Monday, February 1, 2010

Helping Haiti

Shirts, shoe drives benefit Haitian earthquake survivors
Monday, February 01, 2010 By Susan LangenhennigFashion writer
Marilyn Cutrone's "Be A Saint, Heal Haiti" shirt is black and gold, but its message is bigger than any football season.

"I was obsessed with CNN, watching the coverage of Haiti," said Cutrone, whose New Orleans design company, AnnaDean, makes shirts with local themes. "I have two children of my own, and what I was seeing was breaking my heart. I wanted to do something, and I wanted to do it quick, before people forget."

Cutrone researched Haitian culture, picking the saint reference not as a way to capitalize on the home team's success, but as a representation of Haiti's deep spiritual roots. "The cross is an authentic Haitian religious symbol," she said.

All proceeds from the $28 shirt, which are sold at Mirabella, Azby's, Palm Patch, Angelique's and Ah-Ha boutiques, will go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

Other designers and retailers also are helping to keep Haitian survivors in the public consciousness. If you've already text- messaged a donation to charity and want to do more, here's a list of ways to get involved.

Jaclyn McCabe of The Voluptuous Vixen boutique in the French Quarter is offering customers a 10 percent discount if they donate a box of feminine hygiene products for Haitian women.

"I got an e-mail from a friend of a friend looking for supplies for a local hospital in Haiti," McCabe said. "While at the store shopping for supplies to send, I walked down the feminine hygiene aisle, and it occurred to me there would be a great need. I filled my cart."

McCabe will send the products to the Haitian Community Hospital. For a view of the medical staff at work, check out the Haitian Community Hospital on Facebook. To donate, drop off products at The Voluptuous Vixen boutique, 538 Madison St., or call 504.529.3588.

Local Feet First boutiques are accepting donations of men's, women's and children's shoes for Soles4Souls, a Nashville, Tenn.-based nonprofit that helps to get needed footwear to disaster victims around the world.

Soles4Souls coordinated more than 1 million pairs of donated shoes to people in need in the aftermaths of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Asian tsunami.

Though the drive is particularly seeking sturdy shoes for people living in the rubble and twisted metal of the earthquake zone, no donations will be turned away. Shoes may be dropped off at the Feet First stores, 4119 Magazine St. and 526 Royal St. For details, call 504.899.6800.

Creed, the renowned French perfume house, uses Haitian vetiver grass for one of its signature fragrances. To help the Caribbean island nation, the company will donate 5 percent of proceeds from sales at to ADRA, an organization working to provide medical services and water purification.

Shepard Fairey, the graphic designer who became famous for the red, white and blue Obama Hope poster, has designed a T-shirt to support recovery efforts. The gray shirts with the heart design sell for $15 at Cafe Press. All proceeds benefit the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

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Susan Langenhennig can be reached at or 504.826.3379.

You can also download this video to help send funds to Haiti.

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