Several years ago, Joe Ferraro, CEO of  Crowdster, and his wife Hannah, launched their non-profit organization, Missionary Assistance Ministry, to support orphans and destitute families in the US, Haiti, Western Africa (Burkina Faso) and elsewhere with food, shelter, clothing and medical attention. It is clear that Ferarro’s passion lies in the non-profit world. Crowdster helps non-profits raise money more efficiently and effectively through their low-cost online and mobile fundraising platform. Here, Joe provides a first-hand account of his experiences in Haiti:

My Journey to Haiti to visit Our Orphan Children

Today, I am returning to the US from my most recent mission trip in Haiti. This trip, my 5th in three years, is perhaps the most gratifying one of all (truthfully, each successive trip is more rewarding than the last). Sadly, the abject poverty and general disorganization in the streets have changed little – if at all – during the past three years. In other words, it appears the country has ‘grown up’ very little in this time. But what have grown up are the 250+ orphans that our 50 person missionary team – led by my wife, Hannah – have come to know and love.

1398969796Hannah went to Haiti shortly after the 2011 earthquake and has made 12 trips there in total. Her deep compassion and caring for all of God’s creatures has been an inspiration to her mission teams for many years. She has not only helped in providing aid for programs in Haiti, but she has also created many volunteer opportunities for others.

Less than Half of Children Attend School

Watching these wonderful children grow and develop – physically, mentally and spiritually – is akin to watching my own children grow. When Hannah and her team first went to Haiti, the children were sick, unbathed, unfed, and generally distrusting. Today, as evidenced in the pictures below, the children are healthy, vibrant, and see hope for the future. The latter is a critically important point – these children are THE FUTURE of Haiti. In fact, as the children become older, we are now facing a new challenge – how do we ensure that each child attends school. In Haiti, approximately half of the children receive any sort of education. On a personal note, I know of 8 children between the ages of 14 and 19, whom I’ve come to know and love, who are in need of a high school education with the hopes of attending university. The goal would be for them to learn to sustain themselves and then ‘pay-it-forward’ by helping the next generation of Haitian children.

I’m hopeful there is a model for success as developed and run by Bradley Broder who founded and runs The Kenya Education Fund.

Please visit www.kenyaeducationfund.org/ to learn more.

As we were wrapping up in the field yesterday, I was reminded why I had previously decided to transition into the non-profit sector after a career in telecommunications and software, and more recently, one of the primary reasons I decided to join Crowdster. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. At Crowdster, I have the opportunity to magnify the positive impact that my wife and I can have on others. Our primary goal at Crowdster is to further the mission of the non-profits we serve. We do this by providing an easy-to-use and very low cost platform that enables non-profits to fundraise in order to support their various worthy causes. Given our personal experiences, we know how truly critical it is to keep fundraising costs as low as possible so as to maximize the impact for those we serve.

Explore Volunteering in Haiti Opportunities

To learn more about how you can volunteer your time and energy towards these programs, please visit mamworld.org.

To learn more about the fundraising capabilities at Crowdster, please click here and a member of our team will reach out.

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