March 1, 2010

Grow America Fund’s Yvon Alexandre Organizing Relief Fund and Medical Mission March 8-13
Donate Now to Help Provide Critically-Needed Supplies

(Hartford, CT)  –  We’ve all been stunned by the initial and continuing accounts of the devastating earthquake that struck the island nation of Haiti and left more than 212,000 dead, and another 1 million homeless.

The staggering impact of the earthquake on his native homeland has moved Grow America Fund borrower Yvon Alexandre to take action. He has put his extraordinary entrepreneurial skills to work by organizing a response to the catastrophe, under the auspices of the Connecticut Haitian American Organization, Inc.(CHAO), a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization.

To date, CHAO has collected more than $29,000 and over 30,000 pounds of supplies for the earthquake survivors, including food, water, clothing, medicine and personal hygiene items.  But more is desperately needed. Now, Alexandre, through CHAO, is mounting a medical mission to Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, scheduled for March 8 through 13.  To date, Alexandre says CHAO has received commitments from 18-20 physicians, nurses and others who will pay $1,000 a piece to cover their own transportation and lodging in order to take part in the humanitarian effort.  Among the volunteers are a team of five prosthetics experts volunteering on behalf of The Pakistani American Association of Connecticut (PAACT). The team will be able to fit survivors, mostly children, with artificial limbs.

Alexandre says additional funds are greatly needed to purchase and to ship much needed first aid items, pain relievers, and toiletries.  If you would like to donate to the CT Haitian American Organization, Inc.’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti, plese click here for information.

Donations can also be mailed to:
CT Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund
P.O. Box 290161
Wethersfield, CT 06129

For general comments and questions, please visit CHAO’s website or e-mail

Alexandre, who was born in Haiti and emigrated to the United States when he was seven years old, is owner ofACA Foods, a Caribbean grocery and fish market, and Vibz Uptown, a banquet hall and jazz club, located in the Northeast neighborhood of Hartford.  Alexandre is no stranger to community service; in addition to his work with CHAO, he’s currently finishing up his second year as chairman of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, and also serves on several boards, including the Hartford Metro Alliance, and the Caribbean Trade Council of Hartford. 

Alexandre says the Pakistani community in Hartford, who experienced the pain of watching the people of their own homeland suffer from a severe earthquake in 2005, has been of great assistance throughout the relief effort, and conducted a fundraiser for the Haitians earlier this month.