Soaring Unlimited Haiti has developed initiatives to help address the needs of Haitian people, including medical care, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, housing, and education and training for children, youth, and adults. Soaring Unlimited Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in 1994 in the United States, and operating in the Cap Haitien area in Northern Haiti. We employ, partner with, and engage many local Haitians and their organizations, as well as working with a variety of congregations, faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits based in the U.S. Our Executive Director is Rev. Laura Alexander Elliott, an Ordained Deacon in the United Methodist denomination who serves as a missionary and is appointed to community outreach ministry. Pastor Laura works with a Board of Directors based in Michigan, which is led by President Tom Hanna.
The mission of Soaring Unlimited Haiti is to work in partnership with the people of the greater Cap Haitien community to enhance their quality of life and empower them in the areas of medical services, education, and community development.
The vision of Soaring Unlimited Haiti is to become a centralized community location for families and individuals to convene, receive services, and engage in education and training opportunities, with an emphasis on women and children's health, nutrition, and sanitation, as well as other ongoing identified community development initiatives that meet local needs.
Values (Key Elements in Conducting Organization Business & Programs/Services):
• Commitment • Inclusion • Communication • Integrity • Compassion • Love • Education • Cultural Respect • Faith-Rooted • Sustainability
Covid-19 in Haiti
Haiti registered its first cases of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in mid-March, and the number of cases continue to rise. The neighboring Dominican Republic has had thousands more confirmed cases, and the border between the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola has been closed to help control the spread. All airports and ports were closed to passenger flights and cruise ships, while much needed cargo is allowed. Soaring is grateful to have been able to rely on Missionary Flights International to get necessary supplies into the country.
The pandemic prognosis is not positive for Haiti where healthcare, medical systems, the economy, national and personal resources, and daily circumstances make it extremely challenging to handle. Haiti, declaring a state of emergency in March, shut down schools, markets, and businesses, and restricted gatherings. This government order was extended through the end of July. Because of travel and health issues in both Haiti and the U.S., I have been in North Carolina, staying in close communication with our Soaring Haitian staff on-the-ground in-country.
Our major concerns in Haiti right now are protecting our staff, operating a medical clinic, and adjusting our other programs and services in response to the pandemic. As always at Soaring, we place the health and safety of our staff, their families, and our associates as our highest priority. We have been doing everything we can to ensure they have everything needed to protect themselves and the people they serve, while they continue to carry out our medical mission to the Haitian people.
The focus of our response, as it was last fall during the political unrest, is to empower our outstanding Soaring Staff in Haiti who are best able to evaluate and navigate their physical and cultural scenarios. In consultation with Soaring Board leaders and medical professionals, we are acquiring and shipping items needed for our programs and services. These essentials include personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies for the Covid-19 hygiene and sanitation protocols, and medications. We are working closely with partners in the local medical community through the Haitian Health Ministry and Cap Haitien Health Network to ensure proper hygiene and medical protocols are communicated and followed.
On behalf of the Soaring Board & Staff, we are thankful for ongoing prayers and support, while we work together to identify and respond to the needs of the community in which we serve.
- Pastor Laura
Soaring recently hosted a Board Development Retreat. Thanks to our devoted Board Members for participating! And thanks to long-time Soaring friends Jim Huckle and Julie Falconer for supporting this and several more upcoming sessions being led by nonprofit consultant Kathleen Guy, to help us prepare for the financial sustainability of both existing and new programs and facilities.
BABY BOX PROGRAM
Kudos to our Baby Box program conducted by Dorothy Frederickson and her team of Methodist women - we’ve now surpassed the 100 mark on giving these portable baby beds to Haiti new moms!
We share with you our great excitement and extraordinary gratitude about the miraculous news that we have recently received another major donation from a charitable foundation grant — garnered for us through our construction partner Building Goodness Foundation — that enables Soaring Unlimited Haiti to fulfill our complete fundraising goal for our planned Women's Health & Birthing Center in this, our 25th year!
Additionally, I'll share that during quarantine in the U.S., our Board has been very active, holding several online meetings, including pursuing a series of sessions with NonProfit Consultant Kathleen Guy who has been guiding our fund-development committee through planning for current and future fundraising. We are grateful to Kathleen for her guidance, as well as Soaring friends Jim Huckle (who has also participated in the sessions) and Julie Falconer who have underwritten the consulting project.
Our first efforts emerging from this initiative include a phone-calling campaign to thank donors—perhaps you have already been contacted and we do thank each and every one of you so much who support us with financial and in-kind contributions—and an upcoming fundraising appeal later this summer that will focus on supporting our CoronaVirus response.
Many thanks as always for everyone for your devotion to Soaring and our friends, colleagues, and the families and children we serve in Haiti.
We are now scheduled to begin construction on the facility during Winter 2020, after having held the ceremonial groundbreaking this past April and building the three "outbuildings" (Tikays) that will service the main facility. We will focus this summer on fencing the property for safety and security. Our intention is to complete and open the center by the end of 2020.
We have crossed the funding threshold for constructing the facility; however, fund-raising efforts continue, as we move into "Furnishings" and "Operational Startup" Phases. Further donations will be utilized to purchase much-needed equipment, furniture and supplies to operate the center, along with additional staffing, programming, and administration. We continue to require financial support for our ongoing agency operations, including our long-time educational/leadership and medical/nutrition programs and services, which are growing through expansion, collaboration, and community development efforts.
Our shared vision for Soaring Unlimited to provide a safe place for women in rural northeast Haiti to give birth and receive life-saving and life-giving related health services is coming to fruition - we give gratitude to God, and to each of you—our faithful supporters, partners, and donors, as we celebrate this important milestone. We express great thanks to every individual donor, family, church partner—particularly Central United Methodist Church of Traverse City—philanthropic foundations, and all others who have contributed financially and in-kind, and who have prayed, kept the faith, and taken the leaps-of-faith called for to help make this dream come true and this vision become a reality in our 25th Anniversary Year!