By ASHLEY STILLS
Founder and President,
Breath of Life Haiti
Breath of Life Haiti has joined #GivingTuesday, a first of its kind effort that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.
Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place Tuesday, Dec. 2, #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.
Breath of Life Haiti is 501(c)3 organization with a mission to fight maternal and infant mortality in Dèsarmes, Haiti by offering a breath of life through providing prenatal and delivery care while sharing God’s Word and the love of Christ. With a population of 10 million, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Much of the country is rural and underdeveloped with a lack of infrastructure and access to medical facilities or emergency transportation. Due to geographic remoteness and socioeconomic status, many mothers in Haiti do not receive the care they require. In fact, only about 25 percent of births in Haiti are attended by a skilled provider.
As a result, Haiti is the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere to give birth. Most of these maternal deaths are caused by eclampsia, sepsis and postpartum hemorrhage. In other words, most of these deaths are preventable.
Breath of Life is currently raising money for land for the birthing center. The birthing center will be a safe place where expectant mothers will be able to receive prenatal and postnatal care, give birth in a more controlled environment with trained midwives and birth attendants and rest after delivery.
“Breath of Life’s heart and mission is to breathe life into the the women, children and community through God’s Word and the love of Christ. The organization was founded on Genesis 2:7, “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” Not only do we strive to fight for the lives of mothers and babies by reducing mortality but our desire is to also breathe eternal life through God’s Word. We are so excited about this opportunity to partner with #GivingTuesday and hope to raise finances along with awareness for our organization and even women globally,” said Ashley Stills, Breath of Life Haiti’s founder.
Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by the 92nd Street Y, came together to find ways to promote and celebrate the great American tradition of giving. Thought leaders in philanthropy, social media and grassroots organizing joined with 92Y to explore what is working in modern philanthropy and how to expand these innovations throughout the philanthropic sector. The concept gained steam, and with the help of the United Nations Foundation and other founding partners, more than 10,000 organizations have joined the movement and are providing creative ways people can embrace #GivingTuesday and collaborate in their giving efforts to create more meaningful results.
“It’s been a privilege to work with remarkable leaders all over the country building a movement around #GivingTuesday,” said Henry Timms, 92Y’s Executive Director. “This initiative has truly been crowd- sourced by some of the smartest and most connected minds among the next generation of philanthropists and entrepreneurs.”
“#GivingTuesday is a counter narrative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday because it reminds us that the
spirit of the holiday giving season should be about community and not just consumerism,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “The most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends and neighbors is the commitment to work together to help build a better world.”
Those who are interested in joining Breath of Life Haiti’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit www.youcaring.com/givingtuesdayforbreathoflifehaiti to make online donations.