Meet Annie Blackstone
No mention of Sion Fonds would be complete without Annie Blackstone. Easily one of the kindest, down-to-Earth, pragmatic people I've ever had the opportunity to meet.
I am very happy to have been able to contribute to Sion Fonds Orphanage in Haiti.
I met Annie Blackstone in summer of 2007 at an education conference in Sacramento, during a lovely part after dinner, when the sun was winding down and music in an evening show had begun.
She explained to me the plight of the children: born in one of the most impoverished countries on Earth, with the lowest GDP in the Western Hemisphere, largely given to the orphanage by parents who felt that the best possibility of a good life would be in the hands of other parents.
She explained to me her mission: to do all she could to provide educational materials, to find funding for food, electricity, and the labor needed to run the orphanage, but perhaps most importantly, she wanted to find homes for these children and what she really wanted was a website so that people could easily make contact and provide funding.
I agreed immediately.
Within a few days, I had put together a simple but attractive website, and offered free hosting using my own infrastructure, forever.
In 2010, Haiti was ravaged by a devastating earthquake. The damage was severe. Transportation networks were destroyed. Roads, bridges, and airports were closed. Finding safe drinking water was difficult.
The story was in the news for days and weeks. But that's when I was blindsighted. My network monitor started warning me of high system loads continuously all day.
Logging in, I expected some kind of cyber attack or DDOS, but what I found instead was that their website ScionFonds.org was extremely busy serving people on the Internet who were trying to find more information and ways to help.
Apparently, the simple little site ranked fairly well on Search Engines.
System load was high but not unmanageable, so for several weeks I just monitored things to make sure everything worked.
It was about a year later that Annie informed me that funding was going well for Sion Fonds, and asked if I would be able to commit to a much deeper level of involvement to the growth of her organization. As I was already working well beyond full-time building School Pathways, I declined and offered to assist in a transition to another solution provider, which is what she did.
Thank you, Annie, for your tireless dedication to these children. I am grateful to have been able to contribute to the legacy you have created.