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Who's Bree?

Bree Legrand is only 13 years old, but she’s been fundraising from a very early age. With the support of her mother, Bree contacted me via e-mail asking how she could help fundraise for Friends of Matènwa. While speaking to her on the phone, I discovered that she was inspired by her elementary school Saint Margaret School in Maryland, which raised money annually to support a sister school in Haiti. Although she has never been to Haiti, Bree feels very connected to the country and wants to make a difference there.

After relocating to Massachusetts, Bree remained engaged in fundraising for children in Haiti. While attending the sixth grade at Belmont Day, she learned of the Matènwa Community Learning Center (MCLC) and directed her fundraising efforts to support its students.

At 13, Bree also has a keen sense of what impact she wants to have on the world. When asked why she chose MCLC, she answered with conviction that she is passionate about women and children living in poverty. She knows that Friends of Matènwa has been supporting women and children in La Gonave and is making significant strides alongside a community that is transforming itself.

So, last December, in the middle of a blizzard and a pandemic, Bree and her mother, Dinna, organized a fundraiser in their home where they celebrated and sold art and accessories from artists living in rural Haiti. They raised over $1,000, supported small rural businesses, and empowered Haitians making a way to provide for their families. In a global season of darkness, Bree’s effort provided hope and a future of possibilities.

Bree is positive and confident about her commitment to the people of Matènwa. She is hopeful that her fundraiser will inspire others to take a step towards change.

Thanks to Bree and donors like you, every day we are able to make a difference in the lives of people living in Haiti. You keep us going and, for that, we are grateful.

You’ve heard it before, “You’re never too young to make a difference.” Heck, you’ve probably received countless emails and phone calls over the years urging you to make a gift, telling you that every bit counts. Were you moved to make a donation or arrange a fundraiser in your home? Or, did you waive away the idea, underestimating the difference you alone can make?

Most of us do. As I share this story with you, I am wondering what effect it will have on you. Will you be motivated to join forces with Friends of Matènwa by fundraising? Becoming a monthly sustainer? Organizing a peer-to-peer fundraiser? It is easy to doubt the power of our own efforts, but let this be a reminder that one person is indeed enough.

Like Bree, you can host a fundraising event this year. No goal is too small. Host a birthday fundraiser. Ask 20 friends to donate $20. $400 can feed 20 children for an entire month. Reach out to us so we can brainstorm on how you can use your peers, colleagues, and students to make your fundraising dreams a reality.

We are dedicated to fostering the giving spirit, especially in young people who are eager to help. If you work with children, please send an email to for more information on how your students can become change-makers.


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