I have recently begun a manuscript consultation service to supplement the family income as we prepare to send our sons (a sophomore and a senior) to college. For many years we’ve worked hard to make sure they can attend the best schools they’re able to get into. While we are proud of them and grateful to be in a position to do this, we’re fully aware of how many kids, just by the bad luck of where they were born or who they were born to, don’t stand a chance at the opportunities our sons will have.
But what can one family do? For many years this question has gone through my head without answer. Finally, after the earthquake in Haiti, I knew I couldn’t wait around anymore, hoping to become smarter, richer, more self-sacrificing—in short, someone who could make a difference. I decided that even though I ‘m not a heroic person who can make real inroads in the poverty and suffering of the world, I can at least support those who are doing just that. From now on, one quarter of all the income from my manuscript consultation service will go to Partners in Health (PIH) www.pih.org.
Before the earthquake, Partners in Health co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer was named U.N. Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti by former President Clinton. Farmer has been a hero of mine since 2004 when I read Tracy Kidder’s account of his life in Mountains Beyond Mountains. His organization has been on the ground in Haiti, building hospitals and training Haitian doctors for over 20 years, and they know how to make the most of our dollars in Haiti, not just for this present crisis, but for the long term.
I’m in this for the long term, too, and will continue to support Partners in Health with a monthly contribution. I’ll do what I can to support the PIH heroes in their efforts to make a better life for children who have never had the advantages that my sons have had.