I have never been to Haiti. Yes, you read that right: I’ve never been to Haiti. You may be wondering how I am writing a blog post for an organization that is well, in Haiti, but stick with me, because I wondered the same thing when I was asked to write this.
I found out about Jasper House through two of my friends who were on the planning committee for the Rise and Empower Gala this past spring. They invited me to come to the gala to learn more about Jasper House, and I never pass up an opportunity to get dressed up, so I told them I would go. In the time leading up to the gala though, I began to think “I’ve never been to Haiti, so why am I going to this gala?” I was worried that everyone around me would be talking about all the amazing experiences they have had in Haiti, and I wouldn’t have anything to share. I was afraid that people would wonder why I was there when I had never stepped foot in Haiti. I was terrified someone would ask me question about the country that I didn’t know the answer to. My friends had both been to Haiti the month before the gala, and I felt like this was more of their thing, not mine.
I ended up going to the gala, and I am more than glad that I did. I remember sitting in that room, watching a video about all that Jasper House does in Haiti, and being so inspired by that. I was inspired by all that they do to build up strong women. I love that they provide these women with skills so that they can earn a living. I love that they get to learn and grow every single day. I believe that every woman in the world deserves that. When we were asked to consider giving to Jasper House, I was hesitant. How could I give towards an organization focused on a place I knew very little about? An overwhelming feeling came over me and I found myself filling out the giving card, and turning it in. I realized in that moment, that just because my feet have never walked the streets of Haiti, does not mean that I can’t support those who have. Just because I haven’t been to Haiti, does not meant that I don’t believe in everything that Jasper House does and stands for. Just because I’ve never been to Haiti, does not mean I can’t support all the work that is happening there.
Don’t count yourself out just because you haven’t experienced something. If you believe in it and you’re passionate about it, figure out a way to support it. I hope that one day, I will have the opportunity to go to Haiti. But I know that even if I never get that chance, I have the opportunity to support an amazing organization that is doing incredible work there. I may not ever see the effect of my support first-hand, but I know that through my gift, women in Haiti are being empowered, they are learning, and they are being given opportunities that they may not have ever gotten if it weren’t for Jasper House. If we doubt ourselves, and the impact we could make, nothing in the world will ever change. So, take a leap of faith, do that thing you never thought you could, because who knows, someday it could change the world.
Written by: Kelsi Curtin