Helping Haiti

The shock of yesterday’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti is being felt around the world.

We wait now for news of both damage and survivors … we pray for those whose lives and families have been devastated … and we unite, in concern and compassion and with a desire to do whatever we can to contribute to the relief and recovery Haiti and its community desperately and urgently need.
Waiting is unavoidable.  Praying is, for many, instinctive.  But uniting in common concern and acting, in hopes of turning devastation into renewal, is where our greatest power now lies.

A few months back, Timberland announced its partnership with Yéle Haiti – a grassroots movement that builds global awareness for Haiti while transforming the country through educational, cultural and environmental programs.  At the time, the vision for our partnership with Yele Haiti was one of reforestation – building a tree nursery in Gonaives , a city in northern Haiti devastated by a series of hurricanes and storms; enlisting local farmers to maintain it; and using the trees grown there to reforest the hillsides surrounding the city.

Yesterday afternoon, our partnership with Yele Haiti took a dramatic and unexpected turn.  Many communities in the island nation have been reduced to rubble … and instead of focusing on ways to positively transform those communities, Yele Haiti today is mobilizing medical and emergency supplies to provide them critical relief.

As part of our partnership with Yele Haiti, Timberland makes a donation to the organization for every pair of Earthkeepers™ Yele Haiti boots and every Yele Haiti t-shirt that we sell.  While the original intent for that donation was to support Haiti’s reforestation, we’re now rededicating our efforts – and our donation – to the country’s earthquake relief.

It is good intent and good effort … but undoubtedly not enough.  Should you wish to contribute personally to the massive relief effort underway, this link will allow you to donate directly to the Yéle Haiti organization.  You can also donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund by texting the word “yele” to 501501.

While the enormity of this earthquake has left destruction beyond comprehension, the will, spirit and soul of people around the globe who are willing to help a nation in need will equally astound.  Together, we can and will help Haiti and its people heal, strengthen and recover.

Jeff Swartz
President & CEO, Timberland

  • Deborah Ven

    Why don’t you take a look at this link to The Smoking Gun to see how Wyclef Jean is spending your money… “Consultant Payments”??? I think we all know what that’s about. Lots of better charities to help out Haiti.

    Here’s the link:

  • Deborah Ven

    His “charity” isn’t even listed on Charity Navigator. Good job, Timberland!

  • Deborah Ven

    Okay, I assume that someone is reading these since none of my posts are getting through. If so, here is a second posting at The Smoking Gun describing the rather suspect history of Jean’s charity. DONATE AND PROMOTE AT YOUR OWN RISK…

  • Deborah Ven

    Since someone there probably LOVES me by now, I will tell you that this Wyclef charity story is starting to hit the news:

    Your PR people may want to get on this to stay ahead of the mess…

  • Earthkeepers admin

    Deborah, our apologies. All blog comments do require review before they’re posted and while we try to review them regularly, our attention and efforts have been directed elsewhere over the last few days.

    Timberland is committed to helping the people of Haiti recover from this terrible tragedy and we believe that working with a Haitian organization with a network on-the-ground is an effective way to do that. According to our partners at Yele Haiti, Wyclef Jean has never profited from his foundation, and we have been assured that the rumors of tax issues are false. In addition, this organization has proven that they can effectively respond to the needs of the community both on a daily basis and in crisis situations.

    Yele Haiti President Hugh Locke has said, “The Smoking Gun website that set the controversy in motion never once contacted Yéle to check a single fact before the article appeared. And of course they never asked, nor have they asked since, what Yéle has accomplished over the years.”

    If it’s of interest, you can view Wyclef’s press conference on the topic here:


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