Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lighting the Way to Haiti

Hello all!  I’m asking for a favor.  Can you please give me some money? 

Wait!  Come back!  It’s for a good cause!  Maybe even a GREAT cause! 


The money isn’t even for me. 

Can I start over?  

My company, Regency Lighting* is building an orphanage in Haiti this year.  For some reason, the wise and powerful owners have decided that I would be a good fit on the “planning and fundraising committee”.  I know.  Crazy, right?  

Why is a lighting company building an orphanage in Haiti?
Well, something you should know about Regency Lighting:  We exist primarily to help other people.  Our company slogan “Lighting the Way” isn’t just an extremely clever play on our trade, but also exemplifies what our owners are attempting, and usually succeeding at doing.  They want to help people.  They want to show others how to do the same.  “light the way."

They recognize how blessed and fortunate they are, and instead of “spending the rest of our lives hitting a small ball in a tiny hole on some nice grass lawns**” they want to spend their energy and efforts using the success of Regency Lighting for the benefit of those less fortunate.  

How does Regency do this?
We help supply THOUSANDS of wheel chairs to disabled people across the country through our partnership with Joni and Friends.
We help provide food and the gospel to hungry children everywhere by partnering with Children’s Hunger Fund.
We built a boys home in Thailand for boys rescued from the sex slave industry in partnership with Zoe International. 
We are helping build a home for children in Atlanta with Turnaround Ministries.

And now, we are building an orphanage in Haiti with Connect 2 Ministries.  
This orphanage will be completed in December.  We just broke ground last month.
It will house 100 children, most likely all will be between 2 and 5 years old.
“It’s not hard to get the kids.  it’s hard to get people to help build the orphanages"
They say Haiti is “home to a million orphans"
When Ron Regenstreif, our founder, visited Haiti and saw the need, he said “we're building an orphanage here"
He brought the request back to the other owners, and it took then a full 10 seconds to unanimously agree.

The cost of the orphanage is $150,000, which is either a TON of money, or HARDLY any, depending on how you look at it.
To buy land and build a facility equipped to house and care for 100 children and the staff for less than half the price of a home in the San Fernando Valley is pretty amazing.
Regency is paying $75k of this.  And we are hoping to fundraise the rest.

As one of my key roles at Regency is vendor relations, I am working with our many esteemed partners to encourage their participation in this good work.  We actually had a vendor donate $25,000 right after hearing about this!

We have 3 to 4 work trips planned for this year, the first being late in April.  I plan on going on this trip.
In my application letter, I was asked to list my reasons for going.  I think they are worth sharing.

  1.  These are real children that need help, and I want to help them.  I see that I can contribute somehow to providing a life for these children, and the opportunity has more or less landed right in my lap.  I won’t say no.
  2. I want to change my context.  As a father to 5, I just can’t comprehend any one of my kids as an orphan.  There are children as young as my little Rosie (almost 5) and my little Josiah (almost 2!) wandering around Port Au Prince, scavenging and begging for food, huddling together to stay warm.  I believe exposure to these grim realities in a tangible way will inspire me to greater acts of mercy and generosity.  Its one thing to abstractly KNOW, its another thing to SEE.  
  3. I believe my direct participation in this trip will help me more effectively communicate this need to the vendor partners that we hope will contribute, and I hope that I can encourage their participation, both monetarily and via future trips to Haiti.

Whats even more inspiring is that Regency hopes this is simply the FIRST orphanage we build.  There is no reason we couldn’t raise this amount and build an orphanage each year! And we hope to inspire other companies to build their own as well.  Once we complete this orphanage, we intend to product a “how to” guide that essentially walks other organizations through the steps necessary to build this orphanage.  


So, money.  My trip to Haiti this April costs $1400.  Can you please help me cover the cost?  I would really appreciate it, and perhaps you can even join me on the next trip!

Interested folks can message me for details, and yes your donation would be tax deductible.  

Facebook message, text/call at 818-903-6760, or email

James 2:15 and 16
15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what goodb is that?

*not, like MY company.  I mean the company I work for.  Well...I do take pride and ownership of where I work, so in a way, MY company.  But not really.  

**a real quote from one of our owners 

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