Haiti Earthquake

Little Haiti Based Non-Profit to Benefit from May 1, 2010 Gala

Chef Paul and Bernice Steinbaum hosting Art of the Palate Gala to benefit Art Studio Miami programs for youth impacted by the Haiti earthquake

March 10, 2010 Miami, FL- Celebrity chef Paul Griffith and renown art gallery curator Bernice Steinbaum will be hosting a gala May 1, 2010 to benefit Little Haiti based Art Studio Miami (ASM).  The gala will be held at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in the Wynwood Art District, 3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33127.  All proceeds from the event will benefit programs for youth impacted by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  Tickets and sponsorships for the event are available for sale at www.ASMHelpLittleHaiti.org.

ASM annually serves approximately 200 youth from the impoverished area of Little Haiti, and staff and volunteers have been working around the clock to serve the needs of youth that have lost family and friends. 

ASM has been at the center of the Haitian relief efforts since the earthquake.  Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL) addressed news crews the week after the disaster at the City of Miami’s staging area for Haiti relief, located directly across the street from ASM.  Meek called for local organizations to provide leadership and support during the long period of rebuilding.

 “South Florida is in this for the long haul; this will be the center for the recovery. . . we are going to need leadership and understanding,'' said Meek.

In response to Meek’s appeal, ASM volunteers and staff have been working around the clock to serve youth impacted by the earthquake, doubling programs for at-risk youth.  To offset the costs of increased programs, celebrity chef Paul Griffith, best known to followers as Chef Paul, and renown gallery owner Bernice Steinbaum, are hosting Art Studio Miami’s innagural gala, Art of the Palate.  Funds from the event will benefit services and programs at ASM. 

“In the wake of this disaster, people are forgetting that many Haitian people who have already immigrated to Miami are in desperately impoverished conditions, living below the poverty level, which in several cases means homelessness, no running water, and little to no food or water,” said Degi.  “Chef Paul and Bernice Steinbaum are stepping in to support our efforts to provide opportunities for youth to thrive despite challenges arising from this disaster.”

Since 2007, ASM has served over 500 youth from Little Haiti and Overtown using creative, art based projects to nurture students’ creative thinking abilities and prepare them for classroom settings and job situations.  The organization partners with professional artists and community leaders to provide students with mentors and concrete tools to remain in school, and gain stable employment after graduation. 

Event sponsors include Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Chef Paul, These Are All Our Children, DUO Magazine, IRREVERSIBLE Magazine, University of Miami HOPE Public Resource Center, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division LSD, Shop2Donate, Orange Stain Productions, Make Art Matter, and Mount Degi & Associates.  

For more information please contact Beth Degi, Art Studio Miami at 786.250-ART1 or Beth@ArtStudioMiami.org.

For more information visit www.ASMHelpLittleHaiti.org.  To view ASM programs in action watch the ASM video at www.blip.tv/file/2124377.




Wyclef and Yele in the news again

Wyclef_Jean_girlfriend_Yele Wow, just when you thought the drama was over, scandal about Wyclef Jean and his charity, Yele Haiti, are back in the news. This time Jean is accused of paying his mistress $105,000 through the charity in 2008.

The alleged mistress, Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus, is listed as vice president with Yele and is also Jean's personal assistant. Their relationship is supposedly no secret and Jean is in an open marriage.  

This would be an appropriate place to insert a persnicky remark but I won't. Let's hope Wyclef Jean addresses this issue right away. Folks may not connect the dots that the $105,000 was spent before the earthquake in 2010. they also may not get this open marriage arrangement between Jean and his wife.

Whatever the real deal is I'm sure the IRS is poring through the financial records of Yele Haiti with a fine tooth comb and we'll hear more on that if it's newsworthy. As far as Wyclef and a girlfriend, well, that's up to him and his wife; we'll hear more about that also, if it's newsworthy.

Source: Miami New Times


Thank you to Osun's Village Miami for this information:


Osun's Village Miami February 4 at 7:13pm Report
People who give to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti can claim these donations on the tax return they are completing this season, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their 2009 return qualify for this special tax relief provision, enacted January 22. Only cash contributions made to these charities after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card, or debit card.

