Today is International Day of the Girl Child- A Day to CATAPULT Women & Girls Toward Change!

To celebrate the first annual International Day of the Girl Child, I am SO thrilled to announce that We Advance is part of an amazing new crowdfunding platform, solely dedicated to funding projects which advance the lives of girls and women around the world!

I would love for everyone to help us on this launch day to  CATAPULT  girls’ and womens’ rights in Haiti & We Adavance  through  further outreach, education  and empowerment!

Help us tweet, facebook and spread the word all over the world TODAY!

THANK YOU to Lindsey and the Catapult team for your vision and getting funds where they are most needed- to the women themselves!

Description of how Catapult works here.

Join our team

Empowerment Project Update

Good Afternoon Folks,

Dawn Emling was in Haiti in the last few days, and gave us a great status report from the empowerment project that I would love to share with you all! While Dawn was there, she spent a lot of time with Tina and the trainers. There were a lot of details that were discussed. Tina also gave her some thoughtful recommendations. The trainers are completely enthused! They show up early to classes. They wear their We Advance badges everywhere with pride and are so excited to be a part of We Advance.
Dawn said what an excellent manager Tina has been. She is on top of all the issues. She listens to the trainers and responds promptly. She has been keeping records of attendance, and when the classes are occurring. Tina has been sitting in on classes and correcting the trainers as needed to help them grow. During this, Tina has not only coached them, but most importantly earned respect from them.
The students are attending classes in great numbers. With only a loss of approximately 20% per course, considering the environment , that’s not a bad percentage.  Recently we have even had students from other programs signing up to take the 10 class course and paying out of their own pocket. We have stories of students stepping in immediately after accidents and injuries: taking control and saying, “stop, let me be in charge, I have been trained as a first responder.  I know what to do.”  One story had two students (not trainers) stepping in after a motorcycle accident in the street, holding off the crowds and the traffic, while they calmly took care of the victim.
The trainers are egar to learn more, and educate the students about Human Rights, Gender Roles, and GBV ( Gender Based Violence ). The students are excited, and ready to learn about these sensitive topics. Tina and Dawn drafted a pre and post test, to get quantitative proof that this program is in fact improving the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors. Dawn recommended We Advance to look for funding to expand this program, without any hesitation. A number of our trainers could be very good trainers for this expansion. Some are stellar.
Dawn will get back to us this week with a new update on how everything is going. Lets all continue to work together and stay positive!
Thank you,
We Advance Team

We Advance holds Fundraiser at Revel Resort, Atlantic City, NJ

Maria Bello with Doctor Shino Bay Aguilera & CEO Rich Goren of Shino Bay Laser Institute

On Saturday, August 18th 2012, We Advance held a fundraiser at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City.

The Revel Resort was very accommodating & and luxurious. The food, live music and  presentations from our sponsors, Shino Bay and BBG Partners helped to make the night very memorable.

We are also forever grateful to Steve Lord of Valgard Capital Partners, LLC.  Steve is no stranger to philanthropy.  Being a generous person himself, his company Valgard Capital Partners, LLC believes more in the importance of building relationships than building the bottom line.  His company focuses on the added value brought to businesses by helping their clients reach their goals first.  “When our clients reach their goals, we can reach ours”.   Mr. Lord takes this sense of personal responsibility and awareness of the importance of relationship building into both his professional and personal life, which is a very good thing for We Advance.

 With every step forward that We Advance takes, there are sometimes unfortunate steps backwards as seen in the arrival of hurricane Isaac on the shores of  Haiti recently.  With the help of generous supporters, we are hoping to raise enough money to rebuild our clinic and other important areas that were destroyed.
We want to thank everyone for your continued support of We Advance.
“Femmes se poto mitan…..We are stronger together than we are alone”

We Advance Emergency


Folks. Some of you have met one or all of us and know our passion and what we do here at We Advance.  As you may have heard, there was a devastating hurricane in Haiti this past weekend. Port au Prince was hit hard and our neighborhood, already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, is devastated.  The We Advance compound, clinic, community center and children’s play area were mostly destroyed.
This Past Sunday in We Advance Clinic After the Hurricane
So, we asking for your help.  So many of you have already been incredibly supportive and most of you know we serve 60,000 people in our community and we cannot leave our neighborhood. Sammy Sosa and his team at Riverhead Homes have designed a 1000 square foot new disaster proof building to house our clinic child care center and education classes. They are generously donating most of the structure that would cost close to $500,000. We NEED YOUR HELP NOW to raise another $150,000 to begin building immediately and keep our compound open. Any amount will help.
In addition, Milo Nickel and Michael Leblanc of BBG Partners and Hunter Buildings have also, just today, very generously donated a steal structure  for our supplies, most of which have been destroyed. Our board and network are outreaching to all their medical/pharmacy networks to get our supplies replaced asap. Any help with supplies would be tremendous too.  The women’s groups we work with in the country side need these structures as well to replace the small huts they were working out of and are now destroyed.  We need 5 more structures at $7,500 dollars each to accommodate them.

