Newark, NJ- Celebrity hosts, community leaders, politicians and various supporters came out to celebrate 12 years of dedication and commitment to the people of Haiti at the annual “Haiti Lives On Gala” on June 12.
Sponsored by United Way of Greater Union County in partnership with NJ4Haiti and HAILO, the black-tie event was full of entertainment but there was also an emphasis on the mission in Haiti to help sustain and rebuild the country.
Hosts actor/activist Malik Yoba and Haitian-American model/actress/entrepreneur Saje Nicole not only kept the program running smoothly, but Yoba also serenaded the crowd with a surprise song!
Other performances throughout the evening included Jackson Cherry & the IET Band, comedian Roperto Vanderpool, world-renowned entertainer Doug E. Fresh and Teallocks Dance Troupe.
Awards included the chairman’s award, the Heart of Haiti award, the Ace of Initiative award, and several newly inducted ambassadors.
The gala host committee recognized this is a time of many changes in Haiti during a time of ‘larger nation-wide and global change.’
“Your support allows us to continue this great work and we look forward to and will continue to bring inspired people together in forums like this, to ensure that the success of NJ4HAITI is documented and celebrated,” the gala host committee said in their welcome letter. “We’re transforming the way we operate to continuously improve our ability to restore and rebuild our homeland of Haiti. Our volunteers and partners have continued to meet the challenges of our work despite setbacks. We should all be very proud of where we are today and excited about where we are headed.”
They called the night ‘magical.’
“Thank you for joining us in celebration of the accomplishments and the prospect of greater things to come,” the committee posted on the NJ4Haiti’s Facebook page. “Continue to keep us in your prayers and continue to keep Haiti in your prayers.”
NJ4Haiti was created in response to the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on January 10, 2010. More than 250,000 were killed.
Since then, families in Haiti are still living in demoralizing conditions with no sanitation systems and limited clean water supplies.
NJ4Haiti's approach includes support for education, improving the quality of life through clean water, public health advocacy, and support of economic sustainability in Haiti and Haitian immigrants in America. NJ4Haiti has hosted several mission trips to the country with more than 100 volunteers from a variety of professional backgrounds including doctors, nurses, engineers, and mental health professionals.
NJ4Haiti has also fed families, provided toiletries, clothing, and medical supplies, and conducted sustainability assessments.