buildOn Students Support Haiti Through Service

Haiti still hasn’t completely recuperated from the earthquake’s damage, but that hasn’t slowed buildOn volunteers. In the past year program coordinators helped raise awareness about the situation in Haiti with their students and spearheaded creative events to raise funds. Check out some of buildOn’s most notable projects to date:

Lower Merion High School at the Hope for Haiti event.


  • Lower Merion High School threw a Hope for Haiti event for students and parents. The night included an art display, a dinner and jazz concert. Project Coordinator Chad Zibelman said the event was entirely focused on Haiti from the décor of Haitian posters to the creole food served. At the end of the night the school awarded buildOn with a check for $1,500 to go to Haiti.


  • Hancock High School sold purple commemorative bracelets during a Purple for Peace “dress-down day” and Global Visions Academy sold red bracelets, raising a total of $1000 to go to Haiti.


  • buildOn’s corporate sponsors collaborated in a project with students sending hygiene supplies to Haiti. Staff at the Hilton and Aladdin Capital Holdings helped students gather and package bundles of T-shirts, toothpaste, toothbrushes to send to Haitian refugees. “It was something the Hilton was really interested in because 30 percent of their staff are Haitians,” said Greg Billionis, buildOn’s North East development director.  The hotel staff taught the students Creole sayings to write in the cards they sent.

New York

  • Students created mini-Haiti flags from safety pins adorned with beads for a campaign called Haiti Pins. The students raised over $300 by selling the pins, worn in memory of the tragedy. Additionally, students at Banana Kelly High School raised over $200 by selling Hearts for Haiti during Valentine’s Day.

San Francisco, California

  • 15 students practiced Haitian drumming and dancing, and ate Caribbean food during Haiti Week. They also chatted electronically with Skyler Badenoch, buildOn’s manager of international programs, who was in Haiti during the earthquake.


  • Presswood High School organized a pajama day where students paid to wear their pajamas to school.  Student raised over $1000 to help pay for an elementary school in Haiti.