Dina's Blog

  • Light Haiti

    The smiles speak volumes from the Haitian residents with their new solar lights.

    One of the biggest gifts for me this holiday season came from one of the poorest regions of the world: Haiti.

    I was blessed to experience one of the most encouraging philanthropic projects of my career. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Mission Waco/Mission World, New Vision Renewable Energy and the many Dwyer Group associates and franchisees who participated, one of the most impoverished villages in Haiti is a better place today with large supply of renewable solar lights.

    Simply referred to as our “Light Haiti” campaign, the work culminated in a life-changing trip on November 5th. A team of us traveled to the Haitian village of Ferrier Nord Est and delivered solar lights to change the homes and lives of countless residents. To say this made an impact on the men, women and children of this community is an understatement.

    They sang “How Great Thou Art” in French for the gifts we brought.

    The living conditions of this region are beyond underdeveloped. And for the people who can afford it, the most common source of light for their homes are kerosene lanterns – a costly option that can cause fires and, when burning in an enclosed space, creates a health hazard equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes per day.

    The solar lights that we delivered are a clean, renewable energy source that has changed that. Thanks to the labor of Dwyer Group associates and students from Waco’s Lake Air Montessori School near our corporate headquarters, more than 1,000 volunteer hours were spent assembling the lights to take to Haiti.

    And, once there, our team was charged with delivering these lights and teaching members of the community how to care for them. In order to receive a solar light, each person had to perform 65 hours of community service and attend our two-hour training sessions. We didn’t just give to a good cause. We helped educate people to also help themselves.

    Training was provided to take care of the solar lights.

    The reception that we received was overwhelming. From some of the poorest people in the world, some of the biggest smiles and loving hearts were revealed. The people of Ferrier cried, embraced us and the entire crowd sang “How Great Thou Art” in French.

    Sometimes you can’t put a price on the impact of fundraising and philanthropic missions.

    You can’t just put a price on the solar lights that have been delivered. After all, what price would you give for a healthier home and, literally, a brighter future?

    Plus, everyone who participated in our Light Haiti project has shared his or her appreciation for the opportunity to get involved in such a life-changing cause. Whether they helped by donating money, assembling lights, promoting the program or traveling all the way to Haiti with the team, people joined together in a great example of giving to others.

    As an organization, Dwyer Group always strives to Live R.I.C.H. through our Code of Values, pushing the boundaries of how we can live and lead with values like Respect, Integrity, Customer focus and Having fun in the process. Light Haiti was a new adventure that let us reach 1,700 miles away to a foreign country and Live R.I.C.H. in a whole new way.

    There is still more work to be done. And there are more people who need these lights. If you want to help us light the hearts and homes of more recipients, you are invited to make a tax-free contribution by going to this link: https://goo.gl/ZnJHzP.

    Here’s to many more brighter days ahead for this amazing community and their part of the world.