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Replanting Haiti’s Trees: Poverty Resolutions' Lesson in Sustainability

Incase you missed it, the following is an article posed on June 14, 2012:

Replanting Haiti’s Trees: Poverty Resolutions’ Lesson in Sustainability

Non-profit seeks to promote growth by planting trees in Haiti.

Doylestown, PA (PRWEB) June 14, 2012

The ramifications of deforestation can be seen all over the world, and it is particularly evident on the island of Haiti. For decades, the Haitian people have been cutting down trees for the purpose of obtaining coal and building materials. Without them, Haiti’s frequent rainfall washes away the fertile topsoil, creating challenges for Haitian farmers and polluting the already limited drinking water.

Poverty Resolutions has recognized this massive problem and is taking steps to reverse the process. They have purchased 15 trees to plant on the grounds of House of Hope Orphanage. The trees will supply fruit and much needed shade at the orphanage, providing improved nutrition and benefiting the overall quality of life of the children.

This project will educate the children at House of Hope about the value of protecting the environment and the importance of sustainable progress. Poverty Resolutions hopes that in helping to plant these trees, the students will carry this simple lesson for life.

To donate to this and similar projects, please visit



Survival – a word with so much finality. If you don’t survive, you don’t exist here on earth. These boys know that, and today they will survive, while these baby birds will not.








The impoverished children live right outside our orphanage in Williamson, Haiti. Today is a good day for them: they will survive. They were able to use a rock to knock these baby birds out of their nest. When we come upon them on the trail, they are picking the feathers from the birds, preparing them for a small meat-filled meal.

I felt bad for the birds, thought of their last moments, thought of how their death may indeed help these boys survive. I struggled to watch as the boys plucked the feathers. I wanted to tell them to stop, to let the birds go, that this wasn’t necessary. But honestly, without a stronger economy, without greater opportunity, without proper nutrition and access to water… without sustainable and lasting solutions, this type of survival will be necessary in Haiti. I am glad we can change that for the kids in our orphanage, but wish we could change it for all the children of the community.

Life after Poverty Resolutions and the Reality of a Big Dreamer

Danielle Shapiro

Intern Fall 2011 & Spring 2012

For as long as I can remember I have been told that I am a big dreamer. This could be due to the fact that at the age of 13, I was convinced that I would be the first female President of the United States of America. I even wrote my acceptance speech and practiced giving it. As time went on, I moved on to a slightly more realistic dream of becoming the event planner for the Grammy’s or the New York City Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. To my surprise those jobs are not as easy to get as I imagined and for now I’m unemployed and living back at my parent’s house.

It has been 46 days since I graduated from Penn State, with a bachelor of science in hospitality management and although I can’t yet complain about the unemployed life, I see the boredom and unsatisfying days looming ahead. My roommates (mom and dad) have really risen to the occasion and in some ways I think my return back home has made them feel young again. For me, my return back home, confirms my suspicion that following one’s passion is much easier said than done. I still imagine myself living and working in New York City, planning events and conferences worldwide that will make an impact by addressing the very significant un-met global community needs. Yet, I am flexible to any job in my field that will open a path ahead to meet my dreams.

Most twenty two year old still haven’t found “their niche,” they aren’t sure that what they studied in college is really what they want to do. Many graduates go into the working world to figure out what it is they are passionate about. I am very fortunate to already know this, I know what I aspire to do, and I know what type of job will get me out of bed every morning not dreading the day ahead (I told you I was a big dreamer). As I search for my dream job, I will experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions that reminds me of a time not too long ago when I was given the opportunity to have an internship where each day challenged my emotions because success was my only goal.

My days as an intern at Poverty Resolution were filled with optimism, hopefulness, determination, creativity and inspiration. Yet, there were also days of depression, frustration, rejection, and defeat as I struggled to overcome obstacles thrown in my path. I was given the daunting task of contacting as many school in Pennsylvania as I could in order to explain to them what poverty resolutions is, what we offer, and how they can help us while helping themselves…all before they could hang up, the answering machine would cut me off, or I was handed off to another person who was “better suited for my inquiry.” This task was filled with a great deal of trial and error. Finding the best way to make a dent in contacting over 3,303 public schools and 2,238 private schools was a challenge and I was determined to figure out how to best conquer this massive list and succeed at doing so.

