Most girls Faith Virginia Tronnier’s age are more worried about buying cute clothes, playing with dolls and having fun with friends.
While the 8-year-old East Naples resident enjoys those things as well, she is also concerned about something far beyond her years. The third-grader, who attends Calusa Park Elementary School, sent a letter to the Daily News urging others to make a “Haitian life better” by sending as little as a dollar to the earthquake-ravaged nation.
While her handwritten letter wasn’t grammatically perfect, the message was perfectly clear.
“I think that if everyone gave what they had. We would be able to help all Haitians,” her letter reads. “I just would like to have everyone help. I want the Haitians to live their normal life ... under our protection. I only have one dollar but I think if everyone helped we would raise a lot of money for the Haitians.”
At the bottom of Faith’s letter, she wrote “Give a dollar, save a life.” And she included a single dollar bill with her letter.
The letter, and Faith’s decision to send it to the newspaper, came as a bit of a shock to her father, Paul Tronnier. He said Faith came home from school one day with the letter already written and told him what she wanted to do. He grabbed an envelope, a stamp and a return address label for her. Faith did the rest, even crossing out her father’s name on the address label and writing her own.
“I’m very proud of her,” Paul Tronnier said. “This took me by surprise. She made this at school after the Hope for Haiti (fundraiser).”
At Calusa Park Elementary and at home, Faith had been learning about the country and the devastation by discussing it in class and watching television news reports, where images of children and their parents injured in the quake and without a roof over their head moved her. The East Naples elementary school also held a few fundraisers, like many other schools locally and nationally, to raise money for Hope for Haiti and other relief organizations.
But Faith wanted to take it one step further. Her school had allowed students to wear hats or jeans on certain days if they brought in a dollar. That is where she made the school’s idea her own.
Faith said she figures if everybody donated a dollar — or more — Haiti could be a bit better off. She especially is concerned about getting supplies to the country’s children, who she said probably don’t even have a single toy left.
Faith, who has been writing since age 4 and hopes to one day be a journalist, said she is not sure where people should send the money, but agreed that organizations like American Red Cross or Hope for Haiti would be appropriate.
“I’m hoping that a bunch of other people would send in a dollar or whatever they have,” she said, “so they could buy supplies.”