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Abertura logo > How You Can Help > A Personal Appeal

A Personal Appeal from Author and Philanthropist Dominique Lapierre

For children with leprosy who survived on scraps scavenged from other people's garbage cans, lunch time is the most beautiful of the day. On a diet of more than 3,000 calories a day, even the most wasted of bodies regain strength in a few weeks.

The different humanitarian actions described on this web site represent a yearly financial committment of about 600,000 US dollars.

All along these past years, my wife and I have fought to meet this committment with the help of my author's royalties and the support of our donors and wellwishers. It's been a hard fight. Royalties are not eternal, and donors' support can sometime be lacking. Now and then, fortunately rarely, we have been compelled to close a school, even a dispensary, for lack of funds. And we have had to say " NO " to new charitable projects because we could not support their budgets. These were always agonizing decisions. Thank God, on the whole, since 1982 we have been able to keep up with our committments.

Today, our problem is to ensure that all the programs we sponsor will continue in the future. I'll soon turn 70 and both my wife Dominique and I constantly wonder what would happen if an accident or some health problem removed us from our crusade and prevented us from meeting the needs of the various centers we finance. One of our priorities is to set up a trust whose financial assets would make it possible to provide the necessary annual revenue to fund the budgets of our different humanitarian programs. We estimate that, in order to generate the minimum of $600,000 interests every year, the organization requires a safely invested capital of at least $12 million.

Is it a sum out of our goal? Not if many wellwishers accept to join us. We can dream that 1,200 wealthy donors send $10,000 each. But $12 million can also be obtained by 12,000 donations of $1,000 or by 120,000 donations of only $100. By spreading the word, by joining with other family members, friends and colleagues, by setting up a chain of compassion and sharing, everyone can help to keep this work alive and bring a little justice and love to the poorest of the poor. Mother Teresa used to say that the ocean is made of drops of water. The smallest gifts count for as much as the largest.

One thing is sure: whatever happens, the children with leprosy who live in the Resurrection home must never be sent back to their hovels. The TB patients depending on medication from the SHIS center must never be sent back without treatment. The abandoned mother expecting care from Belari must never be left homeless. It's up to each one of us to make it possible for the miracle of City of Joy Aid to continue.

--Dominique Lapierre

P.S. I wish to remind you that my wife and I absorb all overhead costs of City of Joy Aid, so 100% of your donation will reach those who need your help.