Integrity is more than a name, for us it is a core principle, and a way of life.
Philanthropy, giving back, and volunteerism have always been values we hold dear to our hearts at Integrity Financial. For some time we had been looking for a project to take part in where our experience, expertise and time could benefit those less fortunate in this world.
In early 2014 a group of the executives from world-renowned non-profit organization Mission of Hope, Haiti visited Los Angeles on a fund-raising trip and connected with us through our Business Development Manager Lockwood Holmes Jr.
During their meeting, Kris Gray heard the inspirational story of Bob and Sharon Johnson who began a small mission just outside Port au Prince in Haiti after falling in love with the country’s joy and compassion while being touched by the unnecessary suffering of the Haitian people.
In 1998 Brad, Bob and Sharon’s son, and his wife Vanessa traveled to Haiti. After seeing the incredible impact of their parents’ work, they made the decision to relocate to the island and officially form Mission of Hope, Haiti.
Mission of Hope has grown into one of the world’s most respected and successful non-profit organizations. With the help of over 5,000 volunteers Mission of Hope has; improved the lives of over 200,000 Haitians through holistic programming, fed more than 400 Haitian schools and orphanages daily, built more than 400 homes, and has an incredible flow-through rate where 90% or more of all donations go directly to in-country programs.
Our team of financial advisors and operations coordinators, comprised of Keith McBride, Deann Cross, Sarah Archer, and Robin Osborne, set out for Haiti in September, 2014. During the week that followed the lives of our team, and the lives of those they were serving at Mission of Hope would be changed forever.
Philanthropic Advisor Lockwood Holmes Jr. explains:
“We decided to not only take people, but formulate a plan to offer what we do best and see how we could benefit the Haitian people. We put together a few basic principles and tutorials on financial planning, saving and building for the future, and shared them with the leaders at Mission of Hope. We could never have imagined the incredible positivity, enthusiasm, and pure joy with which the leaders received this knowledge.”
Our team stayed at Mission of Hope’s beautiful facility in Titanyen for 5 days and experienced first-hand their calling, to “empower future generations through education to bring their country out of poverty.”
Mission of Hope’s educational programs are creating young entrepreneurs, and a generation of Haitians who are proud of their country. These future leaders are ready to dedicate themselves and their talents to reversing the poverty cycle.
Team member Robin Osborne explains:
“We wanted to offer the most valuable thing we have to Mission of Hope, so we created basic financial planning curriculum and met with anyone who showed interest in learning about the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, business, and financial management. The Haitian leaders and Mission of Hope volunteers lined up to meet with us. It was a touching experience to have the information we shared with participants regarded with awe, and even framed to be hung on an office wall. We take so much for granted in societies of abundance. It was humbling to see these Haitian leaders, who are already on a very tight budget, to cheerfully give of their income to those less fortunate.”
“There is so much promise and potential here to create future leaders and educate the next generation of Haitians. I believe that the more we work with Mission of Hope, the more abundant the rewards for us all shall be,” said Keith McBride.
Although in recent history the country has been damaged by natural disasters, experienced extreme poverty, and been exposed to political turmoil, the future of Haiti is undeniably bright. The wide smiles of every child at Mission of Hope shine with promise for the next chapter in Haiti’s history.
Both our team at Integrity Financial and our friends at Mission of Hope are excited to continue our work together in autumn 2015.
For more about Mission of Hope, Haiti visit: