Hi! I’m Nicole, and I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband and our beloved pets – dogs, cats, chickens, and even a dove.

I have worked for and volunteered with non-profits for the better part of the last decade. When I first saw the Hope 2 Haiti video I just knew this project was something that I needed to do, and I’m so very glad I did. Going to Jacmel, Haiti was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I’m so thrilled to have been a part of this incredible adventure. I’ve met some amazing people who have already become very dear to me.

Getting to work hands-on both with children and on the construction projects was fulfilling in a way that I never expected, and I can’t wait to go back to Haiti again.

Meet Nicole Edson

Where are you from?

Portland, Oregon, USA

What made you want to go to Haiti?

I’ve worked in non-profit fundriasing for more than six years and while I was very passionate about it at first, the place I was working was no longer a good fit for me. The most rewarding parts of non-profit work have always been when I am able to do hands-on work to connect with the mission.

I’ve had puppies born in my living room, nursed sick animals back to health, and helped make it possible for local teens to learn to make their own music. Now I have a chance to do something completely different.
When the Hope for Haiti project came along and I started writing a fundraising appeal to send to my friends and family I was excited about fundraising again for the first time in a long while. I was reminded of the incredible good that people can do and why I was excited about it in the first place.

Just three weeks ago I left my job and now I’m trying to figure out what’s next for me. In part, I’m really hoping that the Haiti trip, and doing something so different and hands on will help me figure that out.

I was super impressed with how generous my friends and family were. The gifts that people made were absolutely inspiring. You’ll notice that the final big gift that put me over the goal was a memorial gift. My father passed away a few months ago. While he was always supportive of my work (I was working as a fundraiser for an animal shelter) he said that if he was going to do something like that it would be for people, specifically children, and not animals. So it seemed appropriate that our family make a gift in his memory to the Hope for Haiti project. I think he’d be very proud of the work being done there.

What are you hoping to take away from this experience?

I’m hoping to have a life changing experience. I’m really looking forward to getting back to hands on work, rather than working from behind a desk.

How did you approach the task of raising $5,000 in donations?

I asked everyone I knew to help. I sent a personal message to each of my facebook friends, I tweeted about it and I posted on livejournal. I went though my phone and email contacts and got in touch with everyone I know.

What are a few of your best fundraising tips?

People give to people. Don’t be afraid to ask and try to make it personal. Let them know why you are asking and what this means to you. Make a gift yourself and tell people that you’ve done so. Don’t think of it as begging, you’re giving people a chance to join you in doing amazing work, and making a donation can be a great experience.

Can you offer any words of encouragement to those still working towards their fundraising goal?

Don’t give up! Keep asking! Even if you don’t reach the goal this time, the money you raise will be doing incredible work and you can be so proud of the difference you’ve made for the people of Haiti.