Mixed Signals

Today is Haitian Mothers Day. I didn’t do much to celebrate other than bringing in a dish for my mom.

I didn’t do much to celebrate other than bringing in a dish for my mom.

I guess it was a little special because a few of my aunts and uncle came by to see my grandmother. I actually ran into my uncle on his way out the house.

I mentioned to him that I’d be going to Haiti and his wife was standing next to him and I got mixed signals from the two.

It’s like when you hear about a restaurant that your friends have gone to visit, a few people will say something like, “yes go and try it out – be sure to order the ribs,” and on the other hand you’ll get a friend that tells you, ” No just stay away from that place.”

I am getting mixed reviews and mixed signals.

Yes, Haiti is my uncles Country, he says there is nothing there to live off. Whereas his wife said no, there are beautiful places to visit and see, especially if you are going to the north. Either way, Haiti will never be home for me. Jersey is home for me like it or not, it’s home and just like any other state, it has its good places and the places you should just keep away from.

My uncle told me that if my Great grand uncle was going, I should have him show me where my mom and grandmother lived – basically their home. I think it would be interesting but I’d only be comparing to where I live.

I’m realizing that at the end of the day, it’s important for me to go and have my own experience. You can’t always go by other people’s reviews. Sometimes, you just have to experience it for yourself.

Traveling Across Seas

My mom traveled oceans and boarders in search for a better life. Not to say that life is bad in Haiti, it’s certainly different according to her. Here in the states there is more opportunity. 

More chances to learn, to advance and overall to create a better lively hood. 

I’m told people in Haiti tend to believe America has  gold. They’ve bought into the American dream. I’ve got relatives ready for credit cards believing that it’s free money. Clearly there is lack of education and understanding of some of the systems set in place. 

I’ve asked my mom if she’s wanted to go back and she often says no. It’s not a place that will be the same. Her family is here now, her life is here now. 

We no longer travel and pique our curiosity. 

I’m curious to see and experience the place my mom and grandmother come from. 

Would you help me get there? 

Support my gofundme by visiting here: http://gf.me/u/gr98g

Understanding Storytelling and its relation to Funding 

I sat through a webinar today and learned how important it is to have a story ti go along side the fundraising process for a service trip. 

Storytelling is a huge part of our make up. We enjoy a great story and we share it and exaggerate the outcome at times. 

I was given a few resources to check out and was also told that the why plays a huge aspect to the reader. 

I’ll be looking into the resources and share my findings with you. And tomorrow I’ll expound more on the why. 

Scarcity Mindset

Scarcity mindset iften occurs when you don’t have enough recourses for your needs. It often makes you think short term rather than long term. 

And so today I was faced with some feelings of scarcity. My mind is racing thinking where am I going to get this additional money for this missions trip. 

It’s a very difficult thing to ask people to support you. There’s vulnerability, there’s rejection, there’s waiting. 

Yet I’m learning a lot in the process. Many people have charities or causes they believe in. And so I need to be willing to share more about why I am going on this missions trip. 

For the longest time I’ve been feeling frustrated with my day job. I make comp mock ups, and cut boxes – I often feel annoyed because I don’t see the correlation between this day job and how it helps better people’s lives. You see I studied industrial design thinking I’d be able to help improve other people’s lives. 

I believe design can change the world. But week after week and month after month upon graduating college I wasn’t landing any design jobs. I turned to what I knew best to help pay the bills. I went back into retail. I did that for about two years and became fed up with it. 

Through a connection I landed the current day job and I’ve been wanting to use this as a stepping stone to get to the next place.  But I’ve been feeling stuck. 

I’m hoping that going to Haiti will give me a pair of fresh eyes and inspiration. 

Originally I wanted to go work for IDEO but I am now open to work for IDEO.ORG. The work they are doing sounds a lot like what I’d like to be involved in.

When I was in college there was a speaker that came by – it was a non-profit company whose name I can’t recall at the moment. They had a quote saying, “design can change the world”. 

I still believe that today. 

It’s just been really difficult to capture this and put it into words, and into a story that other people would care about. 

Me in college some years ago. 


This past month I was in Convert Kit’s PCM class (product creation masterclass) and I talked about what I wanted my product to be. I thought of putting together a guide to help someone walk through the steps of fundraising. However, raising funds and making people care about your cause is fairly difficult. Especially if you aren’t really good at being straight to the point and good at storytelling.

However, raising funds and making people care about your cause is fairly difficult. Especially if you aren’t really good at being straight to the point and good at storytelling.

When it comes to fundraising I’ve found that people have to be able to relate to the cause in some way: they know someone who’s been affected in a similar way, they’ve gone through something similar, they care about YOU – so they give what they can to support you.

A dollar, ten dollars, prayer, encouragement.

