August 27th, 2014. Eric Helgemo is not only a crucial partner of Trees That Feed Foundation’s, but also a true hero of ours. Eric is the President of Three Angels Children’s Relief, a non-profit organization working to help orphans and at-risk families in Haiti by providing both education and care.
Eric grew up in California and has had many careers, including construction worker and sheriff. He fell in love with Christine, and when they married, Eric joined his father-in-law’s nursery business.He became a master nurseryman and managed one of the largest nurseries in California.
When TTFF held its first meeting to discuss expanding into Haiti, Eric flew in to join us in Illinois. This superhero is a man of action! His resourcefulness and resolve are an inspiration. In 2009, Eric had volunteered to fly to Haiti to deliver Christmas gifts that his church had collected for the children of Three Angels. While there, he was concerned that they had no disaster preparation, so he created a plan and conducted drills with the children to teach them what to do in an emergency. When the earthquake hit Haiti only a few weeks later on January 12, 2010, these children were prepared. Although much of their building collapsed, all of the children were safe.
In November 2011, Eric, Christine, and their three children moved to Haiti for a three-month stay to oversee some projects. They ended up staying, initially with a two-year commitment, and are currently homeowners still working tirelessly to improve lives and land in Haiti.
Eric and his team at Three Angels have a three-acre plot in Port au Prince that was fallow (plowed and harrowed, but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation). Once he heard about our work, he encouraged Three Angels to convert this property into a farm and plant nursery. TTFF provides the young trees, and Eric and his team grow the plants until they are robust enough to be distributed. We work together to provide trees to highest need communities in Haiti.
A problem-solver with a huge heart, Eric Helgemo is our hero. Thank you, Eric!