Cookies and hockey and more cookies, oh my!

Like every parent, the thought that my child would come to me with a request, a basic request … a toy to play with, a banana to eat, some bread with butter, a pair of shoes that fit, medicine to feel better … and that I would have to look at him or her and explain why I am not in the position to provide that to them, terrifies me. Humbles me.

So when I look at these pictures of Haiti ten months after the earthquake, pictures that look like they were taken ten DAYS after the earthquake, I wonder, “What twist of fate allowed my children to be born to me? In prosperity? What did all of these children in Haiti do to deserve to be born into that life?”

Of course the answer is nothing. But I think of my son, and I picture him walking the tent cities of Haiti, shoeless, sick, and it’s gut wrenching.

I don’t think I could handle seeing in person what Haiti has become and yet, Jamie and Ali went back as soon as they had the chance. They rented a home. They started a  new orphanage in that home while they’re raising the funds to build a new one.  They’re surrounded by destruction. There’s a cholera outbreak. They’ve taken in precious lives like these, while helping Haitian families care for their children by providing for their basic needs.

That’s baby David. I know. My ovaries just exploded.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to help them with Ti Kanaval. I can’t emotionally handle Haiti, but at least by sitting on their board of directors, helping them raise funds, maybe I, and you, can do a small part to help.

So, Ti Kanaval is Saturday and I wanted to update you on some things!

Check out this auction item just received yesterday!

It comes with a certificate of authenticity and everything!

I haven’t licked it. Yet.

That’s up for auction at the event! And I should be getting a Troy Polamalu-autographed football in the mail any day now.

In addition, the list of items that will be up for raffle is growing every day. Tickets and memberships and jewelry and gift certificates and more!

And desserts. We weren’t sure if we had enough desserts, so this morning I threw out a tweet asking if any Burghers wanted to bake some cookies for me. It think it was less than ten minutes before I secured over 750 more cookies. I love Pittsburgh. Take a look at all the people baking for us!

It’s going to be the dessert table to end all dessert tables, and I heard there would be carrot cake involved. I’m trying to get Sarris Candies to donate some chocolate covered pretzels too. Wish me luck on that! Also, if you want to bake some cookies or sweets for us, we won’t say no!

Mikey and Big Bob are going to be there emceeing the event. I told them to rap. Because they’re awesome at it.

Punchline is geared up to play and it’s just going to be an all around fun night, so I hope to see you there! Tickets are only $10 and all proceeds go to Haitian Orphan Rescue. You can spring for the $30 ticket if you’d like to attend the VIP meet and greet.

Ali is home from Haiti, arriving yesterday, and Jamie comes in later this week, and then they’ll both return to Haiti and their children next week.

I want to send them back to Haiti feeling like Pittsburgh has their backs, because living amidst so much sadness and destruction, it would seem to me to be a comfort to know you have an entire city of supporters standing behind you, cheering you on.

I’m proud that Jamie and Ali call Pittsburgh home. I’m also proud that they’re strong enough to call Haiti home too.

See you Saturday?

(Ali with the Ti Kanaval poster, snapped this morning by Jonathan Wander at his office at Z Brand, a local advertising, PR, graphic design, and web development firm.  Z Brand’s owner Goldie Ostrow donated the team members’ time to create the artwork for the event and we can’t thank them enough!)


  1. Another Ali
    November 10, 2010 3:27 pm

    You’ll see me Saturday – I can’t wait! I assume tickets can be purchased at the door as well??

  2. rickh
    November 10, 2010 3:57 pm

    Is there a way to donate and bid on some auction items without being there? I want to help out but I can’t make the event.

  3. No Princesses Here
    November 10, 2010 4:32 pm

    You’ll see me there too! Looking forward to it!

  4. red pen mama
    November 10, 2010 4:49 pm

    What @rickh said. Can’t be there, but would love to donate to the cause. I think Ali and Jamie are just amazing. (You, too, Ginny.)

  5. Peggy
    November 10, 2010 5:07 pm

    Is there a website for more information on the event? I found an old myspace page for 2009, and the new foundation website but nothing is on that website about this event. Where can I buy tickets, donate, etc for this event? Thank you!

  6. Virginia
    November 10, 2010 5:10 pm

    Peggy, click on the Ti Kanaval button up in the sidebar or go to


  7. Peggy
    November 10, 2010 5:13 pm

    HAHA! Yeah I saw that after I posted *face palm*.

    They should link the event site to the Haitian Orphan Rescue since after doing a search that was the first website that came up (just an FYI).

  8. Peggy
    November 10, 2010 5:16 pm

    Oh sorry, 1 more question…is there a way to get stuff to the girls now for the children? Like, clothing, formula, diapers, etc.

  9. Butcher's Dog
    November 10, 2010 6:29 pm

    If Ginny may/may not lick the Mario Lemieux hockey stick, is anyone else wondering what’ll happen to the Troysus-autographed football once it arrives? Yeah…I don’t want to go there, either.

  10. George
    November 11, 2010 9:17 am

    We will be there. Just a fantastic cause.

  11. SpudMom
    November 11, 2010 1:11 pm

    I have a stupid question that’s been bugging me for weeks: What does “Ti Kanaval” mean?

  12. Virginia
    November 11, 2010 1:23 pm

    It’s Haitian Creole for “Little Carnival.” ;)

  13. SpudMom
    November 11, 2010 2:07 pm

    THANK YOU! I knew it must mean something!