In anticipation of our celebration for St. Luke's Hospital, which will be held in New York City on January 14th, and is in honor of Madame Marie Fenestor and generously hosted by our friend Kenneth Cole, I sent the following email to my old friends in New York, where I lived for years before landing in Haiti.
Dear Friends in, around, or from New York,
When I left Brooklyn I wouldn't have thought that seven years later I'd be sending out emails and trying like hell to get you to consider attending an event featuring a supermodel and a Catholic priest. As it turns out though, she is rather kind, generous, and down to earth, and he is the most impressive person I've ever met.
In truth, I'd rather be emailing you about meeting up for a New Year's drink at the Brooklyn Inn, or asking if you've started Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels yet, or checking in on how you're dealing with the Mets defeat, or sending photos of my sons...but I'm not. It would be more fun...or at least lighter/simpler. I don't want to be a fundraiser. It's not my cup of tea, really.
Despite that fact, I am compelled, by the experiences in Haiti that have led me to this moment, to write to you and personally ask you for your help, the reason being that some of my best friends in the world are counting on me.
They aren't counting on me to valiantly save the day, that's not what I mean. In fact it is they who save the day. They are counting on me just to help build bridges, to share information, and to give people a chance to help them continue to help others.
Saving the day...how can I write that without a trace of a smirk?
Doesn't it feel...silly?
No, it doesn't feel silly, because it is actually and factually what they do.
The fact is, and I know this because I've seen it, a lot of people die needlessly every day in Haiti. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, dying from something that should be merely an inconvenience, because there simply aren't enough doctors and hospitals.
I've watched it happen, there is nothing abstract about it, it is real and I've seen it.
The more important fact is that my friends in Haiti can prevent that from happening, and they do it, over and over, every day. Because of their work, people live that would have died. That simple.
And....they need your help. It just comes down to math. The people whose lives need saving can't come close to paying for the care that saves them. In Haiti we are doing a million things to help trim the margins, create revenue, cut costs. From going solar, to raising chickens and fish, to hosting medical education conferences, we are doing anything and everything we can to minimize the substantial amount we need to raise in donations to keep things moving.
That said, we need help and we will always need help.
The way that I'm asking you to help, is fun, which brings me back to the supermodel, and the Catholic priest, as well as Kenneth Cole, Jozy Altidore, and a chance for you and I to have a drink in New York.
And so...in the spirit of
a) Taking advantage of a rare opportunity to actually save people's lives
b) Having a drink with your old buddy Wynn, along with Kenneth Cole, Adriana Lima, Jozy Altidore, and my friend Father Rick Frechette,
Please visit the site below and please pass it along to anyone and everyone in New York who might be interested. Please take five minutes to think about who you might share this with?
I also paste some more information on the event (play soccer with Jozy Altidore!), and link two videos about St. Luke below.
Thanks for reading as ever,
From 6:30 to 7:30 we will have a special Get to Know Our Hosts...this will entail opportunities to a) have a Portuguese lesson with Adriana Lima, b) have Jozy Altidore shoot a (small) soccer ball on you (in a small goal). c) Talk about Social Impact with Kenneth Cole...and potentially a few other fun things.
This will be a way to ensure that guests have a chance to meet our hosts while also learning about our programs. (Adriana will be in the Health information section, Jozy in Housing and Clean Water, Kenneth in Cite Soleil programs, etc) Please be sure to share this info with those who you're inviting! Father Rick will float between the sections, chatting and participating.