Haiti Still Needs Our Help

Update: Deadline for comments and suggestions for charities has been extended to February 12th.

I’ve stayed quiet about political and global issues on this blog in the past, choosing instead to keep the focus narrow and singular – a square look at our place in the world as bodies/athletes that move and what that means.

But the transition from the name “the Everyday Athlete Blog”  to “Grit and Glimmer” mirrors a personal transition. I am not a Cyclist alone – and neither are you. Neither am I only a Writer, a Photographer, a Daughter, a Runner, a Nutrition-Nerd, or an Armchair Cook.

We’re people in the world. And there is a lot of shit going on outside of the 14,400-ish pedal-strokes we may take over the course of a 3 hour training ride.

I’m a person who can become overwhelmed by things like Haiti, which are out of my control – out of my reach.

I’m also a person who spent 6 months working in Mother Teresa’s Homes for the Dying where desperation and desolation and death were all very well within my reach, each and every day. That’s another story for another day, but the point is that this stuff cuts me to the core.

It’s the reason I do cheesy stuff like write words in a gratitude journal at night. It’s the reason that I tell Sal I love him whenever I get a chance -  why I always say, “This is my favorite place in the whole world.” while falling asleep on his shoulder every night.

I get skewered sometimes for being overly sentimental and overly emotional but you know what? We should say that shit to each other. We should make life count. We shouldn’t be ashamed to express love or gratitude or even sorrow. Most of all, we shouldn’t take it for granted. Any of it.

The initial out-pouring for Haiti has been amazing and overwhelming, but there’s still a lot to do. With big events like this, things tend to taper off. The images fade a little from our memories. The initial shock subsides and so do the much-needed dollars.

Let’s keep them rolling in.

I’m modeling this giveaway/donation drive almost-exactly after one of my favorite bloggers: The Pioneer Woman. (Thank you for rocking so hard, Ree).

Here’s the scoop

I’ll give away two (2) $100 donations to the Haitian-related charity of the winners’ choice.

In addition, so that everyone can make a difference, I will donate one dime (10 cents) for every entry received in this giveaway to Haitian recovery efforts.

How to Enter

  1. Go tell someone in your life that you love them.
  2. Come back here and leave a comment and tell us about it – or just tell us that you did it. Either is fine.
  3. If you like, let me know (in your comment) which charity you’d prefer the donation be made to.

Friday afternoon I will randomly select two entries and will donate $100 to each person’s chosen charity*.

Then, I’ll multiply the number of comments by $.10 and send the total donation to one of the most-cited charities from the comments section (at my discretion).

Thanks for participating. And – by the way – thanks for being here. I always appreciate your comments, your input and your ongoing support.


*To qualify, charities must be well established and “legit”. Dig?


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  1. Oh hi, Haiti. I’ve been called out. I know, my new year’s resolution...


  1. I say I love you to everyone in my family every time we leave the house, end a call, etc. That way, even when we’re angry if anything happens, the last thing we said is “I love you”, and of course, I tell my three year old daughter constantly. And just to bump it up, because I never tell my friends, I’ve put up a facebook status saying that I love them.

    As far as the charity, I don’t know. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is MSF but I would instead like it to be some sort of donation toward someone providing food, as last I heard they were having a lot of trouble getting enough food to EVERYONE not just those who are able to force their way to the front of the line and get the hand outs. This is a great thing you’re doing.

    • Thank you, Jewlie!
      My mom just randomly sent me this email this morning (completely un-related to this post):
      If God put all the little girls in the whole wide world in one room and said, ‘You can have the very best one’ which one would I choose?
      I’D CHOOSE YOU!!!!!”

      Which is a little game she used to play with me when I was little. In which I’d try to guess who she’d choose (my best friend? the girl with the pretty, long hair down the street?) and she’d reconfirm that I was her Number One.
      Good on ya for being a kick-ass parent and loving mother. We need more of you out there.

  2. Mercy Corps.

    You are awesome, Swift.

  3. Thanks, LK.
    I have a special spot for Mercy Corps as well – my photography buddy Joni Kabana does a lot of pro bono work for them. Such a great group.
    And you’re awesomer.

  4. I tell Sue (my wife) I love her everyday, loads. Why? Because I do. When I married her I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. period! Everyday I see her I give thanks for it. And like you, I think laying in bed next her each night is the best place in the world (i’m, trying to be serious here), and I tell her.

    I lost my Mum last summer and we were all trying to be so strong and positive around here that none of us said any ‘soppy’ stuff to her, becasue it just wasn’t us to be like that. We were all loved, as was she, we knew it and still do, we didn’t feel the need to discuss/say it. But looking back I know how scared she must have been, we were there for her everyday but I wish I’d been more forthcoming with my feelings for her, especially at the end.

    We mustn’t be ashamed to show it, we must never take it for granted and most of all we should extend it to those who need it.

    Thank you for giving me the cahnce to write that.

  5. Great idea, Heidi — and a good motivator to kick off a little sunshine into what promises to be a gray and drizzly week here in the bay area.

    I put a blog post up to let my friends and family know that I love them, and why. And (of course) I pointed them back here to Grit and Glimmer for a little link-love, too.

