Dear Friend of the What If Foundation,
It is my immense privilege to introduce you to Wadner Pierre, not only a new member of the What If Foundation Board of Directors, but an important representative of our past and our future. Wadner was a devoted supporter of Father Jean-Juste and you may remember his name credited to the many photos we have shared of Father Jeri. He was also an early recipient of both the Food and Scholarship programs, and that’s the perspective he shares with us today. Now with a master’s degree and a global career as an accomplished writer, photographer and CEO of his own communications firm in Boston, he is testament to the power of your donations, and the possibility of transformation for every child we reach.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you’ll join me in spreading the love and abundance of our own tables to those who need it most. As Wadner will attest, a meal shared — especially across borders and cultures — is a meal seldom forgotten.
Dear kind donor,
My name is Wadner Pierre, I am writing to you not only as a recipient of your generosity to the What If Foundation, but also as a witness of the power your caring and support can have. I want to thank you for standing up with the children of Haiti with your hearts and your dollars. On behalf of thousands of my friends and neighbors in Ti Plas Kazo, THANK YOU.
Let me tell you this: the simple truth of a hot meal is far from simple for the people of Haiti. I have witnessed children go to school without breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was one of them. I grew up in Ti Plas Kazo, the youngest of a family of 4, and was in high school when Margaret Trost and Father Jean-Juste came together to start the Food Program. Without that nourishment of body and soul — along with the scholarship your donations so generously provided — I would not have been able to reach beyond my circumstances and achieve my dreams.
Children at the Lamanjay Food Program. Photos by Wadner Pierre.
Help us feed the children and the future of Haiti. Make a donation today.
The Food Program, known as Lamanjay in Haitian-Creole, started with Father Jean-Juste’s well-known motto, “First we feed the children, we keep them alive. Then we give them an education.” And indeed, these programs have been the community’s lifeline during the most tumultuous political, social and economic times. I was there with Father Jeri when the program started. We could only afford to feed a few dozen children every Sunday after Mass. But thanks to your generosity and commitment, 20 years later, the What If Foundation has been able to guarantee a daily meal for the hundreds of students at the Father Jeri School, as well as countless children, adults and elderly people in this community, while at the same time making quality education accessible and affordable.
A 1000-page book won’t be enough to provide examples of how the Food Program has been the lifeline of the Ti Plas Kazo and its surrounding communities. You have lifted parents up because they no longer have to worry about how they are going to feed their kids. Mothers rely on the Food Program to breastfeed their newly born children. Whole families still walk for miles to receive this nourishment. And children like me grow up to make their own mark on the world, through the strength your donations provide.
Father Jeri, whom I proudly call my adoptive father, and Margaret took a leap of faith by putting this program in place. They did not know for how long they would be able to keep it going. You came along and partnered with them to realize their dream that no child in Ti Plas Kazo should go to bed hungry. I hope you will continue to support that dream today, tomorrow and for as long as it’s needed.
Every meal makes a difference. Change a life. Feed a child today.
Once again, on behalf of thousands of people of Ti Plas Kazo, particularly my little brothers and sisters, thank you again for making sure the very basic rights of these children are respected. May God’s blessing be upon you and your loved ones.