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#3138: Susan Krabacher: Knowles comments

From: Phil Knowles <Phildk@prodigy.net>

Since the "Good Morning America" Diane Sawyer interview with Susan Krabach
in December, I've tried to find out for sure whether her organization exists
and is legit.  I have some good information, but have not been to PAP or
heard from anyone I know who has physically checked it out there.

The only, but important, negative report was from a German TV crew. As
Richard Morse told us, the Germans came over to do a story after a favorable
and moving piece in the famous German news magazine Der Stern.  When the TV
Germans arrived they were unable to confirm the activities of Susan
Krabacher and left town feeling the story must be a

I think we should know which it is - fraud or charity.  Frankly, I believe
it is charity. Susan Krabacher (ex-model, Playmate, etc.) lives in Aspen,
and first went to Haiti in 1994. In brief, it seems she grew up in Alabama,
married at 19, did the Playboy thing, husband spent the money and skipped
out. She is married to Joe Krabacher  - he was her divorce lawyer.  She
reacted to a TV documentary on appalling conditions for children in Mongolia
and against all advice decided to go there. A local pastor said "Why not
Haiti - it's the same or worse, and closer." She changed her ticket, went to
Haiti, PAP, Cite Soleil, and from that grew "The Foundation for Worldwide
Mercy and Sharing".

The Foundation has several projects. (1) Mercy House orphanage in
PAP - caring for about 30 retarded and abandoned children  (2) Cite Soleil
Nutrition Center - daily school and lunch for about 60 children  (3)
Hospital Espoir in PAP - providing good surgical care for children (4)
Abandoned Childrens Unit - a room obtained from, but within, the General
Hospital where
Foundation employees care for about 10 abandoned children  (5) school and
orphanage in Jacmel.

Funding comes from small donors worldwide, some major single purpose gifts
(surgical equipment, a generator, etc.), and substantial, on-going support
by the Krabachers themselves. It is stated that all, (100%) of ordinary gift
monies go to feeding and caring for the children. The Foundation has IRS tax
status as a charitable organization.Susan comes to Haiti every
other month or so, and, it is said, spends almost half the year there.

Back in Germany there was a legal fight between Der Stern and the TV people
over whose story was true. In Haiti, Susan's efforts have been opposed by
some politicians and evidently by the authorities at General Hospital. A key
piece in all this - something I cannot independently verify - those
hospital authorities told the German TV people they had not heard of
Susan Krabacher.  Presumably, they were embarrassed by the terrible reports
about the hospital published by Stern, and did not want further exposure.
Unfortunately, it sounds plausible, and would account for the negative
reports by the German TV crew.

My sources: (1) several articles in Denver Post and Aspen Times  (2) The
Foundation website, www.haitichildren.com  (3) Foundation newsletters  (4)
Susan Krabacher replies to my questions  (5) Lance Durban's reply which
verified at least the existence of this operation in PAP.  To the best of my
ability, I have looked for fraud and found none; this certainly seems to be
a devoted, highly energetic effort by two committed Christians to help as
many unfortunate children in Haiti as they can.. Of course, it makes little
structural difference for the country, but I didn't think that was the

The address: Foundation for Worldwide Mercy and Sharing, 201 N. Mill St.
Aspen CO 81611; E-mail haitikids@aol.com; telephone 970-925-1492.
Anyone interested in more information should contact the Krabachers

Phil Knowles