Saturday, October 16, 2010

You Can't Keep a Good Man Down

My son, Jesse, always liked to dress like a wild man, and imagined himself running through jungles in the tropics, eating weird exotic food and doing something important. Hopefully with a spear.

Jesse did indeed find himself in the tropics a couple weeks ago eating goat brains out of a goat skull. He didn't have a spear to my knowledge, but he did have a beautiful book to share which has taken on a life of its own.

When the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti this January, Jesse wanted to help. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from around the world, but Jesse said, " As I sat at my easel and thought about the future of Haiti, I was sure of only one thing: we will forget".

He wrote and illustrated this remarkable picture book, HOPE FOR HAITI. The story is set in the tent city which was erected inside Port Au Prince soccer stadium. I am so proud of Jesse for creating a book that is beautiful and full of compassion.

Jesse is working with We Give Books, and his publisher, Putnam/Penguin through book sales is giving a generous donation to Save the Children's Haiti Earthquake~Children in Emergency Fund.

The earthquake killed over two hundred thousand people, and left thousands injured. Here's Jesse gettin' down with his pals at a health care and education compound. These are kids at risk, many of whom are orphaned. Jesse brought over loads of deflated soccer balls and pumps for the children. Needless to say, they were stoked.

Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the earthquake. Now the battle against chaos, violence, sickness and despair is intensified in ways most of us can't even imagine.

Jesse is also working with the World Vision ADP center in Hinche, and Artists for Peace and Justice, NPH, and St. Damiene's Hospital in Port Au Prince.

Here they are distributing food and supplies spearheaded by Bryn Mooser who has put his life on the line to help the Haitian people. Check out his inspiring and heart-breaking blog, City of Dust.

Here Jess is reading his book to the youngest orphans.

Jesse said that in spite of the crushing poverty, he sees hope for Haiti in these children. You can't keep a good man/woman/boy/girl down.

"You see, love is my foundation"--Jimmy Cliff


steven said...

wow! wow richard - your boy! i've ordered a copy for my class. it gets released here in canada on tuesday next week! so good. so cool. steven

Zuzana said...

You must be truly proud of your son. Wow, talk about doing something with your life. Wonderful post indeed, making me think how little I have truly accomplished.;)
Have a lovely weekend,

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Steven. Good of you to get the book for your students. Jesse loves to talk or skype with classes and students. You are some kinda teacher.

Hi Zuzana. Yeah, I am proud of him. I know what you mean, I have not come close to my potential, let alone to do as Gandhi suggests, "Be the change you want to see in the world..." Sigh. And yet, one day at a time. I am trying to be ready for the higher gifts that come along often in surprising packages.

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