We are saddened by the news of the recent passing of Charlie Stevens, a longtime supporter of Konbit Sante’s work and friend to all who had the pleasure to know him. Charlie was an accomplished man in life who had a great personal devotion to his family as well as to others in the community—and, as his support for Haiti exemplified, to people he never met. Charlie served on the founding board of Konbit Sante almost 20 years ago, and has since always found ways to substantially and practically advance our work together. Along with his son, Paul, and other family members, he donated and installed the first computers and provided internet access to a major hospital in Haiti.
When Konbit Sante evolved into a staffed organization in need of a Maine office 15 years ago, Charlie offered us wonderful donated space at his Northern Data Systems building in Falmouth. We have resided there since. While Charlie dismissed this as no big thing, it was a game-changer for us and our ability to do more in Haiti. I can’t imagine a better “landlord”. He often stopped by to check in, to talk about progress in Haiti, and to ask us whether there were any issues with the office space. No matter the challenges that he was facing personally (and there were many in his later years), he was unfailingly optimistic and good humored, and always encouraged us in our work.
While Charlie could talk and regale anyone with stories and jokes, he was quiet and understated— humble, in fact—about his own spirit of generosity and generosity of spirit. When we told him in 2017 that we wanted to give him an award in honor of his dedication and contributions to Konbit Sante, his first response was that there were many others who were more deserving. We explained that he was the perfect example of how a caring person could make a big difference in the lives of others, and he reluctantly agreed. In true “Charlie” fashion, he expressed his gratitude by making yet another generous donation to Konbit Sante. He cared more about the impact he could make than the limelight.
The world is certainly a better place for having had Charlie in it, and we will miss him.
On behalf of the Konbit Sante community, our hearts go out to his family in their sadness, but also with gratitude for sharing him with the rest of us for all these years.
Executive Director, Konbit Sante