It was evident on first meeting Coco (Tallulah in tow) how much she loves children. We spent the afternoon with her and her lovely husband James Conran at their beautiful midtown apartment that James interior designed. In the foyer there’s an original print-my favorite of Coco- that Steven Meisel had given to her as a wedding present! We ate a wonderful lunch, talked about how she got involved with the charity LakeyPAM and her and Tallulah played hide and seek-and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that we couldn’t find Coco for close to 15 minutes! She was hiding in the bath tub with a pile of clothes on top of her! She doesn’t do anything half heartedly. Partnering with LakeyPAM she co-founded along with her close friend and model Behati Prinsloo, Letter To Haiti.
Below is an excerpt from Coco’s Trip to Haiti Diary.
I first saw the reports of the massive earthquake in Haiti a little over a year ago. I was sitting in an airport and I’ll never forget the shocking scenes of destruction, death and chaos. I knew I had to do something. Since then, I’ve been helping raise money in New York for a non-profit organization called LakayPAM (“my home”). It helps provide more than 500 orphans in Haiti with shelter, food, medical care and education.
Despite our success with fundraising events in New York, I still felt very distant and disconnected from the people and the children I was trying to help. What I really wanted was to actually see the children of Haiti. My husband, James, and I started planning our trip. As I started gathering the toys I wanted to give to the children, I thought about what they really needed. It occurred to me that many of the orphans had lost so many people in their lives that what they probably needed most was the love of another human being. I decided to create a pen pal program to deliver these children messages of hope and love from other kids.
Haiti has to stay in our minds and hearts. If this trip proved one thing to me, it’s that the children still need us, and I will not give up.
James and Coco will be releasing a short film they have created about their experience in Haiti:
Letters To Haiti
300 Park Ave South
New York, New York 10010-5398
If you feel you don’t have time to send in an actual letter, we have set up a special email address you can write to also. We will then print the letters and hand them to the children in person. Please remember to include your name, age and address in all the emails and send them to:
Please pass this message onto as many as you can. Whether that be through facebook, twitter, tumblr or just word of mouth. As we consider the earthquake that hit Haiti, let us acknowledge the tragedy of the past while keeping our eyes and hearts open to the prospects of hope for the future.