COLUMBIA — Lauren Seyfarth wanted 21 shots on her birthday, but she didn't want to drink any alcohol.
For her 21st birthday on May 4, she wanted her friends to help buy a "shot" at the future for Haiti.
Using Facebook, Seyfarth, an MU junior majoring in communications, invited her friends to donate $3 or $4 each — the amount each shot would cost — to the Haitian Timoun Foundation.
The nonprofit foundation partners with existing organizations that are focused on the long term and that seek to help Haitians acquire the resources they need to be leaders for their country. It's primary mission is to "create a future of hope, sustainability and dignity for the children of Haiti." It partners with schools, orphanages, community organizations, leadership programs and medical programs run by Haitians.
The response has been greater than she expected. So far, she said she's raised about $420.
Seyfarth became involved with the Haitian Timoun Foundation through her church. Her pastor was the founder of the organization.
Through the foundation, Seyfarth has gone to Haiti twice, working with children’s organizations and forming relationships with people living there.
These relationships continue today, she said. She continues to talk to her Haitian friends through e-mail and Facebook.
After the earthquake, Seyfarth was speaking to one of her Haitian friends on Facebook chat. When she questioned him about the earthquake, he replied, “It’s OK, no worries. Just pray.”
“That’s incredible to me that he didn’t ask for anything,” she said.
Seyfarth hopes to continue finding ways to help bring attention to Haiti and support them. Even if she cannot physically be in Haiti, she wants the people to know she is still doing what she can to support them.
“I just really can’t think of a more deserving people,” she said.
“They do more for me than I do for them.”
If you would like to make a donation, go to htflive.org/ and click "Donate Now."