While taking the class someone sent me a video from TED talk about an artist that used Kickstarter to fund their album. However, prior to that, she was a street artist.

I understand what she means when she says that there is much vulnerability in the asking.

It humbles you. 

Though I am raising funds for a cause I believe in, other people may not believe in it. People may feel that John Doe here in the US is more important than Mary Jane in another country.

I think … says it best. Check out her TED Talk.


What Happens If You Don’t reach your goal?

That thought crossed my mind this morning for my fundraiser. I thought to myself why would such a negative thought cross my mind? 

For me the worse case scenario is that I pay the funding costs myself. Pick up a few extra shifts at work, hustle a bit harder on the side and simply cough up the rest of the money. 

The other part of me believes something will come of this though. It will work out. Just not sure of all the details as of yet. 

One things for certain, someone else’s heart needs to be touched in order for them to donate. No one is coughing up money if they don’t care about the cause. 

I’m fortunate enough to know my grandmothers roots, to know where she’s from – oh how I wish I could see a bit further back the ancestry line but to at least see the house she grew up in, to see where she raised her “onze petit” eleven kids, would be awesome. 

What’s my role on all this? I’ll be documenting, serving, assisting teachers – and being of service anywhere else I am needed. 

And today another thought ran through my head. So many people hear of the poverty in Haiti. That’s not what I want to share. I think of the verse, “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 the poor in spirit are happy… 

Rather than go to this place and take photos of wretched people, I’d want to be sure I capture their dignity, their pride, their humility and joy. I think of the photographer David Sacks who passed away of cancer (learned about his work by Andy Crouch in a speech/lecture about culture making). Davids photography was about elevating people. 

Long story short: failing is not an option. 

Making A Buck Online

I was going through my email today and came across an article that resonated all too well.

If you are in the email marketing space, you are familiar with people having blogs, email lists, and signups and eventually selling goods or services online.

For some reason, when it comes to those that are creative, people have the mindset that if we make a buck or two online we are sellouts.

But – as used in the article – doctors that have their own practice that love what they do – are fine to charge for their services. The same goes for Lawyers and online businesses. Let it be anything of a relatively creative venture, and it’s the starving artist mentality.

Often it’s said that you may have the wrong people in your bunch, or your message just isn’t resonating with the right people. You have services that downplay the validity of designers like Fiverr, (WTF).

As a creative, I’m learning more and more why design matters. And by the way, a Basquiat painting sold for 110.5 million last week. Come correct or don’t come at me for my services at all.

Read Paul’s article.


Progress on Fundraising 

$500 in one week. 

I think that’s fair. 

Let me start by saying I didn’t think it would be difficult. I know showing up everyday is important and I need to be consistent, but when I see how many people have viewed my video my mind starts to wonder. 

I wonder why many people don’t support local charities or even those that go abroad. I understand it everyone has the same beliefs. 

It’s definitely challenged and stretched my thinking when it comes to giving. As a thank you to those that have donated more than $100 I’ve decided to create custom paintings. I’ve been brainstorming other ways to raise support for my missions. I thought friends and family would give a bit sooner since it is after all their home place as well. It’s only been a week and so far I’ve raised $500.00 

My goal for this week was $100.00. I figure set my goals low and see what happens. 

This week I’ll be going live on Facebook and sharing a few paintings as well. 

If you’d like to donate and amount helps. Here the link http://gf.me/u/gr98g 

Fundraising to Haiti 2017

Not everyone believes in giving funds and donations to go service others in different countries. Some people believe there is much work to do in the states. I did some searching online and read about a service trip someone went on. 
They talked about how America is better off because we have systems set in place to help people get back on their feet. 
I’ve also talked to a few people that have been to Haiti, I’ve heard good and bad and it seems that you have to have the right mindset to travel – not just to Haiti but anywhere. 
I decided to use my design skills to help me get to Haiti. If someone donates $100 or more I’ll make a custom painting or lettering piece. I’ll be using Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to help promote. So far I’ve got three donations and I’ve already started my first painting. 
The next way to raise funding, I figure is to make products. And use a drop shipping service to make the physical products. 
Consider giving and read the full story on my go fund me page: gf.me/u/gr98g

Thank you to those of you that have already supported me. It’s greatly appreciated. 

Lessons From WW Raw – PT 2

A few other things I picked up on while watching Monday’s smack down: 
A live crowd is always better. They turned the mics off the matts. Someone got kicked out for a beach ball. We did the wave in the bleachers, and the crowd was calling out for Derek Jeeter? 
It’s nice to know there is some form of sanitation that happens – they changed the Matt covers 

The same way you don’t run behind the curtains in a broadway show to see what happens behind the scenes the same thing applies here: Don’t ruin the magic of it all. The experience people came to enjoy. (Even though we know it’s – dare I say it…. entertainment.