LDS businessman working to make positive change in Haiti, Philippines

Published: Monday, July 8 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"As a result of the farm's success we are now ready to expand and invite several more families to join the partnership," Leavitt said. Leavitt thinks someone with American know-how could really turn the farm into a moneymaker.

"Our family has donated all the funds to start this operation and expects no financial gain or payback," he said. "The farm is now able to secure funding from the local banks for further expansion as a result of the quality of the assets and cash flow.

"We have large vegetable gardens, and have planted hundreds of trees to make the property beautiful."

"The profit is reinvested in further growth and expansion and to help widows in the church become financially stable," Leavitt said.

He credits his employees and friends with making the charitable endeavors work.

"The object of this project is to create meaningful and sustainable employment."

Senior vice-president Todd Cullum said getting involved with countries like Haiti and the Philippines can refocus a person on what the important issues really are.

"Our company has been successful within its competitive landscape but the projects in Haiti and Philippines give our company and our employees the opportunity to be involved in programs that go beyond our local markets," Cullum said. "I think it provides a sense of pride to all of our employees that a portion of our profits are going towards those who need them more than us.

"There is personal benefit as I see these projects as an opportunity to involve my children, aged 12 and 13, in projects that teach them that the world is a lot larger and more complicated than the communities we live in."

To learn more about the charities and how to become involved go to harvestforhumanity.ca.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@deseretnews.com

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