MILLEDGEVILLE — When Dianna Hornsby Perdue returned from her second trip to Haiti in December 2012, she grew inspired and motivated to help make a difference in the lives of less fortunate Haitian educators, children and families. With the support of husband Jared Perdue, Dianna established her own nonprofit organization to provide L.O.V.E. (Life, Opportunity, Verse and Education) for Haiti.
“We always take for granted how much we have and blessed we are to live in a wealthy nation. Once you’ve seen the conditions in Haiti in person, you can’t ignore it anymore,” she said “When my husband and I went initially in September, it just opened our eyes to want to branch out and establish our own organization. I decided it was something I wanted to continue to pursue.”
Perdue visited Haiti in September and December last year to provide shoes and clothing donated by the community and her Creekside Elementary School family through the Soles4Souls organization, collecting 1,079 pairs of shoes and more than 1,000 pounds of clothing during the drive.
“My initial reaction when we drove through the capital Port-au-Prince, I thought it would be sadness, but it was anger. In America we’re so sheltered from blight of other people in the world. There’s an extreme amount of poverty, and children are malnourished; it was a calling for something I needed to do,” said Perdue, a Creekside educator and the 2013 Baldwin County Teacher of the Year. “As a teacher myself with a passion for helping children, the trip inspired me even more to dedicate as much time and energy as I could to provide assistance with the projects needed over there.”
The Perdue family founded L.O.V.E. for Haiti in March to provide financial support and resources for a small non-government elementary school in Montrouis, Haiti, about two hours northwest from Port-au-Prince.