    There are so many NGOs doing amazing things, but I’ll put my vote up for MSF too.

  6. This is a very cool idea and you rock really hard for doing it. I guess if pressed I’d have to go with MSF, but it’s always hard to choose.

    I told my gf that I loved her. I am not one to say it all the time (except to my dog) so it was sort of cool to do it out of the blue.

  7. Thank you for being “the voice.”
    Nothing matters more in life than how we take care of each other (which also means taking care of our earth).
    Keep this on the front burner. You rock!

  8. My husband is hard at work, so I gave him a heartfelt “I love you” over instant messanger. Does that count? :-) We end nearly every conversation with that little nugget, which always makes me happy.

    My Haiti charity of choice is Partners in Health, led by Dr. Paul Farmer. This is an incredible organization that has been helping the people of Haiti for many years. I learned about Farmer & his work by reading “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” a powerful book by Tracy Kidder. I can’t say enough good things about this book (& this charity) & urge everyone to read it, especially now.

  9. Only 10 comments?! This morning I stroked my cat and told her how I loved her. Then I told my mother I loved her, because she’s the best mother ever. That’s two entries in one comment!

    XOXOX Love ya Heidi <3


  10. I linked to your post – and told everyone I loved them. I do tell my family and friends often that I love them – but can you ever really say that too much? I also love PW and think Ree rocks :)

    Doctors without Borders

  11. I just sat down to read this and had to get up and go tell Andrew that I love him. After the fighting we have been doing all morning it was a timely reminder to focus on the big picture and not the little things.

    Good call, cuz. You always know just the right thing to say.

  12. Heidi, thanks for talking about love and sharing the love! I told Tony I loved him this morning, but damn, it can not be said enough.

    Mercy Corps!

  13. As i was reading this post i was sitting with my 3 month old. i looked at him. he was currently drooling on my forearm. i kissed him on the cheek and whispered in his ear that i loved him more than he will ever know. he turned as if to respond and stuck out his tongue. i couldn’t have asked for a better response…

    thanks heidi…

    Doctors without Borders

  14. I love *you,* little!!

    I (with great bias) vote for the Global Fund for Women. We’re making grants to get much needed relief money into Haiti now, but mainly we’ll focus our efforts on rebuilding/sustaining our grantees for the long haul.



  15. I tell Jamie I love him several times a day, so that’s a given. But this is huge – I told my big brother I love him. I can count on my left hand how many times I’ve done that (sad, huh?) We’re not very close, and I’d like to change that.

  16. Oh yeah, and my charity of choice is Mercy Corps. Close second for Doctors Without Borders. YOU ROCK HARD, SWIFT!

  17. we still love Ruby, our golden retriever, although she is gone from this world. a playful pix of the old girl here,


    charity; Gales Creek Camp, a 55 year old summer kamp for kids with Type 1 diabetes, http://www.galescreekcamp.org/

  18. Yeah I tell Jess I love her (nearly daily) but sometimes, I like to shout it from the rooftop too. :)


  19. For the past 25 years, I’ve been in love with just one woman. Her name is Susan. We have two amazing daughters, a great life and loads of memories we’ve made together. We’ve weathered a lot of storms, including several we caused ourselves, by finding shelter in each other. Our definition of love goes beyond fickle feelings, although romance still abides. Our love is based on promises made and promises kept. She has supported me, confronted me, laughed with/at me, believed in me, corrected me, and blessed me. (I’m pretty sure she still likes me most of the time as well.) Although I’ve already told her I love her a couple of times today, she’ll hear it again when I send her the link to this post.
    Our favorite charity is Compassion International, serving the children of Haiti for over 40 years now.

  20. I tell my hubby and kids I love them every morning as I leave the house, and every night before we go to bed, and pretty much any time we are parting ways.

    Great idea for a charity drive, Heidi! I love reading about love. :)

    Mercy Corps is my charity of choice.

  21. earl patrick

    i love my daughter and make sure to tell her every day. she is my greatest joy.


    you are a talented writer with a big heart, heidi. thanks for doing this. my vote goes to mercy corps.

  22. Tyler Cheung

    Just FYI, thought this would be interesting to you as a photographer, but a local (well-connected) photo/social change org, the Nuru Project, were auctioning off these prints last thursday here at NYC….the images were pretty amazing, and very sad:


  23. I have always made it a top priority to tell all those around me how much I love them at least once a day if not more, and now on my third chance at life I maybe even go over board as I have to hug and squeeze my daughters and granddaughter every time I see them, it is almost funny to see the expressions on their faces I delay their hurried lives.

    You never cease to amaze me, and I love how you are all over the map!

  24. I said to my family and all people that I love you many times many times.Though I was not in time on the deadline, I was able to be given a good opportunity by you. Tanks!
    And I pray for much support and love for Haitian people.

  25. A dear friend’s dear friend died at one of the UN buildings in Port-au-Prince last month. That’s the very short story, and in the course of the long story, my friend and I used the stress to say “I love you.” It shouldn’t take stress, especially that kind of stress. Lesson re-learned.

    Thank you, Heidi, for the reminder.

    P.S. Mercy Corps is remarkable.


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