Valley couple undaunted in global relief efforts for west’s poorest country


Valley residents Seth and Lori Goldberg are undaunted in their 10-year humanitarian efforts in Haiti that began as a basic relief effort of two individuals, and has since transformed into their all volunteer, global-relief organization Global Family Philanthropy.

Since 2008, the organization has had a significant impact, including building and supporting a children’s home, a home for abandoned elderly, and a medical clinic which provides services to thousands of people in need, according to a press release.

The group has also created sustainability projects, including gardens where medicinal plants and produce is grown to help malnourished children.

The Goldbergs began volunteering as a couple, and later introduced their daughters, now 17 and 18, to humanitarian efforts in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Since then, hundreds of volunteers have taken part in relief missions to the island nation.

On Jan 12, 2010, a magnitude-7 earthquake and aftershocks decimated Haiti, killing roughly 200,000 people and displacing more than a million Haitians from their homes, according to the Disaster and Emergency Committee, an international aid group.

Since then not much has changed for the struggling nation. Pockets of micro-change have occurred, thanks to relief organizations like the Goldberg’s, who have witnessed first-hand, pervasive problems of hunger, homelessness and social unrest caused by natural disasters, political upheaval and violence, weak and destroyed infrastructure, and a badly battered economy.

Lori and Seth Goldberg (submitted photo)

All of the missions are made possible by volunteers who travel to Haiti with the Goldbergs several times a year. The goal is for all projects to be self-sustaining, the press release stated.

One volunteer, Jackie Wischermann, is a successful businesswoman who recently retired, moved to Arizona and began volunteering with Global Family.

She says it has changed her life in profound ways. Plans are underway for the next volunteer relief visit on May 28 with additional visits planned for the remainder of the year.

In addition to those with open hearts, the Goldbergs are seeking highly skilled volunteers like doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, contractors and others that can provide much-needed support for the clinic and to provide education which is not free in Hait.

Their goals: expand the clinic to around-the-clock care and educate students to become leaders to lift their country from despair.

Earlier this month more than 200 friends, supporters, and Global Family volunteers gathered at the Hotel Valley Ho for the Imagine 2018. The program, led by Emmy Award-winning journalist and host, Carey Pena, whose team from Inspired Media 360 created a series of documentary videos that played throughout the evening, raised money which allows for funding a year’s worth of projects.

Also recognized at the Gala, Pauline Forrester, who received the 2018 Imagine Award. Ms. Forrester met the Goldbergs more than 10 years ago through school events, and she has been a dedicated part of the organization ever since.

“I was overwhelmed and truly saddened by the living conditions,” Ms. Forrester said in a prepared statement. “Just the whole environment. I wanted to help. I felt like I needed to help and do anything that I could.”

Next week, a group of seven volunteers, led by Grey Halpin, a restauranteur from Scottsdale, will head to Haiti. They will be there until the third of June visiting the 14 children who live at the Global Family Children’s Home, and the 11 elderly residents who reside at “Oma’s House,” the home Global Family volunteers built and have turned into a spark of hope and light for the community.

To learn more about Global Family Philanthropy, make a donation or to inquire about becoming a volunteer, visit www.globalfamilyphilanthropy.org.

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