One of my favorite joys of being part of Haiti’s Heart non-profit organization is seeing and experiencing the goodness in people firsthand. One day I took my kids to Another Level Barbershop for haircuts. The owner Arthur Owens greeted me warmly. Our family is what is known as a conspicuous family. My husband and I adopted three children of a different race than we are. This often peaks people’s curiosity, and the questions follow. Arthur started questioning me about my Haitian sons and Haiti. I was expecting all the usual questions when Arthur surprised me.
He said, “Are you still involved in Haiti?” not knowing I was. He then shared some of his own life stories. His mother died when he was just 14 years of age. He then explained that his guiding light was gone, and he made all the wrong choices, eventually ending him in prison. He explained that his cousin Robbie Findley was one of the only people who continued to influence his life positively. Robbie still believed in Arthur’s goodness and heart. Arthur completed his prison sentence and paid his debt to society. Robbie then put Arthur through barbering school so that he would have the skills to make a positive living. Arthur is often called in as a motivational speaker to speak to troubled youth. Arthur is as real as they come. He has experienced deep pain and loss as a result of bad choices. He shares his stories openly to make a positive difference in this world. As our conversation ensued, Arthur asked me if I could take him to Haiti and involve him with older kids who have lost their guiding lights and might be struggling. Arthur expressed his desire to teach barbering skills to older orphan boys or street kids in an attempt to give them a way to provide for themselves. (Sort of a pay-it-forward tribute to Robbie.) This desire speaks deeply to my heart. Haiti’s Heart was founded for and about that very desire. Arthur and I began working together to make Arthur’s dream a reality. We will attend Haiti August 4-14 to teach an intensive barbering skills workshop. If the kiddos complete the barbering workshop, they will be given the tools they need to begin barbering in Haiti. We need financial help purchasing tool kits for the students and covering travel expenses for our crew of 4.
If you can donate, your charitable donation is tax-deductible. Honestly, any amount helps! Please add to the notes on your donation that you would like the money to be applied to the barbering excursion, and it will be done. Follow our blog for updates. I will be excited to report back on our experience!