"Americans have opened their hearts to help those affected by the Haiti earthquake," said IRS commissioner Doug Shulman. "This new law provides an immediate tax benefit for the many taxpayers who have made generous donations."

Taxpayers can benefit from their donations, almost immediately, by filing their 2009 returns early, filing electronically, and choosing direct deposit. Refunds take as few as 10 days and can be directly deposited into a savings, checking, or brokerage account, or used to purchase Series I U.S. savings bonds.

The new law only applies to cash (as opposed to property) contributions. The contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. Taxpayers have the option of deducting these contributions on either their 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both.

To get a tax benefit, taxpayers must itemize their deductions on Schedule A. Those who claim the standard deduction, including all short-form filers, are not eligible.

Taxpayers should be sure their contributions go to qualified charities. Most organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations are listed in a searchable online database available on IRS.gov under Search for Charities. [Editor's note: Donations made through GuideStar's online giving system also qualify for the deduction, as only eligible nonprofits have "Donate Now" buttons on GuideStar.] Some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed on IRS.gov. Donors can find out more about organizations helping Haitian earthquake victims from agencies such as USAID.

The IRS reminds donors that contributions to foreign organizations generally are not deductible. IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, provides information on making contributions to charities.

Federal law requires that taxpayers keep a record of any deductible donations they make. For donations by text message, a telephone bill will meet the recordkeeping requirement if it shows the name of the donee organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. For cash contributions made by other means, be sure to keep a bank record, such as a cancelled check, or a receipt from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Publication 526 has further details on the recordkeeping rules for cash contributions.

This year's special Haiti relief provision is modeled on a 2005 law that, in the wake of the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami, allowed taxpayers to deduct donations they made during January 2005 as if they made the donations in 2004.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service
January 26, 2010

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United Way Operation Helping Hands grants $500,000 to nonprofits


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today, United Way of Miami-Dade announced initial grants totaling $500,000 to four nonprofits providing emergency relief in Haiti.  Funding for these grants comes through Operation Helping Hands, a joint disaster relief fund created by United Way of Miami-Dade, The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald, Univision 23 and Univision Radio.

The grants will be used to provide critically needed emergency supplies to people in Haiti.  The organizations receiving the grants are World Vision, University of Miami’s Project Medishare, Food for the Poor and the Pan American Development Foundation.

“We are pleased to be able to make these grants on behalf of hundreds of individuals and organizations who made donations this week to Operation Helping Hands,” Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade, said. “We selected these organizations because they have a long and successful history of working in Haiti, providing services to the Haitian people.  We’ve also worked with many of these organizations after other disasters and know they are effective and accountable.”

“It's gratifying to see how this community has responded to the urgency of Haiti's need.   We're glad that our assistance will have such an immediate impact," said David Landsberg, publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald.
World Vision has been operating programs in Haiti for more than 30 years.  A grant of $325,000 will be used to purchase and distribute relief supplies – including food, clean water, blankets, and tents to children and families impacted by the earthquake and aftershocks in Haiti.

University of Miami’s Project Medishare has been working in Haiti since 1995, providing medical care and community development assistance in the country.  A $100,000 grant will fund medical supplies and medical care. 

Food for the Poor is an interdenominational ministry that not only provides food assistance, but also builds small houses, digs water wells, provides medicine and medical equipment for the sick and elderly, and supports orphanages and education for children in numerous countries around the world.  This agency has worked in Haiti for years and has a strong distribution network among churches in the country.  A $25,000 grant will be used to transport and deliver urgently needed water, rice and canned food. 

Pan American Development Foundation has a disaster expert team in Port-au-Prince and is sending additional experts from the Dominican Republic to assist in the relief efforts. A $50,000 grant will be used for shelter kits with tents, tarps, water purification tables; food; and medical supplies.
“We have all been moved by the tragic events in Haiti this past week,” Sheldon Anderson, board chair, United Way of Miami-Dade, said. “This is just a first step in what will be a long and difficult recovery process.  The Haitian people need our help and I am grateful to the many generous, caring people who have extended a helping hand to our neighbors in need.”

