Guest Column: ‘POUKY’ — help for Haitian children in need

By Bob Sharp

James Casimir grew up in a family of 13 children in the village of Saut-d’eau in the central plateau in Haiti. Having experienced a terrible life in Haiti, he was able to move with his wife and six children to the United States in 1994. He was sent to live in Rockford, where good people helped him and his family have a better life.

But James never forgot what life was like in Haiti. And after the earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, he and a few other compassionate Haitians created a charitable organization. The name “Pou Kinan Yo (POUKY)” meaning “for my people” in English was chosen. POUKY’s Mission Statement reads, “To bring future, hope, resource and opportunity to the hopeless in Haiti resulting in helping them to be the best equipped to move forward in life.” POUKY is managed so as to best meet the needs of the Haitian people and work with the authorities there. It is established as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3).

In line with the mission, we are currently seeking donations to provide Christmas gifts to orphaned children. The children have so very little and would not receive any gift without this help.

We ask you to consider a donation to these kids. Any amount will help. None are too small. Please give as generously as you can. To donate by check, make it out to Pouky, and mail it to Pouky, 5571 Goodhue Ave., Rockford, IL 61109. To pay by credit card, visit You may use Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. PayPal is available to process your transaction.

We also accept shoes and gently-worn clothing in all styles and sizes. To have your donation picked up, please call (815) 319-0741.

Of course, our need for funds to accomplish our mission is ongoing, every day of the year. Our goal is to improve lives in the communities and save the orphans. Our projects for 2011-2016 are: distribution of 5,000 meals every three months. Start an agriculture program to allow them to raise their own food. Implement a small business development system to help parents start small businesses that will allow them to become self-sufficient and take care of their families.

So, in addition to this Christmas time donation, you may want to make a monthly, quarterly or yearly amount each year. That can be accomplished by the same methods as above.

We thank you for your consideration. The Haitians thank you also. May God bless you.

Bob Sharp is a lifelong resident of Rockford and a board member of POUKY.

From the Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2011, issue

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