Plant With Purpose Helps Haitians Prepare for Hurricane Season

Written by Plant With Purpose on June 2, 2010 in General

by Kate McElhinney

Today marks the official start of hurricane season in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, this season is predicted to be one of the wettest on record according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which estimates that as many as 23 tropical storms will hit the Caribbean this year. Tropical Storm Agatha already ravaged parts of Central America last weekend, and more storms are predicted to be brewing.

For the hundreds of thousands of Haitian earthquake victims, hurricane season looms as another treacherous obstacle. Many only have tarps or fraying tents to protect them in a major storm, and eroded hillsides threaten to become deadly mudslides when provoked by heavy rains.

Despite this grim prediction, Plant With Purpose remains dedicated to helping rural farmers to prepare for the rainy season. Our Haitian staff were on the ground in Haiti at the time of the earthquake and were able to respond immediately to the crisis. Though historically a sustainable development organization, we have expanded our post-earthquake role in Haiti to include aid efforts that promote long-term growth and prosperity, including our “Cash for Work” program and food and seed distribution. Since January 12th, we’ve raised nearly $1 million to help in these efforts.

Here are some quick statistics of our progress since January 12th:

-136,868 trees planted

-2,120 people employed through our “Cash for Work” program

-nearly 80,000 lbs. of bean seed distributed

-nearly 250,000 lbs. of rice distributed

-over 4 miles of road repaired

By employing local farmers, distributing food, and planting trees Plant With Purpose is supplying farmers with the tools and the knowledge they need to get back on their feet and replant and reforest their land before the hurricane season gets under way. Some farmers have already harvested bean crops, which provide nutritious food for their families as well as a valuable product to sell at the market.

Stay tuned for more updates on Haiti, and if you would like to help or learn more please visit:

Kate McElhinney serves as the Marketing Coordinator for Plant With Purpose. She plays an integral role in executing the company’s marketing campaigns and PR efforts. Kate also coordinates the annual gala and oversees the production of the company newsletter, The Sower.

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