“When you work to inspire others…Your reward is in helping better themselves, lifting your life in the process.” – Timothy Pina, Hearts for Haiti: Book of Poetry and Inspiration
(Note from the editor Rose Ayers-Etherington) It all started in February of 2011. Fifteen Maverick members and friends stepped off of a plane into what was later described by Yanik as “an ultra chaotic scene” at Port-au-Prince in Haiti. This was the Maverick’s first IMPACT Trip to Haiti, and no one knew what to expect.
This year the Mavericks went to Haiti for the fourth time (May 14-17, 2014) where they spent time with orphans, toured villages built by their donations and brainstormed ways they could make an even greater IMPACT. They brought home changed hearts and reports that are encouraging. Things are changing. Haiti is healing and the people have grabbed hold of hope and are rising up out of the ashes of their disaster. Maverick is honored to have been a part of this transformation.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Maverick IMPACT Trip to Haiti Coordinator Doug Doebler and get his take on this year’s trip. Here’s what he had to say…
Interview with Maverick member #35 Douglas Doubler: “My Thoughts on The 2014 Maverick IMPACT Trip to Haiti”
What was the highlight of the 2014 Haiti Trip?
Oh that’s a tough one to answer, there were so many great moments. I would have to say that watching the group play with the kids at the orphanage was pretty awesome. It was amazing to witness how natural it was for everyone to play and communicate with the orphans, even though they did not speak the same language. They had no problem connecting by just having fun together. Another moment that touched me was when we went to visit the village we funded last year. When we left the village last year it seemed that its inhabitants were doing whatever it took to survive. This year, they were thriving! The rustic little village had a homey feel – with flowers, gardens, goats and chickens everywhere. It felt like a real neighborhood! I was emotionally overwhelmed by the transformation.
What was different this year from previous years?
This year was the largest group yet with 40 people. For the first time we allowed children to come. I had a great time watching the kids spend time with the orphans. There was something very special about their interactions. They were so much less guarded than the adults were. They jumped right in and began playing without any barriers. It was so cool.
How do you perceive the Mavericks and other attendees being affected by this experience?
I had the privilege of witnessing some powerful breakthroughs as well as some breakdowns. We all came face to face with a harsh reality: our lives are so rich and easy compared to what we were witnessing in Haiti. Things are really tough for the people there – yet they are so happy and quick to give everything they have. In the United States, we get so uptight about things that don’t really matter, like getting food that is cold in a restaurant. We freak out, get upset about it and whine until we get what we want. People living in Haiti do not have this privilege. We live in a wealth-crazed, material driven society whereas, people in Haiti are just doing their best to survive. This trip provided a much needed slap of reality for all of us.
How has working with Yanik, Frank McKinney, Scott Bonnell and the people of Haiti changed your life?
Organizing these trips and spending time with all the people involved has given me a great sense of purpose. Yanik, Frank and Scott all bring such diverse and valuable skills to the table. Yanik is the brainstormer and master connector who magically brings everyone together. Frank is a great leader with high morals and integrity. Scott is the “boots on the ground guy.” Scott along with his staff are the people getting down and dirty, building these villages and spending time with the people. Me, well I am the dot connector who pulls everything together and gets us there and back safely. Together, we do our best to make this trip an impactful experience for everyone involved.
What changes have you observed taking place in the people of Haiti?
Every year the people of Haiti appear healthier, happier and safer. They are always so excited to see us and full of sincere gratitude for what we are there to do. I noticed on this trip that people in Haiti are dressing better, which is a sign of better economic times. After the earthquake the markets seemed to be overly chaotic. Every year we go we see more booths and an increase in options. Everything looks better, more organized. I see some of the same kids in the orphanages, which is cool. I get to see them grow and they get to see a familiar face.
What is your vision for the future of these Maverick trips to Haiti?
My goal for future IMPACT trips to Haiti is that every single Maverick member will have the opportunity to go and experience something I believe will be life changing for them. I feel it’s important for everyone to see firsthand what poverty really looks like. Some individuals will experience a radical inner awakening that will result in them feeling called to do grander things for people who are in need. I had the privilege of witnessing this change take place in several of the attendees on this year’s trip. It costs $1500 to run the orphanage we visited for one month. This amount covers all operational costs. Out of the 40 people who attended we pledged to support this orphanage for 51 months! Out of those 49 months 42 of them are being covered by Maverick members. Out of the 42 months being covered by Maverick members, 36 months are being covered by 3 Maverick members! Pretty amazing.
It felt good leaving Haiti with the knowledge that we were able to give of ourselves and our resources to make a significant difference in the lives of the people there. And as much as we were able to give, the people of Haiti gave us even more – in that we will never be the same.
Please join me in giving a heart-felt, special thank you to the following Maverick members who made up our 2014 Maverick IMPACT Trip to Haiti team:
Maverick #28 John Carter
Maverick #35 Doug Doebler
Maverick #36 Tom Puentes
Maverick #139 Jason Katzenback
Maverick #161 Steve Martel
Maverick #179 Jay Greenstein
Maverick #202 Tom Karadza
Maverick #216 Scott Thompson
Maverick #228 Jason Rodriguez
Total Maverick Donations: $445,373.00 – WOW!
Do you have a questions or want to know how you can contribute to the health and well being of Haiti? Please contact Doug Doebler via cell 585-721-9922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.