To be continued….

Day 15 in Haiti

We’ve now completed our first two weeks in Haiti! Time seems to be going fast and slow at the same time.  The first work team just left 2 days ago, we now have 3 weeks until the 2nd one arrives.

Over the next few days we have planned some down time as a family, than we planto finalize the construction plans for the summer. There is a lot getting accomplished, but yet there is so much more to be done. Matt has been hard at work and is being told constantly how great of a job he is doing here. It’s so amazing to see all the plans turning into reality. This place is truly blessed and I’m so proud of Matt and Poverty Resolutions for REALLY making a difference in these children’s lives.

I’m falling more in love with the kids on a daily basis. I’ve been in tears thinking about the day we will have to leave them. We have found the language here to be very tough, but are trying hard to learn as much Creole as we can. The kids are SO eager to learn English. We try to do English class with them on a daily basis, which also helps us to learn Creole.

Abigail and Hannah are getting the hang of Haitian life, it’s been such a joy to watch them make friends and learn new games and activities. Hannah has a blast chasing after the chickens, dogs, and goats while Abigail loves jumping in with anything the kids are doing.  Abigail is starting to learn the names of kids and has a particular good new friend named Wedley.

Although life here is very tough, Matt and I are doing our best to keep positive and keep going.  We know this is where we should be and who we need to be helping; we are grateful for this opportunity. I know it’s only been 2 weeks, but are already talking about coming back as a family – these amazing people are now a part of our lives and we want to make sure it stays that way!!

Meet the Interns-Danny

Hello!  I’m a new intern at Poverty Resolutions for the summer of 2012.  I’m also an economics and math major at Penn State, with an interest in international development, specifically where macroeconomics is concerned.


I first heard of Poverty Resolutions when Matt, now my boss, showed an early version of the soon-to-be-released 1 Dollar Poverty to my growth and development class.  I was very interested in the accomplishments of Matt and friends.  Towards the end of the school year, I reconnected with Matt to discuss opportunities to use my summer to learn more about poverty and help fight it.  He recommended applying for the internship with Poverty Resolutions, and that got me here today.

So far, I’ve been doing a lot of interesting tasks for Poverty Resolutions.  As a nonprofit, Poverty Resolutions is continuously seeking out new sources of funding to fuel its operations.  I’ve undertaken a lot of work in fundraising, drafting applications to grants, building donation pages, and developing alternative fundraising strategies.  This work is interesting, as researching new sources of funding exposes me to the unique and creative methods used by other nonprofits.

My work has also allowed me to see the difficulty faced by nonprofits in the business world.  One of my tasks was to file paperwork with the state and federal government for Poverty Resolutions’ recent address change.  The amount of paperwork I’ve had to sift through is immense, and I was able to see that even as a non-taxable entity, we still had to pay money to the state in filing fees – just because we moved our office.

Last week, Andrew, Sean, and I got into an interesting discussion about poverty awareness.  Poverty Resolutions takes pride in that it is one of the few poverty-focused nonprofits organizations to put poverty awareness and educating Americans before physical projects.  I posed a question asking how we convince people to donate to awareness vs. the projects taking place on the ground.

I’ve come to realize why awareness is so important.  America, as the richest country, can do so much more to help than it already does.  Only .1%, that’s one one-thousandth, of our GDP goes towards foreign aid.  Poverty is rarely thought about by most Americans, and when asked where our government should cut from to reduce the deficit, international aid is usually one of the first responses.  By educating Americans and making people here at home more aware of extreme poverty, we can increase both the amount of and effectiveness of foreign aid in the future.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks.  We are currently preparing for the start of our awareness campaign.  This entails generating press releases in anticipation of the release of our headliner, 1 Dollar Poverty, and our series of short films.  Things have surely gotten busier around here, especially with Matt out of the country for the next six weeks.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to continuously providing updates about the work we’re doing here at Poverty Resolutions.