Clothes for Haiti

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Four days after the massive January 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti, Lindy heard on CBC radio that a collection of clothes was being organized at the North York Civic center. We spoke about it together, and decided that we would try to collect clothes for the children of Haiti.  Noah was very enthusiastic about the perspective of getting involved and being able to help in a very concrete and positive way.

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Noah worked very hard at collecting and sorting clothes by type and by age. He even gave away many of his favorite T-shirts (except for the “Tintin” T-shirt he received from his grand parents in Belgium).

Once they were all nicely bagged, he though that it would be nice to send a short message with the clothes to tell the people of Haiti that we were thinking about them and wishing them “bon courage” in these extremely difficult circumstances. He placed one message in each bag, and we took them in the afternoon to the collection center.

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Noah helped carrying the bags and also helped with directing people arriving with new bags of clothing to the proper floor and room.  It was a great source of pride for me to see him taking his job so seriously and becoming a small, but meaningful, participant in the larger Canadian humanitarian relief enterprise.

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In the following days, we spoke a lot about the people of Haiti and about other ways we could help. When Noah heard that we were going to make a donation through UJA to help the Israeli team of medical experts and the IDF search and rescue force that was one of the very first to arrive in Haiti and establish a field hospital, he immediately took money from his piggy bank and gave it all to Lindy “for the Israeli doctors”.

He also wished to make the donation in the name of his cousin Lexy who was being Bat Mitzvahed that same weekend. We also listened to the thoughtful and truly heartfelt speech given by Michaelle Jean, expressing the collective support of Canada to the people of Haiti. And again a few days later heard on CBC President Clinton praising Canada for being the greatest financial contributor to the relief effort to Haiti on a per capita basis (along with Israel). It certainly made us proud to see Canadians and Israeli being at the forefront of the international relief efforts.

Recently, we also participated in the petition launched by AVAAZ to have all countries cancel the large Haitian debt.  (See: http://www.avaaz.org/en/haiti_cancel_the_debt/?cl=456930448&v=5274). We learned that Canada had canceled entirely Haiti’s debt. We sent emails to all our friends explaining that this was one of the most important measures to insure that Haiti would not be burdened during its reconstruction efforts by having to reimburse money borrowed by past dictators.

Overall, it was quite touching for Lindy and I to see the wonderful side of Noah’s unselfish personality developing over the years and his commitment to get involved and help people that are less privileged in the world.

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About Michel Botman

Michel Botman was born in Belgium, where visual arts have always flirted with the limits of reality. In the eighties, Michel Botman started exploring the first tools to manipulate images though computers. For about 15 years, Michel Botman worked throughout Europe in the emerging field of Computer Applications for the Graphic Arts. Extensive experience in Digital Imaging allowed Michel to move into the field of computerized systems for Diagnostic Imaging. As VP Sales & Marketing for eSys Medical and later with Eclipsys, Michel Botman always remained dedicated to the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of his career. At the present time, Michel Botman is refocusing his life towards graphic arts. “I studied photography in Europe, but never had time to practice it enough. Life took me on other paths towards computer technologies and running a business. I enjoyed it very much, but I also love art. I always keep my eyes open for exciting opportunities and people that touch my heart.” Michel Botman lives in Toronto with his wife Lindy and son Noah. Above Gravatar pictures are of Michel Botman, his wife Lindy Amato and his son Noah Botman.
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