This is the continued story of Easton Farber's experience in Haiti and how he was inspired to make a difference upon his return to the United States.
Driving from the airport we passed the market and saw piles and piles of clothing that had been donated. I remember seeing a heavy leather coat on top of one such pile. Really? The temperature in Haiti feels like walking on the Sun! How is a heavy leather coat helping? My grandfather told me about a book he had read that helped shape KORE’s approach to working in Haiti. He told me a story about a church that started donating eggs to a village in Africa after a disaster much like the earthquake in Haiti. They had good intentions and thought they were helping. Unfortunately, with all the free eggs coming into the village, the local farmers were put out of business. A year later, a disaster happened in another faraway place and the church moved on. Now this village had no eggs, no farmers, and was worse off than before the disaster. My grandfather said he wanted to focus on going “beyond relief” for a sustainable, lasting impact. Everything started to make sense!
It became clear to me that what people need to be successful in this life are opportunities and resources. People living in extreme poverty need someone who is willing to come alongside them and give them a hand up instead of another handout.
On this trip, we were looking for the parents of twins, named Abigail and Jefferson, who are living in the horrible orphanage. KORE wanted to provide the opportunity and the necessary resources to these parents to start their own business in hopes that they would be able to reunite with their children. I came home from Haiti determined to make a difference.
We moved from Jacksonville, Florida to Gallatin, Tennessee in 2011. One of the things we missed, besides the beach, were the “Hot Boiled P-Nuts” carts on every corner. So I recruited a few friends and we started selling boiled peanuts at the front of our neighborhood. I also created and distributed a flyer to my neighbors titled “Easton Farber the Lawn Barber.” I thought that was pretty creative. For each lawn I cut, I donated $6.25 to KORE, which feeds a child for an entire month. Now that I am working as a manager at Five Guys, I continue to support the work of KORE Foundation. I also chose to work with KORE during my senior project to increase awareness among my peers to look at philanthropy in a new way. We have been hosting viewing parties of the documentary “Poverty, Inc.” and challenging our friends to find ways to invest in sustainable solutions to extreme poverty. Several of us are planning a trip to Haiti during our spring break this March.
The trip to Haiti had a huge impact on my life and my worldview. I learned that we all have the ability to help, and that it doesn’t take much to make a huge difference. I am very grateful to have been born in a country where opportunities and resources are abundant. I will not take them for granted.
On a side note, we were actually able to make it to the beach in Gressier, Haiti before heading back to Tennessee. It was beautiful indeed.
Easton is a senior at Station Camp High School in Gallatin, TN. He happily shared his experience with his trip with KORE Foundation in hopes to educate and inspire others to make a difference. The contribution, no matter how large or how small, can go a long way in changing the life of a citizen of Haiti.