History

ServeHAITI has been a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation since 2001. We are a volunteer organization with roots in the social outreach program of Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  In the late 1990s, the first delegation traveled to Haiti, and out of the collaborative efforts of a multitude of volunteers throughout the United States and Canada, ServeHAITI was born in 2001.

In 2002, numerous volunteers from Iowa signed on—forming the Iowa delegation. The ServeHAITI membership includes a diverse group of doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, engineers, educators, journalists, carpenters, administrators and students.

From February 2001 until the completion of the health center in May 2006, patients were seen in a makeshift “clinic” in the back of the local church—St. Pierre Parish.

As is evidenced by the above photo, that very first medical team in 2001 was met by hundreds of people wishing to see the “American doctors”. It was at this time, Dr. Leopold Bourgouin signed on as the Haitian medical director.

In 2008, a film crew comprising volunteers, David Briggs, Steve Henke and Tim Kane traveled to the region of Grand-Bois in March 2008 – donating their time and talent to developing a documentary film, Defining Dignity: The People of Haiti. Produced by Timothy Kane Productions, this 10-minute film documents the lives of the people of Grand-Bois as well as the many volunteers working with the Haitian staff at the health center.

Tim Kane’s film career spanned more than 20 years, taking him to more than 40 countries. In 2008,  Tim was quoted in the Quad – City Times newspaper (Davenport, Iowa) as saying “Having worked on film projects in places like Bangladesh, Sudan and Ethiopia, I figured I’d seen the worst the world has to offer. I was wrong. The degree of suffering and human tragedy in Haiti equals or surpasses any place in the world. And, sadly, it’s in our own backyard.”  The ServeHAITI family continues to mourn the loss of this great man who passed away in May, 2011.

Funding for this production was made possible through a generous donation from the Bob & Rita Thompson Family.