United Way and The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald activated Operation Helping Hands immediately following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.  100% of funds raised through Operation Helping Hands will go to support relief and recovery efforts in Haiti.  Monetary donations made to Operation Helping Hands will go directly to help the people of Haiti through nonprofit organizations working on the ground.

To make a donation:

  • log on to www.iwant2help.org
  • send a check payable to Operation Helping Hands, c/o United Way of Miami-Dade, P.O. Box # 459007, Miami, Florida 33245-9007.
  • call 1-800-226-3320

Operation Helping Hands was created in 1998 in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes Mitch and Georges, and has been reactivated several times since to help Floridians extend a helping hand to help those involved in emergency situations.

Hope for Haiti Now Telethon [VIDEO]

I didn't watch the entire Hope for Haiti Now telethon. I did manage to see the performances of Madonna and the other celebs after her. I must say that Wyclef Jean, even after the latest controversy, was off the chain --- if that terminology is still used any more.

This performance was a lesson in the power and influence of music. The Junkanoo, Carnaval and Mardi Gras units in New Orleans all dance to that same beat with practically the same movement.

The total donations hasn't been announced but the Canadians donated more than $9 million. GEorge Clooney donated $1 million as did Leonardo Di Caprio.

"Earthquake We see the Earth Shake but the soul of the Haitian people will never break!!"

South Florida music community unites for Haiti Mizik Relief


The South Florida music community has come together quickly to present a two-day benefit concert: a chance to enjoy great music and raise much needed relief funds for Haiti. The concert line up includes legendary Haitian big band The Dixie Band featuring all star guests like Tuco Bouzi, members of Tabou Combo and Top Vice, Strings, Nu-look and more; Kazak International; Locos Por Juana, The Spam All Stars, Suenalo, Conjunto Progreso, Afrobeta, Lanzallamas Monofonica, TapTap Band, Rara Rock and Empress Addi; Jean P Jam, Jah Fe, Mr. Pauer and more.Admission is by your donation to the American Red Cross.


Sat., Jan. 23 4:00pm-10:00pm

Sun., Jan. 24 2:00pm-8:00pm


Tina Hill Pavilion at Bayfront Park
301 N. Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL


MDC Hosts Community Candlelight Vigil for Earthquake Victims in Haiti Jan. 26

Candlelightvigil_0 MIAMI, Jan. 21, 2010 – Continuing its collegewide campaign on behalf of Haiti’s earthquake victims, Miami Dade College (MDC) will host a community candlelight vigil at its eight campuses and centers at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010.

The vigil will be a public memorial that will include a moment of silence and meditation, a celebration of life ceremony, music, poetry readings, and oral presentations about the culture and history of Haiti, and other activities.

WHAT:   MDC Community Candlelight Vigil for Earthquake Victims in Haiti

WHEN:   Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010

6 p.m.

WHERE:    Miami Dade College’s Campuses and Centers:

Kendall Campus, the Koffeehouse, 11011 S.W. 104th St., Miami 33176

North Campus, Bldg 4, Atrium, 11380 N.W. 27th Ave., Miami 33167

Wolfson Campus, Fountain Area, Bldg 1, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., downtown Miami 33132

Medical Center Campus, Student Life Patio, 950 N.W. 20th St., Miami 33127

Homestead Campus, Café Patio, 500 College Ter., Homestead 33030

InterAmerican Campus, Flag Courtyard, 627 S.W. 27th Ave., Miami 33135

Hialeah Campus, Pavilion, 1776 W. 49th St., Hialeah, 33012

West Center, Campus, Student Patio, 3800 N.W. 115th Ave., Doral 33178

Carrie Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center, Atrium, 6300 N.W. 7th Ave., Miami 33150

For more information about the MDC Candlelight Vigil for Haiti, contact Lourdes Perez at 305-237-6001 or lperez@mdc.edu.

Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

Posted on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

Hundreds file for Temporary Protected Status at Little Haiti church


Hundreds of undocumented Haitian immigrants crowded inside Notre Dame D'Haiti Catholic Church on Monday seeking help in filing applications for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, a special federal immigration program that will allow them to remain legally in the United States and obtain work permits.

