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Helping the Children of Haiti

By Callie Himsl, MP Graphic Artist

In May of this year, one of Modern Postcard's Graphic Artists, Callie Himsl, journeyed to Haiti with World Orphans to help children affected by the devastating earthquake. Amazingly, this trip was the second time Callie used her own personal time for volunteer work and to do her part to create change in the world. Check out her moving story.

I have always had a heart for helping others. Not by any obligation, but by desire. I know that I am very blessed in this life, and I feel it is only right to share that with others. I love children, and orphans especially strike a chord in my heart.

Back in 2010, I was given the opportunity to go to Kenya, Africa, where I fell in love with the orphans I met there. These children do not have parents for numerous, horrific reasons, from genocide, to war, AIDS and disease, as well as a never ending cycle of extreme poverty. These children are vulnerable and in need of help, with no one to protect them or provide the very fundamentals every child needs: an education, medical care, food, safety, and love. By working with these children, I realized that change starts with every individual.

I decided that I wanted to be part of creating a new cycle full of health and love, so that each child could grow up and teach their community the same skills they learned. And hopefully from there, the community could teach the city, the city could teach the state, the state could teach the country and so on. Maybe I could be part of making a change?

Because of this desire, I jumped at the chance to spend two weeks in Haiti working with World Orphans, a NGO (non-government organization) committed to orphan prevention, rescue, care and transition programs in the least reached areas of the world. This incredible group partners with local people to achieve the highest impact possible, teaching skills that help communities become self-sustainable. Their trip was scheduled for May of this year, and I was on board.

By the time I arrived in Haiti, it had been about 2 years since the tragic earthquake happened, but the country is still in a state of devastation. And with a population of about 10 million, there are nearly 400,000 orphans. During my two weeks in Haiti, we explored all types of orphanages including government-run, church-based, family style homes, transitional homes and more. We also did house visits and delivered over 60 water filters that will never go bad. Every day was a different experience – full of tragedy and sadness, yet somehow filled with hope.

We spent one day at an orphanage for children with terminal illness. Many of the disease they had would be preventable and curable if they were not in such a desperate state. We helped the nurses care for the babies and toddlers by changing diapers, feeding and bathing the children. One of the baby girls was about a year old and was very sick. During our visit she began to lose consciousness and although some of the nurses tried to resuscitate her, she did not make it. It was one of the saddest and most sobering moments of my life. It was a strong dose of reality, making me realize that there are places in the world (including the United States) that have to deal with frustration, the pains of loneliness and immeasurable loss every single day.

I don't mean to make anyone feel guilty or sad, but I hope my story will awaken your own desire to help in some way. Whatever your talents or skills are, whether you're financially stable or living pay check to pay check, we are all able to walk along side of someone who is struggling. Whether it's volunteering with a local homeless outreach center, traveling across the globe to help orphans, or simply smiling at someone in traffic, we all have the ability to change the world.

If you would like to get involved with World Orphans, please visit: http://www.worldorphans.org/index.php

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I'm an amateur photographer in Brooklyn. My neighbors love my Brownstone neighborhood photos, and this year I took the leap and started a small greeting card business using my photos! At first, the process seemed intimidating, but the customer service at Modern made it easy. I used the phone and email for help, and everyone was very nice, professional and supportive. The finished product speaks for itself...the cards are gorgeous! I am using them for my personal holiday cards, as well as selling them online and in small local businesses. I can't wait to prepare my second set of photo cards with Modern Postcard.
Edie Hoffmann