Zips for Haiti is a student organization at the University of Akron. Our purpose is to engage our community to help our fundraising initiatives that will help to bring about long-term change within Haiti. In addition, we hope to inspire conversations regarding the country and share our own experiences with others.
The name Zips for Haiti stems from the University of Akron's mascot, Zippy the kangaroo. Students on Akron's campus often refer to themselves as Zips. Therefore, we chose to represent our organization as Zips that are working for the betterment of Haiti (Zips for Haiti).
Our first major effort was to establish a scholarship to allow a Haitian student to receive a college education at the University of Akron. We worked closely with local Ohio organizations and businesses including COCINA, Great Harvest Bakery of Stow, and Christ Community Chapel of Hudson to assist with our community outreach. In addition, we began to import, roast, package and sell coffee as to serve as our primary fundraiser. In January 2019, we successfully fulfilled our goal and awarded the scholarship to Rilouvinxx (Bilou) Isaac. Bilou is currently in his first semester at the University of Akron studying Electrical Engineering. In January 2019, we also established a new relationship with the organization Streethearts. Streethearts is located in Cap Haitian, Haiti and works to end the population of homeless youth in Haiti through a unique 3 step process. We will be collaborating with this organization, as we look to construct our next major fundraising goal.