Please consider donating now, and please let us know if there is anyone else/company or ideas you feel might be helpful here. CONSIDER DONATING NOW PLEASE.

Thank you in advance.  Couldn’t do it without you.

Maria Bello, Barbara Guillaume, Allison Thompson, Aleda Fishman, Vivienne Crye, Kate McCloud, Suzanne Lerner, Clare Munn, Gail Slogoff, Lisa James
For immediate questions, please contact:
Cortney Wagler <>
Vivienne Crye <>
Kate McCloud <>
Brittney Marie Melendres <>


We Advance Fundraiser at Revel Resort

Join us in Atlantic City at Revel Resort for our latest fundraiser.  It promises to be a fun and inspiring evening!  Check out the full invitation here and e-mail to RSVP or for more information.  Tickets can be purchased for $200 here.


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June 9th Fundraiser

We Advance is a women's rights based grassroots organization that focuses on capacity building. In addition to our health, education, and empowerment programs, we advocate for women locally, nationally, and internationally. Is this email not displaying correctly?
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Thank you for your support

On June 9th, what was supposed to be an intimate fundraiser turned into an incredible gala of more than 200 people!  Danny Moder took us on a visual journey through the slums of Port au Prince to the beautiful beach towns.  Barbara Guillaume soulfully sang her heart out so we could hear the sounds of Haiti.  Both Brenna Whitaker and Blame Sally generously provided music. Maria and Aleda allowed us to feel the passion of the country that abounds.  And we were humbled by your support.  The money and awareness raised that evening is crucial in providing the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere opportunity.

But our work is not done.

Haiti is a beautiful and passionate country ravaged by hardship, but never willing to give up.  Through it's education and empowerment programs, We Advance is at the forefront of advocating locally, nationally, and internationally for women from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.  

With gratitude,

The We Advance team
*pictures from June 9th fundrasier in Malibu, CA

Other Info

See Haiti First Hand

We Advance leads small group trips to Haiti several times a year.  Travelers have the unique opportunity to learn about our projects while visiting Port au Prince and Jacmel. Interested in learning more? Email for details, cost, and questions.


Forward this e-mail along to friends interested in Haiti, women's empowerment, and human rights.  Click here to sign up for our monthly newsletter with up-to-date information about our work and for updates on future fundrasing events near you.

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Call To Action

We Advance & Give Bag

We Advance is thrilled to announce it’s partnership with Give Bag! Purchase yours today – they sure are cute and good too! Press release below.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 3, 2012—South Florida based “The Give Bag” company has joined forces with Maria Bello, actress, activist and Co-Founder of “WE ADVANCE”.  The synergy between these two organizations is a fluid fit and the collaboration will provide exponentially beneficial results on a global scale. For every Give Bag sold, WE ADVANCE will receive a monetary donation that will be applied directly to their organization’s efforts in Haiti. The Give Bag, a trackable, infinitely reusable and “eco-chic” bag is dedicated to decreasing millions of tons of environmental waste across the planet.  WE ADVANCE’s efforts are focused on advancing the health, safety and well-being of women throughout Haiti. The alliance between these two socially and environmentally responsible organizations will provide much needed funds for the work of “WE ADVANCE” in Haiti. WE ADVANCE models an inclusive grassroots approach with a movement that collaborates with both other organizations and women from every socio-economic class. It is a rights- and community-based participatory program, empowering women’s minds, bodies and spirits and enabling them to discover their own needs and priorities, benefiting the entire community. WE ADVANCE brings in volunteer experts to train local community leaders in the aspects of health, safety and education.

“What a fabulous, simple way to make the world more interconnected and make a difference! WE ADVANCE is delighted to work with The Give Bag. What better way to spread our advocacy for women’s empowerment globally and support our programs for Haitian women than to partner up with a beautiful product that allows each and every one of us to help? We thank The Give Bag and Sara for their support. And we thank you for each donation that comes with your purchase,” explains Maria Bello, actress, activist and Co-Founder of WE ADVANCE.

“Since the inception of The Give Bag, we have been committed to supporting local, national and international philanthropies. The collaboration with We Advance was a natural fit on a multitude of levels. As a female owned business, we are devoted to empowering women across the globe.  This alliance will provide very tangible results for our fundraising efforts and we are honored to be working with such an amazing organization,” says Sara Starkoff Green, inventor and owner of The Give Bag.

For every Give Bag sold, a portion of proceeds will go directly to WE ADVANCE to support their efforts in Haiti. The Give Bag is releasing a new “We Advance” Give Bag tote that will be available Fall 2012. For more information, please visit or

Maria on CNN

Click here to watch Maria on CNN. She had just returned from Haiti where she was a part of the Vital Voices & Bank of America’s “Haiti National Women’s Conference” and was about to be a panel member for Women Thrive in Washington, D.C.