Koa Books


Koa Books

Books on Personal
Progressive Politics,
and Native Cultures

Voices of Dissent

About Margaret Trost

Margaret Trost, Author of "On That Day, Everybody Ate"

Margaret Trost’s favorite Creole saying is “Piti piti na rive,” which means “little by little we will arrive.” These words of wisdom, taught by her Haitian colleagues, guide Margaret in her work with the What If? Foundation, a nonprofit she founded after visiting Haiti for the first time in 2000.

Margaret went to Port-au-Prince on a two-week volunteer trip, hoping the experience would help her move out of the grief she struggled with after her husband’s unexpected death at the age of 36. The faith, courage and love of the Haitians she met helped her heal, opened her eyes to the reality of widespread hunger and suffering so close to the U.S., and led to the discovery of her life’s calling. Margaret shares this remarkable journey in her book On That Day, Everybody Ate: One Woman’s Story of Hope and Possibility in Haiti (Koa Books, 2008). www.onthatdayeverybodyate.org

Since the founding of the What If? Foundation in 2000, Margaret has raised over $1.5 million to support a food program for children (up to 7,500 meals are served every week), tuition for the schooling of nearly 200 girls and boys, an after-school program, and an annual summer camp for 450 children. For more information, please visit www.whatiffoundation.org. Most of this money has come from individuals who have been moved by her story, passionate commitment, and powerful first-hand accounts of the devastating conditions in Haiti. A gifted and inspirational speaker, she has many years of experience addressing groups of all sizes and is equally at ease on television and radio, and in workshops, lectures and conferences.

What If? Foundation Feeds Children of Haiti

Margaret received a bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She began her career in public television at WTTW – Chicago. One of the programs she produced – The 1990 Illinois Young Performers’ Competition – won a regional Emmy. In order to stay home full-time with her infant son, Margaret left the television industry and began a home-based business as a sales representative. Her business success and compelling presentation skills led to invitations to travel as an inspirational speaker and sales trainer. Although she still runs her business, the majority of her time is devoted as the volunteer executive director of the What If? Foundation.

Margaret is married and lives with her husband and 17-year-old son in Berkeley, California.






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