Dear Friends of the MacJannet Foundation,
This past year posed the ultimate challenge for followers of those indefatigable optimists, Donald and Charlotte MacJannet: How do you build a better world in the midst of a global pandemic?
The bad news you already know. The coronavirus has taken more than 3.7 million lives around the world and shattered millions more. Hospitals were overwhelmed, businesses closed, food lines swelled with the growing ranks of unemployed. Here at the MacJannet Foundation, the pandemic forced the temporary suspension of the two international cultural exchange programs in 2020 that we customarily support: The Tufts University European Center in Talloires, France; and Les Amis du Prieuré of Talloires.
In such uniquely trying times, you may ask, how can a small foundation like ours promote the essential values championed by our founders: tolerance, resilience, and cross-cultural understanding?
Now for the good news. Our newest program— the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship— was able to continue its 11-year tradition of honoring exemplary university student civic programs around the world. And the arrival of the vaccine for COVID-19 has brought hope of better times in 2021 for the world as well as our programs.
While many others reacted to the COVID-19 crisis by cutting back or hunkering down, we responded by asking ourselves: “What would Donald and Charlotte do?” To us, the answer is clear: They would ask, “How can we help?”
Donald and Charlotte survived two world wars and the Great Depression. They fled German-occupied France in 1940 with barely the clothes on their backs. Donald even contracted the deadly Spanish influenza of 1918 and nearly died, but lived to tell the tale. Nothing they encountered could sway them from their determination to build a better world by planting seeds in the hope that some of them would bear fruit. Instead of cursing the darkness, they lit candles.
That is what we do aim to do today— to inspire the lives of young people who may one day change the world for the better. Thank you for your support of the MacJannet Foundation.