Bound for Port-au-Prince

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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I’m on my way to Haiti, via an overnight stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Queens Hotel at New York JFK Airport before the early morning flight down to Port-au-Prince in the morning.

I have to say that arriving at New York JFK Terminal 7 (the British Airways terminal) was one of the easiest and most streamlined experiences I have had in a US airport for some time. Immigration was speedy (and even friendly) and my suitcase was on the belt as soon as I arrived in the hall.

I’m heading to Port-au-Prince as a Founding Member of the Hand in Hand for Haiti Steering Committee and I’m looking forward to joining up there with my co-Founders, Ed Brennan, Chairman and CEO of DFS and Olivier Bottrie, President of The Estée Lauder Companies Travel Retail Worldwide, who arrived on Tuesday via the Dominican Republic.

As has been widely reported, we’re there to advance the work of a unique travel retail industry project to help the people of Haiti (and particularly the children) in reconstructing the earthquake-ravaged country.

Hand in Hand for Haiti (www.HandinHandforHaiti.com), which has already raised over US$1.8 million, will build a hurricane-proof, anti-seismic, sustainable primary school (or schools) in flood-free zones of Haiti in an area of great need.

The initiative was launched on 3 February. It is incredible to think how far we have come, collectively as an industry, since then. The thinking is well-advanced, the planning already well under way and the funding beyond our initial expectations.

It is especially enriching to see that an industry synonymous with conspicuous consumption can so readily and generously turn its attention to helping those in much more modest – in fact, desperate – circumstances.

I hope to report to you from Haiti as we tour the country over the next four days. That will depend on wi-fi connectivity but even in the event of a temporary loss of service, look out for our updates next week and wish us well.

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