While in the country for the 30 days of June, Naomi traveled with ministering organization Adventures in Mission, living with and assisting an orphanage housing 60 people. She and her team of nine others slept in tents outside of the complex in the compounded area. Naomi and her fellow volunteers worked construction, passed out food and entertained a few hundred kids and teenagers as part of an after-school program.
Naomi experienced firsthand the struggles of Haitian life. “The troubles, illnesses and vulnerability that Haitians face on a moment-to-moment basis are unbelievable,”
“Despite their surroundings, Haitians are full of love and respect for one another,” Naomi notes. “Whether they have a mother or father or sister or brother, they all take care of each other. They have amazing manner, hospitality, humility and integrity. They have no running water—or any amenity or convenience that Americans are accustomed to—nothing but their shanty, their church and each other. I shared utmost mercy with these happy people.”
Each day Naomi and her team would walk a quarter of a mile down the sidewalks that were like obstacle courses to the dusty tent community that housed the school, made of wooden beams, a dusty concrete slab floor, and tarps. The kids laughed while they learned to play duck-duck-goose and dances such as the Electric Slide and Macarena. Says Naomi, “Eventually they transformed from a mass of active Haitian children to names and favorites: Jenny the tiny girl with the big smile, and Webby the boy who loved to dance.”
Providing Optimism to the Homeless
Meanwhile, back at the shop, PHDesign vice president Ana Maria Martinez-Stumpo and her father, Gilbert Martinez, were building and installing beautiful, durable furniture for a new environment at the Los Angeles Skid Row homeless shelter. The pair worked with a local designer and other staff on the project to transform this shelter into stylized and “tough-enough”
In addition, PHDesign has taken a page from its Rag Bag—which is a handmade bag constructed of countless yards of remnant designer fabrics—for a new venture called Orphan Stock. The e-commerce, to-the-trade-
For more information on Orphan Stock, visit www.orphanstock.com or call 323-278-7999.
To furnish your restaurant or hotel, see www.phdesign.com or call 323-278-7999.
For media inquiries, including photo requests, please contact Naomi Stroh at firstname.lastname@example.org.