If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. — Mother Teresa
These are more than just words to American Airlines employee Brenda Staley. The Montclair mom actually uses her flight benefits to help run her charity — Futures4Haiti.
Staley first started flying to Port-au-Prince in 1993.
“The resilient nature of the Haitian people blew me away, and I was drawn to help,” she remembers.
Education seemed to be the best place to start. Staley and her friends started by paying for one child’s tuition. Today — some 20 years later — they sponsor 20 students.
“We try to choose children who we feel will use their education to better their community,” Staley says.
She says one little girl was so determined, she followed Staley around for days, helping her enroll other kids in the program.
“She is so bright and driven, and I have no doubt that she will create a better future for herself and her family.”
Staley and her associate, Chris Clark, travel to Haiti three to four times a year. Other flight attendants and friends help deliver donated goods and school supplies. Their goal is simple — to keep the kids in school, learning English and other skills that can help them find work in a growing tourism market in Port-au-Prince.