Getting a work permit was a priority for many of the more than 500 people, many of whom had relatives in earthquake-torn Haiti.

``My house in Port-au-Prince collapsed during the earthquake,'' said Jacques Claudore Deravil, 50. ``I need to work to send money to my wife and children who have been sleeping in the streets since the earthquake.''


Wyclef strikes back

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

Haitian singer Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti, has been trashed in the media for how monies it has raised in the past have been spent. Unfortunately, for Jean the reports lingered far too long before he issued a response so the damage done to his fundraising effort is unknown.

We do know from reports that Yele Haiti raised $2 million dollars in two days. Donors were able to send a text message that would donate $5 to Haiti earthquake relief. Requests to donate traveled quickly throughout the internet. I donated and encouraged others to donate by sending messages through my Twitter accounts, Facebook and MySpace.

Then I saw this: From the Christian Science Monitor and other sources ---

On Yéle's website, the group claims "100 percent of funds raised (will) go to the relief operation." Claims such as this should be taken with a grain of salt….

"There are always going to be some overhead expenses — there is going to be a transaction expense for a credit card donation. So when those types of messages are made about 100 percent going [to a group's work], even if the charity is getting its other money to pay for those expenses, the fact is the expenses are still there."

Statement from Wyclef Jean

"My commitment to Haiti is a unique and everlasting bond."

"I formalized that commitment when I formed my first foundation, in 1994. From that day forward, I have spent tireless hours working on behalf of my homeland on development issues as well as human and immigrant rights.

"I have been committed to helping the people of Haiti throughout my life, and that commitment will continue until the day I die.

"It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation, Yele Haiti. The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further.

"I first learned of these baseless attacks when I left Haiti late Friday, where I had been since 12 hours after the earthquake.

"Let me be clear: I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti. These baseless attacks are simply not true.

"In fact, I have, time and again, committed significant amounts of my own money to support the work of Yele Haiti and other organizations in support of our efforts over the years.

"More than that, I have spent countless hours, days, months and years of my life committed to the country of Haiti, the people of Haiti and the success of Haiti.

"These baseless allegations were first put forward by a fringe website with a history of pursuing sensationalist story lines. The mainstream media's pursuit of them has required Yele to divert precious resources during this critical time in order to answer various inquiries. That must end.

"I will continue to commit my focus to what is most important right now: Haiti. Right now, Yele is working with its valuable NGO partners, the U.S. Government, the United Nations and so many others to save lives, honor those who have perished and get aid to the millions of Haitians suffering through the worst human catastrophe of our times.

"I will never give up on my commitment."


Related link: Wyclef Jean's Foundation Questionable Spending

Haiti Watch: Keep Haiti’s needs in the forefront

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

We have been inundated with coverage of the crisis in Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. People all over the world are poised to assist with relief and recovery efforts but actually putting that in action has not happened quickly enough because of the destruction of access points to the islands ---the seaport, airport, roads and bridges.

It is difficult to watch the desperation, destruction and death on television. Several photos are circulating the internet that give the unsanitized version of what the people are dealing with in Port-au-Prince and Petionville. I have yet see any coverage from Jacmel where friends here have received messages from family expressing extreme hunger and thirst.

I won't rehash what you've likely read or seen already but I must reiterate the need to pace ourselves and commit to a comprehensive plan to rebuild Haiti. How many of you are willing to do that? President Obama has received tremendous criticism from some Americans for his swift response to support Haiti. Some have also expressed extreme disagreement with efforts to bring Haitian children to this country in a similar manner of Operation Pedro Pan for Cuban children in the early 1960's. And the granting TPS (Temporary Protective Status) has sent some folks through the roof. When all is said and done, we can agree to disagree on this issue. Those who support our government's assistance to Haiti must not remain silent in support of our government's efforts to help the Haitian people.

While we cannot and do not want to forget the devastation to Haiti; it is crucial to remember the beauty of the nation also.

This blog is on Haiti watch and will follow the relief and recovery efforts. Stay alert! Stay connected! Help the people of Haiti, Follow Blogging Black Miami on Twitter and get updates on my Facebook page.