Portland man donates $20k, half of life savings, to Haiti relief

Portland man donates $20k, half of life savings, to Haiti relief


by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW


Posted on January 15, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 16 at 4:09 PM

Kasey Wilson is not a wealthy man if you judge such things strictly on his bank account.

But in his heart, it’s another story.

“I'm far from perfect -- you know I have faults," he said while sipping coffee at the Oak Tree Restaurant in

Woodland, Wash., "but I believe it’s just good to try to do the best you can and try to do good. That's all"

Wilson, who grew up in Vancouver, said high fevers damaged parts of his brain as a child. He struggles to read his favorite book-- David’s song. His finger points at each word as he reads from the children’s book.

“The Lord is my light and will save me so who can I fear?” he reads with halting words.

Kasey's worked his whole life with his hands -- as a wildland fire fighter, in mills and landscaping. He's 51 now and out of work right.

But the pain in Haiti moved him deeply.

"I’ve never known them, I don’t know these people or nothing," he said, "but I feel good helping them. I believe it makes a difference. Even one person gives a little bit. Not everyone can give a lot.”

But Wilson did give a lot.

Not knowing who to trust or how to donate, he walked into our KGW lobby looking for options. He decided to donate
$20,000 to Mercy Corps, nearly half his life savings.

He’s felt the pull to help before. Wilson gave $3,000 to a relief effort in the Phillipines and traveled there twice on missions.

He’s a man with simple needs and a wealth of love for others.

“Tragedy does happen to other people you know," Wilson said, "and it may happen to me but you know I believe you try to do the best you can and things work out in life you know? I just try to be a good person, that's all."