Behind the Business / Business

Behind the Business, Annette Wright, Alafia Foundation

Who is Annette Wright and what is Alafia Foundation about?

I am an entrepreneur who has worked in the construction field for over 30 years.

A person who works everyday, basically 9-5 like most people, who one day saw the tragic results of Hurricane Katrina on television while preparing dinner.  I was moved to tears as I saw a picture of an infant who was the only survivor in his family after the hurricane.  This little miracle bundle had no legs but somehow survived Hurricane Katrina.  I decided then and there to use my resources within the General Aviation community (Alafia Foundation began as Alafia Airlines which was a certified Indirect Air Carrier) to provide emergency assistance to help the people of Haiti.

We successfully secured a plane and provided flight services for missionaries, politicians, medical doctors and many, many  in-kind donations.  This included Congressman John Conyers and members of his staff, Dr. McGeorge of Channel 4, Rev. John Hearn, Jr. of the Caring and Sharing Missionary/Orphanage in Haiti.  We received two Congressional Honors and the Spirit of Detroit Award for our work in Haiti.

That is when I knew for sure that Alafia was needed as a Humanitarian Partner to help people who are hurting – globally.  Since that time, we have worked in partnership with World Medical Relief, area hospitals and churches in providing aid and assistance in Japan after the Fukishima Nuclear Disaster, Huricane Sandy in both New Jersey and New York, Joplin, MS and Jasper, AL after the tornado disasters that happened in those areas.

More closely to home, Alafia Foundation has provided in-kind donations and monetary donations to families who have lost everything after fires and floods (in Detroit).

What is cause/s is Alafia focused on now?

Presently, we have an awareness campaign underway about Human/Sex Trafficking.  The state of Michigan has partnered with Alafia in this effort by requesting that our rack cards, designed by my daughter, Raven who is also a board member, be available in all of the states Welcome Centers.

We continue to provide information and resources via social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What if any setbacks did you have when you started?

Setbacks?  None.  It is so very easy to help people.  We do not accept money.  We simply reach out to people and organizations that have in-kind donations and transport the same to those in need.  Sharing information is also very easy – we educate and remind people to be prepared for disasters.

Why should people prepare for unforeseen emergencies?

The recent water crisis in Toledo and the ongoing water crisis in Flint, MI is a good example of why and how people should prepare for unforeseen emergencies and disasters.  Alafia Foundation transported over 1,000 gallons of water to Toledo during that crisis.  Raven, who has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology and is now pursuing her Graduate Degree in Urban Planning (Wayne State) compiled a report on the water crisis and posted it on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Alafia Foundation is a member of Michigan chapter of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters).  As such we now have an expanded network of partners to work with.

Our meetings always focus upon assisting people in unforeseen disasters and emergencies.  The effects of these types of situations would be easier to deal with if people would simply take a little time to prepare a basic emergency kit.  We have guidelines posted on our website.   An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is a true statement!

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs having a fear to launch?

Fear is over-rated in any entrepreneurial pursuit or any personal goal, for that matter.  Fear is defeated as soon as you take action.  I always think of babies learning to walk when I think of fear.  Notice that even though they fall down continuously they never give up – they just know that they are going to walk.  You have to just know  that you are going to succeed!

Where can people find you?

Alafia Foundation can be found via the world-wide web (although we recently learned of another Alafia Foundation in anther state – we have applied for the trademark so that will be taken care of soon enough) at www.alafiafoundation.org and of course on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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