David Schwartz, Community Volunteer since 2001

 “Spending time on the Vassar campus, interacting with people attending the sale and auction, and helping Haitian artists and children in Chermaitre. Who could ask for anything more?”


Judy Elkin

 Judy graduated Vassar in 1976 with an Independent Major in Environmental Design. She served as President
of the Older Students Society (she was 28 when she graduated). Making the most of her liberal arts education, she has worked in classical music management, college admissions (at Bard and SUNY New Paltz), and worked for the Dutchess County Arts Council as Coordinator of Arts and Education. She currently has a social work practice devoted to grief and bereavement. Over the years she’s been involved in
community groups including the Town of Poughkeepsie Democratic Committee (she was a committeperson when she was at Vassar) and now serves as the Board President for the Dutchess County Interfaith Council.

“I love working on the Haiti Project because it allows me to: live out the dictum “Think global, act local”; live out my religious beliefs involving the eradication of poverty in the world; be around beautiful art; and finally, to work with the special, caring people who also work on the Haiti Project.”

Susan Levinson, Database Director, Publicity Committee Member and Art Sale Host

 “The mission of the Vassar Haiti Project really touched me and I’ve been a member since 2002 when I learned about the work through a mutual friend. It is with great purpose and passion that I speak to others about the VHP and I volunteer as much of my time as possible. I’m thrilled to be a part of this fabulous and meaningful project that serves so many purposes starting primarily with education and paying the salaries of teachers through to the support of artists for their work.

We recently added the reforestation, water purification and medical care initiatives to our fundraising efforts to allow Haitians an opportunity to be more self-sufficient.

My role is that of database administrator managing the mailing list (ahhh…the mailing list!!!) and recording sales data from art sales and events. I love attending the planning meetings, stretch framing parties, pricing sessions and sales events but my very favorite activity is selling the art and handcrafts to our customers/supporters, sharing stories about the artists and describing our project to anyone interested in helping our cause.”

Mark Andrews, Associate Professor of French

“A member of the Vassar Haiti Project since its second year of existence, I was drawn to the art sale initially through my research interests, which are focused on the use of imagery in Caribbean literature. I have come to appreciate more and more the camaraderie generated between faculty, administrators, staff, students, and community members and especially enjoy working with the art itself. My trip to Haiti in January 2007 with other members of the project offered a special opportunity to see the positive results of our efforts in Chermaitre and to appreciate the remarkable spirit of the schoolchildren, parents and teachers in this isolated village.”

Jamie Fleishman

Jamie grew up in Poughkeepsie, one block from Vassar College. For Jamie, being around Vassar and Vassar people feels like home, and no time is that feeling greater than working with the Vassar Haiti Project. Jamie is currently a Program Assistant for the Yale-China Association, an international non-profit promoting understanding between Chinese and Americans.

“Since beginning my job at a non-profit that does service work abroad, I have an even greater appreciation for the Vassar Haiti Project. The passion, dedication, and love of its members comes together to produce the unique energy that drives VHP.”