in Haiti. Let’s make 2012 better than ever!

Chris & Leslie Rolling
Executive Directors

Contact Us In Haiti:
Chris – info@cleanwaterforhaiti.org
Leslie – office@cleanwaterforhaiti.org
Phone: (intn’l code)+ 509-3718-8019

Donations can be mailed to:

In Canada:
Higher Purpose Ministries
1295 North Service Rd.
Burlington, ON
L7R 4M2

Cheques payable to “Higher Purpose Ministries” with a note/memo for “Clean Water for Haiti”.

In the US:
Clean Water for Haiti
PO Box 871181
Vancouver, WA  98687

Checks payable to “Clean Water for Haiti”.


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