Speakeasy owner organizing local Help Haiti benefit

On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti, killing an estimated 50,000 people, and leaving millions without access to food or housing.

People all over the world have mobilized to help the small country, and Sara Baker, owner of Speakeasy just off West Avenue in Fayetteville is planning a benefit for Jan. 22 to help locals pitch in as well.

“I posted a thought about doing it on my personal Facebook page and had seven responses in under two minutes. So, I came up with a name, made a flyer, and went to work,” Baker said.

Baker says she has received items for auction for everything from facials and hotel stays, to artwork, jewelry, and gift baskets.

“It is amazing the response I got within an hour just from (posting on Facebook),” Baker said. “All this, considering I have not made a single phone call, and it hasn’t even been 24 hours since the inception of this benefit.”

Baker is working to book local bands to play the benefit, but has not finalized the lineup yet.

“One other thing I haven’t nailed down just yet is the food,” Baker said.

Admission to the benefit is free, but in lieu of charging a cover, Baker said that there will be a donation station set up at the front door so that people can donate any amount of money they’d like including a “keep the change” drive for folks to bring in spare change to donate as well.

“We know everyone is having a tough time with the economy,” she said. “Everyone can bring in their spare change. It is suprising how much that little bit adds up.”

All of the donations collected at the benefit will go to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund because 100% of those funds raised will go towards the relief operation.

“As individuals, we are capable of helping, but when put together, our efforts grow exponentially,” said Baker. “Bringing us together is something I can do to help, so why wouldn’t I?”

Those who’d like to help with the benefit may contact Baker at 479-443-3279, or via email. Attendees may also RSVP to the event on Facebook.

It should also be noted that locals cans donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund by texting “Yele” to 501501. The $5 will be added to your phone bill. You can also donate via the Yele Haiti Earthquake fund website.

The Red Cross is also accepting donations via text message. Text “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. You may also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit their website.