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Wake-Up Call: Return to Haiti

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Dan Jeune chose the most unlikely place to look for people who wanted to help Haiti: the bars of LoDo. Luke Turf watched Jeune, a native of Haiti whose father is a minister, recruit among the hat boys and frat boys, and then followed Jeune and the group he'd gathered all the way to Haiti.

The result? "The Social Conscience of a Missionary," published in the January 2, 2008 issue of Westword -- approximately two years before an earthquake that's left much of the country in ruins.

"I hope I'm not naive or too ambitious," Jeune said at the end of that trip, "but I think great things can be done if people put their heads together. If twenty people give 10 percent, you're doing way more than any great man can accomplish in one lifetime. My dream has always been to help people and make a difference, and I think we are going to do it. We're so strong with this group, with this team, and that's what I've always wanted."

Two years ago, the group traveling with Jeune found incredible poverty and hardship in Haiti -- and today, of course, the needs are many times greater. And so Jeune is returning to Haiti tomorrow, to see what more he can do to help.

Those staying in Denver have many options: Local artists and cultural organizations have quickly organized benefits for Haiti. To see where you can get out and help out, click here.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.