21 February, 2024

Celebrities Step Up for Haitian Mission

by | 16 November, 2010 | 0 comments

By Jennifer Taylor

In 2001, Northwest Haiti Christian Mission created its first “Miriam Center,” a home and therapy center for dozens of Haitian children with disabilities and special needs. In recent years, NWHCM partnered with other organizations, including AHomeInHaiti.org, to plan a second center to serve 100 more children. Two months ago the organizations raised $700,000 for the cause in 10 days.

“We had been moving forward with plans for a second center when Shaun King, lead pastor at Courageous Church in Atlanta, visited us and just fell in love with the special needs ministry,” says Cameron Mayhill, director of development. “He committed to help us raise the money to build the new campus.”

King had a connection to actress Eva Longoria and pitched the idea for an online auction called “TwitChange” which invited people to bid on the opportunity to connect with their favorite celebrities on Twitter. More than 160 celebrities signed on.

“People could bid on three things,” Mayhill says. “To be followed by a celebrity on Twitter, to be retweeted by that celebrity, or to be mentioned by them in a Twitter message. Some of the celebrities also included extra prizes like tickets, a personal phone call, or even a trip to Fiji. Other stars promised to double the gift by matching the winning bid.”

Businesses as well as individuals jumped at the chance for this unique promotion and the auction raised over $540,000 with more than $100,000 in additional donations. The Miriam Center, which will include both a church and school, plus homes and a physical therapy area, will cost about $1 million.

“Haiti is already a “˜least of these” country, and the poor and disabled are among the very least and the most forgotten,” Mayhill says. “Caring for them is Christ”s command on our lives and this has been a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference.”

The mission has already started clearing land for the new center and plans to open it in 2011.

www.nwhcm.org

http://twitchange.com

________________

Jennifer Taylor, one of Christian Standard”s contributing editors, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Read her blog at www.christianstandard.com.

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