Cindy Zork

Following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010, USGBC committed to building a LEED Platinum orphanage in Port-au-Prince, providing a safe, healthy and positive future for the children of Haiti. To date, nearly $734,000 has been raised towards the building of the orphanage. Recently, USGBC Emerging Professionals took on the cause, leading fundraising initiatives across the US to help meet the million-dollar fundraising goal.

USGBC Emerging Professionals are a dedicated group of young professionals who work to create a network of leaders in the field of sustainability. They work closely with chapter leaders to grow professionally through hands-on experience, networking opportunities and volunteer projects that improve neighborhoods, mobilize green building advocates and raise local awareness about sustainable living.

Last February, Emerging Professionals from USGBC National Capital Region hosted a fundraising happy hour and auction. Representatives from HOK Architects, a partner in Project Haiti, spoke with attendees about the project. With the combined efforts of the organizers, partners, local businesses and attendees, the EPs were able to raise nearly $1,000 for Project Haiti. Building on their success with the first event, NCR EPs held a second happy hour fundraiser in July, raising an additional $700 dollars for the cause.

At a fundraiser on Aug. 15, Emerging Professionals from Urban Green, USGBC’s New York City chapter, raised over $1,700 for the campaign. The event was a cultural celebration, with a performance by local Haitian drumming group La Troupe Makandal. A generous donation of raffle prizes from the Four Seasons Restaurant, TJ Allan, Rachel Goldfarb, Volta, Alexandra Weiss Designs and Urban Green Council contributed to the funds raised.

In early 2011, USGBC Cincinnati Regional Chapter sent a tweet about Project Haiti to Dhani Jones, a former Cincinnati Bengal who also founded the organization BowTie Cause. This got the ball rolling on one of the most unique fundraisers for Project Haiti, the creation of a simple red and blue checkered Bow Tie depicting the official flag and national colors of Haiti. All proceeds from each Project Haiti bow tie sold go directly to the cause. USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi has been spotted sporting one; if you’d like to purchase one of your own, please contact

Visit the Project Haiti page on the new to learn more about Project Haiti Orphanage and Children’s Center.

Thanks to Tianni Craig, National Capital Region Chapter, Jessica Cooper, Urban Green Chapter, and Laura Kron, Cincinnati Chapter, for their contributions to this article!