September 7th, 2012
At a very young age, Susie Krabacher had already realized that she wanted to make the world a better place for children in need. After being the victim of sexual abuse as a child, Susie was placed in foster care. She began to feel a deep sense of hopelessness, feeling lost and alone. However, through all of this, she knew that she had a higher calling to help others; she knew that she was only one of many children facing insurmountable odds.
“I swore that when I was a grown-up,” said Susie in an interview on Fox News, “I would make sure if there was any way I could help children who were suffering I would do something about it.”
In 1994, Krabacher figured out where she was needed most: helping the abandoned and impoverished children in Haiti. With her husband, Joe, she started her first orphanage and shortly thereafter founded Mercy and Sharing, an organization that provides care and education to abandoned, orphaned and disabled children in Haiti.
Susie spends nearly six months out of the year in Haiti visiting her orphanages, and it hasn’t been easy: she has been sick with Dengue fever, plagued with lice and her life has been repeatedly threatened by the gangs and civil unrest that run rampant in the poorest areas of the country. Every time she visits, she must hire personal security guards to protect her.
Sometimes, security isn’t even enough. In 2008, rebel gangs surrounded the Mercy and Sharing facility, threatening to shoot every child inside. Susie and her team had to negotiate a deal in order to avoid violence. Later, when she and some of her co-workers were headed back home, her car was hijacked by rebels who threatened to execute them. Somehow, Susie was able to talk her way out of the situation and all of them returned home safely.
Despite all of this, her deep love for the children in Haiti keeps her coming back. As a testament to her devotion to the kids, when she visited Haiti for the first time, she chose to spend her first days in downtown Cite de Soleil, one of the most dangerous slums of Port au Prince.
“These kids are my soul, strength and reason for living,” said Susie on Fox News.
In 2006, Susie was honored for her dedication to vulnerable children in Haiti with a World of Children Humanitarian Award. Since then, Mercy and Sharing has grown into nine children’s centers, including three orphanages and six schools. This year alone, Mercy and Sharing has provided over 650,000 meals to children; education and training for over 1,200 children and adults; and homes and support for 126 abandoned children.
Not only has Susie aided thousands of children over the past 17 years, but has also developed meaningful relationships with the Haitian people. Her compassion and determination has gained both the respect of those in power and the kinship of those in poverty, particularly the children who call her “Mama Blanche.”