“I have seen what grassroots advocacy can do”

Maryland resident Molly Corbett shares why being a ONE Member is important to her and some recent advocacy efforts she and her husband engaged in with regard to Haiti.
I have stayed involved with ONE because I believe in ONE’s mission to eradicate extreme poverty. As a mother I am moved to act not only for my own children but for children throughout the world.

When I heard about the earthquake in Haiti all I could think was, “how much can one country endure?” Before the quake Haiti was the poorest country in the western hemisphere, only 1/3 of the country had clean drinking water and they have been plagued by government corruption for decades. For two days all I could do was watch the news in disbelief. On Thursday, a friend called and said – “so what are we going to do for Haiti?” I knew that there were people just like me – waiting to do something, something more than texting to donate $10.

The next morning I was dropping my kids off at school and I was listening to NPR report from Haiti. People were singing spiritual songs and being thankful for surviving the quake. Then I heard the Haitian motto: Strength in Unity. I thought we need to celebrate the lives of all the Haitians and show our unity with them.

My husband manages an Irish pub so I called him and suggested we have a fundraiser at the pub for Haiti. He jumped on the phone and started calling bands and other businesses for their support. Before we knew it we had 5 bands and loads of raffle prizes. The local radio station donated advertisement time and created it for us. The support was amazing!

It turned out to be an amazing event. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley came by to show his support and even got up on stage to sing a few Irish tunes. We had hoped that at least 300 people would come, but we had over 500! We raised $8,720 for Haiti. We also made sure to have ONE’s petition handy asking US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to secure the immediate cancellation of Haiti’s $1 billion debt and ensure that any emergency earthquake assistance is provided in the form of grants, not debt-incurring loans. We were proud to join the other 200,000 ONE Members who signed the petition!

Afterward we had people calling and emailing to say how much they enjoyed the event, not because of the music, but because of the sense of community it had created in helping Haiti. We were living the Haitian motto!

I have seen what grassroots advocacy can do on a local level and feel excited about what ONE is doing on a global ONE!