I stayed up all night reading Susie Krabacher’s book “Angels of a Lower Flight” because I just couldn’t put it down! The inspiring story of redemption and triumph over tragedy and evil just grabs your soul.
A relentless advocate for children, Susie Scott Krabacher, the founder of the Mercy & Sharing Foundation, a 20 year old international relief organization dedicated to providing a safe haven for abandoned, malnourished, and impoverished children in Haiti, is a dedicated and courageous humanitarian who has saved, nourished and educated hundreds of the poorest children on earth in the often violent country of Haiti.
Mrs. Krabacher, and the story of her mission, has been broadcast (and she has been interviewed) by the likes of well-known personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper, Greta VanSusteren, and Deborah Norville. Krabacher has appeared in publications like People Magazine, Marie Claire, Redbook . Magazine, Stern Magazine, More Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, the Canadian Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg Times, and the New York Times.
Living through a painful past as an abused child in Alabama, and then living a lavish, (but empty) life as a Playboy Centerfold residing in the Playboy Mansion, Susie was betrayed by her first husband, and found herself homeless, broken and penniless until she met her soul-mate and the love of her life, Joe Krabacher, an attorney in Aspen.
After a trip to Haiti in 1994, Susie knew her life would be forever changed as she viewed how tragic and sorrowful the lives of the abandoned children in this impoverished, corrupt country (that still practices Voodoo as their main religion) were.
With God by her side, Susie Scott Krabacher made a promise to save as many abandoned children in Haiti as she could by continuing to go to Haiti and build orphanages, clinics and schools. At this time, Susie – known as “Mama Susie” to the kids – and her staff care for well over 5,000 unwanted children with disabilities, who now have so much hope and promise. Susie says: “We do our best to give them a happy, comfortable life. These are the kids who will grow up to be leaders, engineers, scientists and doctors and will re-build and change the entire structure of Haiti!”
Susie Krabacher, and her organization, Mercy & Sharing, is determined to continue to change the despair and devastation plaguing Haitian society and to keep healing the children and their families. The organization will go on installing fresh water wells, teach them to become independent through education, and house and care for those who have no other resources.
Susie Krabacher is a woman of true grit – and is heaven-bound for sure. She lives and loves courageously without fear because she knows she has a “purpose-driven life.” In fact the author of “The Purpose-Driven Life” - Rick Warren - made this comment in Susie’s book: “An amazing story of a life changed!”
The captivating, caring, and compassionate Susie Scott Krabacher has struck a chord with many; and we end by sharing with you a quote from her book: “For today my reward is in hope. I believe that generations can be transformed by love, that the possibility of no child ever suffering does exist, that absolute good will ultimately triumph over evil.”
Susie, I’ve heard people say “Haiti is hell on earth.” Tell us about your thoughts on this? For 80% of Haitians, living there, they would agree. Formal employment is rare. About 70% of Haitians do not have a permanent full time job. Many get day jobs or bit work.
What was the moment in your life when you knew you had to help the abandoned children of Haiti? I started this commitment in 1994. But I have to say I knew this was my life commitment more recently when I was in my early forties and resolved that this was going to be our family and wouldn't be pretty or easy but it was going to be a big, wonderful family that Joe and I would recruit others to help us raise.
How do you manage to deal t with all of the ups and downs and triumphs and tragedies that go along with your mission? I have not mastered that. I never intend to. It makes me constantly reach out rather than become a reclusive sort of woman that I tend to be. So I write emails about the awful things that I can't tell anyone for fear of repercussions from the Haiti side. Our employees have to live there and cannot be put....well that can be spoken of another time.
How does Mercy & Sharing compare (or how is it different from) to what other organizations are doing to help out in Haiti? Mercy & Sharing is very unique. The greater population of orphanages in Haiti must have a regular volume of healthy infant children in order to maintain wages and rent of the orphanage.
Most don't take unhealthy infants due to high cost of 24 hour care and medicine and sometime surgical intervention.
How is Susan Scott Krabacher different today from the women she was 25 years ago? I really love deeply and don't care as much about if I am popular or invited to dinner with the most Influential couples. I adore going out with the motley crew of elderly folks from the senior home in Carbondale. We have a real party at Wal-Mart and their stories are so encouraging to me when Mercy & Sharing seems to preset challenges to which I cannot fathom any solution. I get great ideas from these people.
What qualities do you look for in a friend? Honesty, privacy, intellectual conversation, need to enjoy a glass of wine.
Will Colorado always been your home? Yes, and Haiti. I could not do Haiti without Colorado. I need Colorado like I need my voice to speak.
Do you ever get discouraged and think: “I can’t do this anymore.”? Yep. I do. But so rarely. Maybe 10 times in 20 years. I'm going to be painfully honest. Half of the 10 times I wasn't really ready to quit but I wanted to teach someone a lesson or get a reaction. I am so concerned that the Board of Directors and advisors understand Mercy & Sharing is one of the most important advocates in Haiti, for the kids who are extraordinary. No one wanted them because of the cost of an antibiotic or the cost of therapy to correct a crooked foot. These challenges made them so strong and determined!
What stands out as the best moment of your life? Joe and any moment that I get to see he adores me and doesn't regret our commitment to raise hundreds of children without his DNA.
What inspired you to commit yourself to the kids in Haiti? My childhood was the training ground that developed a sincere heart for discarded human beings.
Who or what has been your “life raft” through your journey with Mercy & Sharing? I didn't like reading the bible because I didn't really understand it. But I loved to talk to God. I thoroughly believed with every fiber of my being that He was available to me personally every minute, every second of every day! Thank God! I knew about that promise! I ask Him for all sorts of things. I cry when it hurts so much. So often our little kids die. Oh! Lord. He knows how we all suffer and try to get on with the day to day and just don't feel like going on.
Do you have some words of wisdom you would like to share with the young women of today? Yes! Read my book. And ask questions.
How do you differ from other organizations helping in Haiti? We donate 100% of every dollar to the programs and the bod covers all overhead costs. I work without compensation and am so blessed to be able to do so.
What are you looking forward to the most in the future? I want to see my kids in heaven and let them know “In this world, you were loved.” I can't wait to feel their hugs and hear their stories.
(You can contact Susie through Mercy & Sharing at: 201 North Mill Street, Suite 201, Aspen, CO 81611, (877) 424-8454, www.haitichildren.com)