Loyal Mehnert wrote -
January marked the three year anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti, killing more than 300,000 and leaving over 1 Million people homeless. In 2011, I traveled to Port-au-Prince and joined a small team of Habitat for Humanity volunteers to start the long rebuilding process. Now just two years later, I'm headed back to Haiti, this time with Youthaiti.
My goal is to raise at least $5,000 to aid in Youthaiti's development of sustainable and locally operated ecological projects, including the construction of their Center for Sustainable Development.
But this is no ordinary fundraiser. As a travelanthropist, my goal is always to blend exploration and adventure with the importantance of philanthropy and volunteering. As such, I'll be climbing the 4th highest peak in the Carribean (Pic Macaya) with an elevation of nearly 8,000ft. There is a saying in Haiti is "Dye mon gen mon" which means "Beyond mountains, there are mountains." I'd like to add that beyond those mountains, lies hope.
Launched by Milwaukeean Gigi Pomerantz after volunteering on a 2006 medical mission in Haiti, Youthaiti is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, now in its sixth year of helping people in rural Haiti develop sustainable sanitation and hygiene, and encouraging the recycling of human byproducts to enhance sustainable agriculture.
Youthaiti needs our help to complete the next phase of building their Center For Sustainable Development in the village of Duchity, in the southwestern Haitian province of Grand'Anse. The Youthaiti Center for Sustainable Development will spread their reach in the rural communities of southwest Haiti – far from the aid efforts centered in large cities – and will help more people develop practical, sustainable ways to break the cycles of poverty and disease that destroy far too many lives each year.
ABOUT LOYAL MEHNERT
In 2007 Loyal Mehnert created “The Everyday Journeyman,” an award-winning initiative using travelanthropy (travel + philanthropy) as a fundraising tool for non-profit organizations across the globe which in turn has raised thousands of dollars for charity. Loyal has been named a People Magazine and Major League Baseball’s "All-Stars Among Us," PETA's "Sexiest Vegetarian," featured in Outside Magazine as a "Chief Inspiration Officer," and recognized as one of the Top 20 “Young Nonprofit Leaders in America” by the CLASSY Awards. In addition, Loyal was nominated for Shepherd Express’ “Local Activist of the Year” and Milwaukeean of the Year” two years in a row.
Loyal has traveled to nearly forty countries across five continents, sharing his love of adventure and volunteering. In the summer of 2012, Loyal trekked across Europe to raise money and awareness in the fight against of child trafficking. His HIKE FOR HOPE provided a year of schooling, food, and safety for nearly two dozen at-risk boys and girls in Southeast Asia.