Two years ago today, in Haiti, on 11/11/11 @ 11AM (date & time not planned by the way), Rise2shine opened its doors for the first time. What started in a small rented house with 20 very malnourished children, grew to a brand new school with, feeding and educating 50 of the poorest of the poor.

All this done in a way that sets an example to be modeled by other charities. Lean, raw, direct aid to the kids.

But what started as a journey to bring change to others, ended up changing us. It clarified and redefined who we are.

It made us realize:

-We believe in helping the poorest (Haiti is the 3rd hungriest country in the world)

-We believe in trust, proof and transparency (by proof of where the money is going)

-We believe small is big (when it comes to giving 50 children not just hope, but food and an education)

-We believe in diversity and inclusion (a multi-cultural team of people helping in yet another culture)

-We believe ordinary people can do extraordinary things (we are not retired billionaires, just regular folks)

-We believe giving back now is ten times the man of hoping for later (we realized we shouldn’t wait till “we’ve made it”)

-We believe in bringing the best pound for pound change (and we can do amazing things although we do not get a dime for it)

We’ve fought like our lives depended on it to come this far. Yet, it certainly would not have been possible without people and organizations like:

Wendy Zehner, Haitian Christian Mission, Edwens Prophete, Theo Prophete, Tim Taylor, Andrew Ryan, Joana Pinto Leite, Thonny Fabien, Jonas Dorlus, Afonso Salcedo, Sidney Erthal, Sonal Shah, Mina Kazemian, Sarah Charles, Jan Mullen, David Dennard, Sam Cossman, Adam Jacobowitz, Paul Neary, Naz Beheshti, Orgesi Pandeli, Jayson Morris, Neha Vaitha, Madam Gilbert, Bruni Dorlus, Gilbert Guerrier, Jit Vaitha