A Conversation with Patricia Arquette: An exercise in Giving Love
Last Updated on Monday, 6 February 2012 03:35 Written by Urban Zen Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:44
Recently, Urban Zen had a fantastic opportunity to connect and collaborate with Patti Hansen and Patricia Arquette to distribute survival bags to women living in tent camps in Haiti. The project was borne out of an inspired conversation that our founder, Donna Karan, had with her long-time friend Patti Hansen. Patti and Molly Madden recently launched a new collection of bags called, “Hung on U,” and Donna immediately thought of Haiti. A few conversations later, the idea of the Survival Bags came into being. Patti provided the bags and Patricia Arquette distributed them to the women she works with through her GiveLove Foundation in Haiti.
The beautiful bags were filled with the essential items needed most by the women living under the difficult circumstance of tent life including: underwear, Medika Mamba Plumpy’nut nutrition bars, a poncho, a pair of flip flops, a whistle, a flashlight and purified water tablets.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Patricia Arquette who distributed the bags. We chatted with her about all things Haiti and the experience of giving love by giving out the survival bags.
Here, we share our conversation to you:
Urban Zen: Can you tell us a little bit about the work you’re doing in Haiti?
Patricia Arquette: GiveLove started working in Haiti right after the earthquake in one of the largest tent camps in Citi Soleil. We realized right away that the lack of sanitation was a public health disaster. After learning more about Haiti, it became obvious to us that the lack of sanitation was a systemic problem even before the earthquake and 80% of the rural people had no clean water or toilets. Only the wealthiest people in Port-au-Prince have access to adequate sanitation. We couldn’t turn away from the fact that poor sanitation causes more deaths than HIV and malaria combined, and sadly diseases like cholera kill children and the elderly who are most vulnerable to infection. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be consumed with finding affordable sanitation solutions for the poorest people or have to understand pathogen death rates. The system that we’ve chosen to implement in Haiti is called thermophilic composting, and it’s a very simple and easy way to completely sanitize waste and convert it into compost that can be used for agriculture and reforest Haiti.Learn More
Experiencing Haiti through Donna’s Eyes
Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2011 04:16 Written by Urban Zen Friday, 16 December 2011 01:54
“I love being an ambassador for Haiti and taking new people on my journeys is very exciting for me. There is nothing I love more than showing people Haiti through a new lens. You can’t not be inspired.” – Donna Karan
On Donna’s most recent trip to Haiti she took with her a crew of new travel companions, all of whom were very excited to experience Haiti through her eyes.
Haiti has been a remarkable conduit for inspiration for Donna and the entire Urban Zen team. We thought it would be interesting to check in with Donna’s new travel companions before and after the trip to see what they think of Haiti.
Here, a round up of their responses:
What are you most looking forward to about this trip?
“To see a country being rebuilt; to see this kind of progress is really exciting for me.”
“It’s my first time going to Haiti. I am interested in seeing what’s really going on. I watch on TV, and I read about what all of these wonderful organizations are doing … I am happy to be part of it in one way or another.”
“I am really interested in the culture. I’ve read some Haitian literature and am very interested in the art – but really for me, I am most looking forward to the humanitarian element… meeting people. Judging by Donna’s schedule for us, it’s going to be an adventure. I’ve really been looking forward to it.”Learn More
The Children for Children Haiti Project: Holiday Greetings
Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2011 07:14 Written by Urban Zen Monday, 12 December 2011 05:05
“When something is made by hand, you feel the soul that went into it.” – Donna Karan
We couldn’t agree with these words from our founder more, and these hand-drawn holiday cards portray this sentiment beautifully. As a part of our Children for Children Haiti Project kids from the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC created these imaginative holiday greetings for children in Haiti and this weekend the Urban Zen team had the pleasure of hand-delivering the thoughtful cards to Haitian orphans.
We were inspired and moved by the artwork and we thought you would be too.
Here, a selection of the children’s holiday cards: