Haiti – and What My Daughter Taught Me

As I have often said in this space, with every passing day, I discover that I learn more from my children than they learn from me. Both are inquisitive and kind human beings.

On Sunday, my daughter was watching the morning news (or rather, it was on and she saw it), and she saw coverage of the utter devastation that is Haiti.  I completely admit to censoring things like this on TV and it seems that I have made a mistake.

She saw that devastation and her reaction surprised me.  She wasn’t afraid or indifferent;  she was empathetic. She commented that she felt said sad that there were Haitian children who did not have mommies and daddies anymore.  And that’s when her drive kicked in.

Her six year-old mind said “I have to do something.”  First, she decided (and I think she got this from her Kitt Kittridge  movie) that she wanted to raise money for the children in Haiti with a fruit stand.  We were at our cabin in West Virginia where we see more deer than humans, so we revised the plan and decided to put together bags of chocolate that she would sell back in DC – and donate the money to a charity that she will choose.

I am very happy to say that we are off to a good start.  My neighbors in West Virginia gave her an amazingly generous $25 for a makeshift s’mores kit (some chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers).  I then put a message on our community listserv back in the DC are and there were five orders waiting for us with another five from Facebook.  My wife and daughter spent the evening putting together packages of chocolate that we can give out for donations.

But I don’t want this post to quantitiative –  money collected (although that is critical) or bags prepared.  I suppose that the point that I am trying to make is that, once again, one of my children amazed me.  Once again, I learned something.

And as I tuned out the news over the long weekend, my daughter, with her keen six year-old mind tuned in.

And saw.

And did.

And made her Daddy proud.


P.S.- Shameless plug – if you are in the area and know how to get in touch with me, we’ll be happy to put together a bag for you too.



  1. Mark –

    I was surprised to get a similar reaction from my (nearly) six-year old. He saw something about Haiti and wanted to do something. This was a new reaction, moving from just telling me about something to wanting to do something.

    I’m less ambitious. I just let him pick from a list of organizations and I gave a donation through a credit card.

  2. Count us in for a smores kit. That’s so sweet of Katie!!!

  3. Mark, I love that you accidentally didn’t censor the news, that your daughter was touched, that you had a conversation about it and she got into action.

    If we are not in the area, and would like to contribute (via paypal maybe?) would that be that possible?

  4. Mark Story Says: January 21, 2010 at 2:39 am


    You are are sweet as the day is long. Thank you.

    How about this: our charity of choice is the Clinton-Bush Initiative. Feel free to make a donation there. And if you would like, feel free to send my daughter, Katie and email at mark dot story at verizon dot net. We went around the neighborhood on her two little legs last night and collected nearly $175.00. And we are expecting about $50 more.

    Then, she is going to hand-write a letter along with the money. Again, it is my little girl who is teaching her callous, S.O.B. father what charity is all about.

    Thanks for reading — and acting.


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