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Fighting Poverty- Tom Vanderwell


Blog Action Day

Today marks the second annual Blog Action Day in which the goal is for all bloggers to be focusing for one day on a single cause, this year it’s fighting poverty in an effort to raise awareness and encourage a global discussion.

Tom Vanderwell

Tom Vanderwell is a mortgage lender by day but is on the board of the God’s Littlest Angels Haitian Orphanage by night (and well, probably any other time he’s not at the office). Just talking over Twitter about the Orphanage, its needs and Tom’s involvement, we both got emotional- Haiti, an already poverty stricken nation is in worse shape than it has been in years having been destroyed and re-destroyed by hurricanes.

Tom wrote about his involvement on his site (please scroll to the bottom of the page to see the pictures of living conditions right now in Haiti) and I was blown away by how connected he is with the pain of others. He told me today, “they have 97 kids at the main house in an area about 3000 sq. ft and another 74 kids at the toddler house. They really need $2 million to get an orphanage that’s big enough. Why I work for God’s Littlest Angels – more kids need to have the opportunity to experience the love of a family. I could go on…

THAT MANY CHILDREN live in 3000sf? That’s a standard sized house here, that seems barely possible to me. Tom says it best, “When I think about what we have and how blessed we are and how much we complain about the mess in the mortgage and housing markets, and then I look at the pictures below and it makes me realize how good we’ve got it.” Please consider asking anyone you know in a corporate position to consider helping them build a new building and help feed the children, Haiti is a very poor country that needs all the help it can get, especially the innocent babies. Tom, the AG readers and writers thank you sincerely for all of your fundraising and hard work for the God’s Littlest Angels Haitian Orphanage.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Drew Meyers from Zillow

    October 15, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I read Mountains beyond mountains, the story of Paul Farmer’s life (much of which involves his work in Haiti) and it was eye-opening to say the least. Haiti is definitely a country that needs as much exposure and help as possible. Thank you for your work Tom.

  2. Tom Vanderwell

    October 15, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Hey Lani,

    Thanks for the write up. I didn’t tell you this before, but the little girl sitting on my lap in that picture became my daughter 4 1/2 years ago and she’s now a bouncy, noisy, excited 1st grader……

    Tom

  3. Benn Rosales

    October 15, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Tom, you’re a lucky pop indeed, and although you probably don’t like the spotlight as much as you prefer it on your cause, I’d like to say thank you, sincerely.

  4. Tom Vanderwell

    October 15, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Drew,

    Paul Farmer is just an incredible man. What he’s done is truly mind boggling. I met two people from his organization last week in Seattle. His descriptions of Haiti are “right on” with what I’ve seen there. You’re right, Haiti and it’s people need a lot of help.

    Thank you!

    Tom

  5. Tom Vanderwell

    October 15, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Benn,

    You’re right, it’s not about me, it’s about the kids. However, I’ve learned that when you are a “vanilla” dad with two “chocolate” kids (and three more vanilla ones) you learn very early that you don’t blend into the crowds very well. The way that God has used this whole adventure to bless us and to help us begin to see and meet other great people has been a wonderful ride.

    Thank you.

    Tom

  6. Drew Meyers from Zillow

    October 15, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Tom-
    You mean you were in seattle and we didn’t grab coffee or a drink? Next time…

  7. Drew Meyers from Zillow

    October 15, 2008 at 11:47 am

    And I totally agree. People like paul farmer are mind-boggling — the amount of work they do for others is truly amazing. It’s a lead more people should follow. My hunch is that for those that meet paul in person, saying no to helping others is all but impossible.

  8. Tom Vanderwell

    October 15, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Drew,

    Next time. I got in Thursday afternoon and literally didn’t have a spare 20 minutes before I left Sunday morning. Meetings and fundraiser opportunities at Microsoft and others.

    You are right on about Paul……

    Tom

  9. Ginger Wilcox

    October 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    That many children in 3000 square feet is insane and heart wrenching. This story brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful baby girl you adopted Tom. She is lucky to have a dad with a heart of gold.

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