In 2010 we made our way to Haiti as a part of a mission trip after the catastrophic earthquake that devastated the country. We had no idea that this one trip would serve as the foundation for a larger initiative that would change our lives, families, careers and communities throughout Haiti.
Upon returning from that we had simple goals - to find a way to send a few kids in Haiti to school. So, we began creating and selling t-shirts in craft shows. Soon, with word-of-mouth marketing, we had raised enough money to create educational funds that were desperately needed. However, while this success was perhaps more than we could have initially hoped for, it didn’t take long before we realized that our reach could be greater. In fact, we felt that we needed to expand our vision. This realization led us to identify a single, elusive need in Haiti that would have to be addressed:
This need was seen in the communities around us as we would make our return trips to Haiti. It was evident in the families we would visit. It would even strike us once we were back in our home town of Hamilton, Ohio.
Our journeys - physical and spiritual - made it clear that where there was opportunity, there would be hope. And, where there was hope, there were dreams. And, where there were dreams, there would be a future for a community to be sustainable and self-sufficient.
The people of Haiti did not need a handout, they needed opportunity. They needed the love and support that would build them up and guide them out of poverty and into generational growth.
It was this new vision that led us to the name “Made to Love”. Because, in the end, we are three real friend on a mission. And the heart of our mission is to make a real difference by showing love, building hope and restoring lives through education and job opportunities.
Learn more about how we're building HOPE.
TONY & CHRISTIN HARRISfounders
Tony and Christin have been married for 13 years, and are the parents to two young sons. Prior to launching the social enterprise that would become Made-to-Love in 2010, Christin worked at a photography studio – a passion she still feeds (many of the photos seen on our site are the results of her vision). As for Tony, in addition to his duties at Made-to-Love and his recent studies which earned him degrees in Non-Profit Administration and Urban Missions, he is still a full-time firefighter and paramedic for the city of Hamilton, Ohio.
Even prior to hearing - and heeding - the call to journey to Haiti, Shari had a passion for education and the role it plays in preparing young minds to lead productive lives. In college her studies earned her a degree in human development and education, which led to a career as a high school teacher in Virginia - experiences that have proven beneficial as Made-to-Love continues to broaden its reach and vision. Shari and her husband Pete live in Hamilton, Ohio and have two children.