by Jessica Langdon
LEAVENWORTH — A grin spread across Isaac Dessert’s face when he fanned out the bills he got for his eighth birthday.
And he’s not even going to keep a penny of it.
It’s all going to Haiti to help people move out of “tent cities,” more than three years after a catastrophic earthquake.
“These tents are not really tents,” said Isaac’s mother, Sarah Dessert. “They are pieces of trash, cardboard, basically anything that they can find that will provide some sort of shelter with dirt floors.”
Food and water are scarce, and many children are dying.
Father Glen Baptiste, a visiting priest, told the congregation at Sacred Heart-St. Casimir Church in Leavenworth about the plight of the people a few days before Isaac’s birthday in July.
The vivid details — and his plea for help through the Food for the Poor organization — captured the attention of the third-grader at Xavier Elementary School.
Parishioners gave about $1,800 to the cause. That same weekend, Isaac surprised his parents with a request.
“Instead of presents for my birthday, I really want to build a house for those people in Haiti,” he said.
He set a goal of $3,200 to build a home through Food for the Poor.
When his friends and family packed into Abe’s Place in Leavenworth for his party, they stuffed donations into a box Isaac had set out.
Even people who weren’t part of the party contributed.
He raised about $400, but isn’t stopping there.
He held a lemonade stand in August, and opened a donation site with Food for the Poor so people could donate online. It can be found at: www.food forthepoor.org/isaacsbirthday.
“I was really happy that I could help with the poor,” said Isaac.