Our Audacious Model for Disaster Relief Proved Itself Once Again

Jouk Li Jou Haitian Food Cart

Au Centre Haiti – Thank you for your support!

Hurricane Matthew devastated the mountain town of Au Centre – within a week Haiti Community Support was delivering food and medical supplies.  Thanks to donations from a caring group of friends our run-out-of-our-house-and-food-cart-in-Portland-Oregon non-profit proved its mettle once again!

Thank you for all you made possible to help the people of Haiti. We look forward to a new year of rebuilding, support, and hope.

Love, Mathilde Aurelien Wilson, Bruce Wilson

How HCS works

As funds are raised, Mathilde meets by phone with her network of allies, fellow agronomists, former CARE colleagues, family, and childhood friends on the ground in Haiti.  Exact greatest-needs are identified and funds go directly to those highest priorities.  It’s real-time management that really works:  HCSs first food delivery arrived to the village kitchen before the mountain roads were cleared.  Then medical teams and agriculture assistance arrived and continues today.

What we accomplished together

Here are some excerpts from our Hurricane Relief updates which were posted at  and

Things seemed pretty normal in Au Centre, the day before the hurricane of the century hit the town.  The Renaissance Elementary School was in session with 200 kids reciting their lessons, filling the yard during recess.  Farmers were tending to their bean crops, and the coffee harvest under the large shade trees towering above.  

But then, on October 4th, tragedy struck. Hurricane Matthew delivered a devastating blow to Haiti. Worst hit were the mountain villages like Au Centre where the winds were the strongest, and the housing structures the weakest.

Every home in the village lost its roof, most have collapsed wells. Some perished in the storm, food stores were lost as well as all the food crops and seed supplies. While the village found shelter in our strongly-built Haiti Community Support school house, they still faced malnutrition, infection and disease.

Major aid organizations concentrate on Haiti’s large population centers, but, due to the remote nature of Au Centre, the region is last on the list for disaster relief.

Late October:  Haiti Community Support sprang into action as soon as we heard news of the tragedy. Longtime HCS supporter Emily Grasi organized a crowd funding page, and publicity to get the word out.   Within hours, HCS supporters began sending in donations.  As soon as the roads were cleared, food supplies and an emergency medical team were on their way – weeks ahead of larger relief organizations.

Mid November:  Conditions remain extremely difficult, but, with your support, we are able to offer continuing help to the village. Against daunting and often dangerous logistical challenges, the HCS team  is continuing their emergency work.

  • We are getting a steady flow of food to the village; bags of rice to the communal kitchen and family packages of rice, beans, oil and canned sardines to help set up their household kitchens.
  • The medical team have opened their second clinic.  Mud slides, horrendous road conditions, and a long walk uphill to the school house have not stopped them!  Medical staff are treating children and adults for malnutrition, malaria, scabies, typhoid, elevated blood pressure, gastric and diarrheal issues.
  • Working with fellow agronomists, our HCS Director has miraculously sourced and readied for delivery two truckloads of yam and banana starts.

Haiti hurricane relief

There is much more to do.

Looking to the future, we are concentrating on

  • Agriculture assistance.
  • Medical care, and
  • Getting the Renaissance Elementary School back up and running with classes restarted and hot lunches again being served.

HCS is a small charity, directly serving neglected remote Haitian communities. We are flexible enough to get things done rapidly, even in the midst of chaos. Our support funds go directly into the village, to a proven team of community members who know what their village needs and how to get things done.

We thank you for all you have done in 2016 to help the people of Au Centre in their time of need.

We look forward to your continued support in 2017.  We believe that the solution to Haiti’s worst problems lies in empowering Haitians themselves. By believing in what Haitians can accomplish, we are a partner, not a patron. We are a neighbor, not an outsider.

Jouk Li Jou Haitian Food Cart