Grassroots at its best, a small wine company brings people together in the middle of Manhattan to hope for Haiti.

Tragedy has a way of bringing out the good in people. It seems there are few occasions nowadays that we as Americans say, “I’m proud of what we’ve contributed to the world today.” January 2010 was one of those rare occasions. Across the nation millions of Americans reached out in support of a country struck with tragedy.

In the tiny suburb of Manhattan Grae Verlin pooled her resources as owner of the third largest woman’s personal wine cellar and raised a little money and a little hope for the country of Haiti.

Wine-ing with Grae, Verlin’s wine entertainment company, hosted a silent auction wine affair at the W New York—raising $11,000 for the Convoy of Hope, an organization that provides food, clean water, and supplies to people in need.  In Haiti, so far, they have distributed over 2 million meals.

“Convoy of Hope’s involvement in the relief effort is possible because of the countless people who have stepped up and supported our efforts there,” says Jeff Nene, senior director of communications and technology. “Because of the tremendous response we’ve received, we’ve been able to keep our supply lines flowing into the hands of the survivors of the earthquake.”

FunGraeRare and exclusive items up for bid at Grae’s grassroots event included a bottle of 1999 Cristal from Grae’s personal collection, dinner for two at Gilt, a case of 2007 Androkenios (only 70 cases ever produced), a private tour of the Museum of National History, or a bottle of 1999 Dom Pérignon from the private collection of Dr. Jerry Murphy.

“People responded so swiftly and without hesitation—that’s what I love most about America. We care about everyone, not just ourselves.”-Grae Verlin