Since the beginning of this year, Helping Hands has already received over 100 packages from around the world containing contacts, toiletries, school supplies, and medicine. Each donation we receive helps communities meet their immediate needs, aiding in their ability to carry on their extraordinary work to advance woman’s human rights.
We work closely with our sister organizations to provide those items they need the most. Most of the donations we receive from our MADRE supporters are personally unsolicited. This means that people have come across the work that we and our sister organizations do and send in items that are urgently needed.
As a humanitarian aid intern, hundreds of packages come across my desk each month. The generosity I see, not just from the donation itself, but the kind words in the accompanying letters, are inspiring. In the midst of several dozen donations received over the holiday season, two arrived that exemplify the core of our work.
One package contained 72 whistles and lanyards and the other 100 whistles and wind-up flashlights, tools that provide safety and security to women in communities vulnerable to sexual violence. These items were sent in response to the broadcast of CNN Heroes that introduced hundreds of thousands of viewers to the work of KOFAVIV and Malya Villard-Appolon. Not only did these donors learn of the situation in Haitian displacement camps, but they sought out ways after the program to find out how to assist. To see so many people moved to action after viewing the telecast is a testament to the power of Mayla’s story and the courage of those in KOFAVIV.
There are many ways to support the work of KOFAVIV and the other programs of Helping Hands. Not only can you donate material or financial aid, but Helping Hands also calls upon volunteers when packing our larger shipments. That is how I began at MADRE, and it is work I continue during my time here. The other day I packed a bag full of flashlights and whistles to send to our partners at KOFAVIV thanks to our wonderful MADRE supporters. Every donation is not just an act of generosity but a sign of solidarity.
If you would like to donate to any one of Helping Hands programs, please visit our site with our list of requested items.