When President Obama asked former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to jointly head official fundraising efforts to secure private charitable funding in response to January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, President Bush immediately turned to CFT to help manage donations to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Now, CFT and the William J. Clinton Foundation are jointly receiving and managing charitable donations for relief efforts in Haiti.
Having the trust of a former president is a great honor. But it also bears a great deal of responsibility. Already one of the world’s poorest countries, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook to its core the densely populated Haitian capital city, Port-au-Prince. An estimated 1.5 million people found themselves plunged into homelessness. Sadly, as many as 200,000 people may have lost their lives, tragically leaving tens of thousands of children orphaned.
The obvious needs of Haiti are food, water, medical care and housing. But, as former President Bush has emphasized, there is also a need for a long-term commitment to Haiti’s recovery.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will do just that, overseeing the grantmaking efforts with funds raised by the former presidents for humanitarian relief in Haiti now, along with providing support for the long-term rebuilding efforts that lay ahead.
In his speech from the White House, George W. Bush called upon all Americans for their support, stating that, "The most effective way for Americans to help the people of Haiti is to contribute money." He noted that the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will ensure that those monies are spent wisely.
Heeding the call for help, people all across the country have stepped up. Even the youngest among us. In Arizona, two young girls set up a lemonade stand, raising $111.05 for the fund. One small girl in Colorado gave $76 that she had saved from her allowance. And while those amounts may seem small, they are truly large in sum and in gesture.
"Giving to the Haiti fund is an opportunity to make a difference for people in crisis. It will help to relieve suffering and bring stability to a fragile region," said Brent Christopher, President and CEO of CFT. "One hundred percent of donations received by CFT and the William J. Clinton Foundation for the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will be spent on the relief efforts in Haiti," he said.
Established in 1953, CFT has exceeded $1 billion in cumulative grantmaking, making CFT one of the largest community foundations in the nation, and one of the most nimble. It is incumbent to derive the most value from every dollar entrusted to the organization—in good times and in times of crisis.
When asked about the former president’s choice of CFT, Mr. Christopher pointed to the foundation’s agility. The ability to quickly respond to current conditions while evaluating the long-term plans of donors enables the foundation to create the strategies that most effectively make a difference in the lives of people. "Our experienced Board of Trustees, knowledgeable advisors and talented staff will work hard to get things done."
Jody Grant, Chairman of CFT’s Board of Trustees said that CFT welcomes the opportunity to play a key role in receiving and managing the fund. "We recognize that our long-standing in the community as well as our reputation is the reason for the trust placed in CFT by the former president," Mr. Grant stated. "With more than half a century of managing and deploying charitable assets, we are prepared to handle the responsibility."
To learn more about helping our neighbors in Haiti during their time of need, log on to cftexas.org and click on Earthquake Relief.