lesleyking300Lesley King is a Traveling Mom of 4, former very successful investment banker and determined social justice advocate. As a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, with a major in Strategic Management, Lesley spent 15 years on Wall Street, most recently as a Managing Director in fixed income sale management at JP Morgan, and retired to get more involved in non-profit work.

Lesley is a founding member of the Golden Seeds angel investor group based in New York City that specializes in women run start-ups, she served as the interim Executive Director of Trinity Church in Greenwich and she is now a very active Board member of Partners in Health (PIH).

Lesley is every bit as strong as she sounds. In November 2009, she traveled to Rwanda with two of her kids to see for herself what PIH is doing there and to see some of the Rwandan kids she has hosted in the past. I interviewed Lesley before her trip to find out what and how she packed and to see if she was having an anxiety about traveling with her kids to a third world country.

Today I saw Lesley in tears. She updated our church on all that PIH is doing in Haiti to save lives. They have been in that country for years, thanks to their founder, Dr. Paul Farmer. And luckily none of their facilities were harmed by the earthquake. But the devastation is almost overwhelming. PIH’s country director in Haiti, Dr. Ivers, worked for 48 hour straight, without sitting down once. She said they used license plates for splints and ripped up shirts for tourniquets.

It touched my heart to see Lesley so vulnerable. To know that she cares so intimately for a people who have all but been forgotten. Her tears did not stop her update, mind you. She plowed through a few stops and starts and delivered her message of hope, gratitude and need.

I am always reticent to blindly send money to a relief agency just to hear later that it was looted or squandered on bureaucracy. I am forever digging for information I can trust so that I can feel confident in my giving. That’s how I became connected to Women of Vision a few years ago. I attended a meeting with the intention of finding a mom who had witnessed her dollars at work, and I left with a sponsored child. When I met the people involved with Airline Ambassadors and interviewed founder, Nancy Rivard, about the individuals her group has saved or supported, I knew they were the real deal.

Lesley is the reason I am connected to PIH. When Lesley tells me that the money donated to PIH is really saving lives, I know it’s true.

All of the press and pleas for help can become overwhelming. I can only share what I know for sure. Donate to any of these organizations and you will make a difference.