Rich Harris: Colorado Family Lawyer & The Road To Hope in Haiti
Rich Harris: Colorado Family Lawyer, Business Leader, and Humanitarian
By M. Taylor Oaks
Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC
Rich Harris, President of The Harris Law Firm is a family lawyer practicing in Denver, Colorado. Rich is a business leader and humanitarian. Rich founded The Road to Hope to assist the children of Haiti. The Road to Hope envisions a Haiti where children can grow up strong, healthy, and free from the trauma of abandonment.
Rich, his wife Lisa, and eight board members manage The Road to Hope. The organization raises money to help fund sustainable projects improving the lives of the children of Haiti.
My wife, Lisa and I, first visited Haiti in the summer of 2009,” Rich said. “We were there to meet our future kids, Davinson and Guimara, who were stuck at an orphanage in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. It was not our first adoption. We also have kids we have adopted from China and from the U.S. We made a point to try to get to know the country, its people, and its poverty. We were incredibly moved by what we saw. Haiti is a country of extremes,” Rich continued. “Extreme beauty and extreme ugliness and misery. We were moved by its people. They are a people of humor, of optimism, and of generosity. The nation has glorious beginnings – it was the first and to this day, the only country where black slaves successfully revolted to form their own country.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Out of the nine million people living there, only 28% have access to sufficient sanitation. The life expectancy of a healthy-born male is 44 years old. Over 200,000 children reside in orphanages around the country, with thousands more roaming the streets, or forced into slavery or prostitution. Rich and Lisa regularly visit Haiti, focusing on the children and how they can benefit their present and future lives.
A current project of the The Road to Hope is the Mathone School project. The town of Mathone does not even show up on Google Earth. Students in this town worry about getting to school safely. The Road to Hope is helping to rebuild the Mathone School, from a ramshackle building with a floor of thick, deep mud, to a complete school with a level cement floor, secure walls, and a durable roof. The Mathone School is progressing, but there is still more to be done.
The Road to Hope hosts fundraising events, such as the Arvada Sunrise Rotary’s Annual Food and Wine Caper, which allows guests to enjoy a large selection of wines, appetizers, and a silent auction.
I travel to Haiti three to four times per year, on average, and it is truly a labor of love,” Harris said. “I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit. But, I find my travel to Haiti both the most physically demanding and the most emotionally uplifting travel I have ever done. There is a Creole saying that I am about to butcher, but it is about the sands of Haiti getting into your toes and then infusing your soul,” Harris continued. “I feel that way.”
Rich is originally from New York City, on the East Coast, but he attended college at the University of Southern California, on the West Coast. He then relocated to Denver to receive his Juris Doctor degree from Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver. Since then, he has made Colorado his home. Rich’s law firm, The Harris Law Firm, provides superior representation in Colorado family law.
Rich received Denver’s Top “40 Under 40” award for business leadership and community involvement. Colorado’s Super Lawyers selected him for membership and Colorado’s Barrister’s Best Issue voted him the “Best Family Law Attorney.” Law Week voted The Harris Law Firm Best Family Law Firm in Denver by people’s choice. The Colorado Bar Association Family Law Section invited Rich to speak at their annual meeting. The Colorado Lawyer Committee nominated the The Harris Law Firm for “Law Firm of the Year.” Harris also ranks “AV,” the highest rating from peers through the Martindale-Hubbell survey.
You can donate to the The Road to Hope online. You can give a one-time gift, or sign up for monthly support. Donations may also be mailed to The Road to Hope, P.O. Box 210, Littleton, CO 80160-0210. Please make checks payable to “The Road to Hope.”