I’m Going to Haiti On a Mission Trip! @BlkCelebGiving #GlamazonTravel

Glamazons,

I’m so excited to go on my first mission trip over Labor Day Weekend. Along with Black Celebrity Giving, I’ll be setting foot in Haiti for the first time not just to take in the amazing weather and sights, but to volunteer for several missions that help bring much-needed service to the community.

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I’ve always wanted to go on mission trips. Ever since a young age, my parents and grandma would require that I volunteered through my church. So each week, I was feeding disadvantaged men and women (many who didn’t have homes) at the soup kitchen, I was singing hymns at the nursing home, I was piling up clothes, sneakers, coats and the like to donate in clothing drives. I watched how my grandmother embraced every single person that came to the church, not looking down on them, pitying them or judging them, but genuinely showering them with warmth and kindness. I saw my Mom hold hands and talk to the elderly at the nursing home, something she still does to this day. And I saw my Dad serve on the board at Integrity House in Newark, a 50-year-old nonprofit mental health and substance-abuse treatment center, where he not only helps people rebuild their lives, but he inspires them on a personal level — as a man who grew up in their city (Newark) and found success against all odds.

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I have so many memories of my parents serving and giving back to others. That birthed in me a compassion for other people, and a desire to help uplift people in any way I can. Finally, I’m giving back on an official trip! (When I went to Cuba, we had a chance to donate items to a church, and give back to the many local adults and children we met along our travels. There was something truly beautiful about that exchange.)

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I know we won’t change the world in one trip, but every little bit helps. To that end, our group of 30+ volunteers is setting up an emergency food and toiletry supply pantry, we’re working in a local hospital and we’ve adopted an orphanage where we’ll spend the day in service to over 50 youth. We’re also bringing supplies, clothing, and toiletries to Haiti, and calling on our networks to help make it happen. We’ll use donations to purchase said items and ship them to Haiti.

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Here’s exactly what we’re giving:

-School Supplies – Crayons, Construction Paper, Pens, Pencils, Markers and Binders.
-Feminine Hygiene Products and Toiletries – Tampons can be up to $13 a box in Haiti. Items to collect include: Tampons, Maxi-pads, Feminine Wipes, Toothbrushes, Tissue, Toothpaste, Washcloths, Lotion and Deodorant.
-Art Supplies – Canvasses, Paint, Paint Brushes, Crayons, Markers, Construction Paper, Crafts.
-School Uniforms – We will provide one orphanage with a back to school shopping spree, youth will be able to get a school uniform as well as a play outfit, boys and girls underwear and socks of all sizes are needed.

If you feel led to support, you can donate any amount here. If you’d rather send items, you can email giveback@blackcelebritygiving.com to coordinate.

And here’s more about the amazing Black Celebrity Giving organization, and our mission trip to Haiti. I’ll be sharing every second of my experience here on the blog, and on social media.

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I’m so excited! If you’ve ever been to Haiti (we’re going to Port-au-Prince and Bassin Bleu), I’d love any travel tips in the comments!

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Kisses,

Glamazon Jessica

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