2010 Holiday Drive: House of Hope (Plus Giveaway)

UPDATE (December 4): Wow!!! We’ve exceeded the goal in just a few days. The original goal was an arbitrary number and does not reflect House of Hope’s actual need. I simply chose a number that I felt was reachable. Turns out I underestimated you!

While we’ve exceeded the initial target number, the drive will continue as planned until December 18, 2010. Donations are still accepted and I will continue to give out raffle tickets until then.


Hello Friends,

Over the years the community here has participated in Holiday Drives. This year I wanted to do something not close to home but close to my heart. As you may know, I travelled to the West Indies last year to visit the places my family is from. The place I felt the closest connection to was (and still is) Dominica, my grandmother’s birthplace.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a little island in the Lesser Antilles that few people have heard of. I’ve written fairly extensive about Dominica over the last year and if you’d like to get a glimpse of the island, please begin here. What I haven’t mentioned is the need that is there. Because it is a small place that few people have heard of, they don’t draw much international support. I won’t go into every way in which there is need, but in 1979 Hurricane David ravaged the island, I mean tore it to shreds, wiping everything in its path. In many ways, the island is still recovering from that loss as well as the loss of the more recent loss of the Banana Industry, which provided a reasonable living to a lot of people.

While need is great, especially during the Holidays, I decided to focus on one organization that I am really impressed by.

The House of Hope in Delices, Dominica, is a home that provides loving, 24 hour care to persons with severe physical and mental disabilities. It was started by a small group of women in the village of Delices when 2 severely disabled women in their community lost their elderly mother. Without her to provide care they were stranded without anyone to help them, or any kind of facility to take them in. Since then, the House of Hope have raised the funds to build a larger facility with a garden and they now have six female residents including the original two women. They are ages: 6, 8, 14, 38, 40 and 52 years old. The facility gets some money from the government, but the rest comes from donations. They are in constant need of supplies.

I think what struck me about this endevor was that it was started by a group of women who wanted to help other women in their community who were in desperate, life or death need. This sort of effort speaks to the generosity of community spirit that still thrives in the smaller villages. Self-sufficiency is a way of life, but it is backed by the understanding that you can’t make it without the help of your neighbor.

You can read more about the House of Hope on their site, or see several photos of the home and the reconstruction on the Flickr site.

Anyone who donates $5 to this drive will be entered into a raffle to win a prize pack that I have put together. If you donate $10 you will be given 2 entries; $20 = 4 entries, and so on…. You can expect an email containing your “ticket/s” within a day of making a donation. I will draw a winner on December 18, 2010.

Every $5 = 1 ticket.

THE PRIZE: 1 signed copy of each of my books: You Grow Girl and Grow Great Grub + 1 tshirt of your choosing (sorry they’re not re-listed yet but you choose from 4 styles) + one of every single style of our garden buttons (there are several) + seeds, magnets and whatever miscellany I throw in.

UPDATE: I’ve noticed that new donations are slow to show on the widget but I assure you that the email updates are reaching me. If you don’t receive a response within 24 hours, please email me with your notification.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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16 thoughts on “2010 Holiday Drive: House of Hope (Plus Giveaway)

  1. Congrats on reaching your goal. I’m not sure if you check stats and all that jazz, but it was cool seeing how various people on FB & Twitter shared the link. It’s a good cause, but I think a lot of people shared it because they admire your work.

  2. Thanks Mr. Brown Thumb. I appreciate your getting the ball rolling there. I am technologically savvy, yet completely hopeless with The Facebook for some reason (mental block) and hadn’t yet figured out how to promote the drive via my account there.

  3. I don’t think I was the first to share it, but it was cool to see other people in my stream share something that did some good instead of just cat videos. :0)

  4. Gayla,
    I too am a big fan of Paul and have done a couple of hiking trips with him after which I contributed to the House of Hope. I asked for my money to be used to give the kids some treats and fun and I would request that happen again.

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