About Connecticut Quest for Peace
CT Quest for Peace seeks to improve the lives of the poor in Nicaragua by working through proven Nicaraguan organizations to provide humanitarian aid in a variety of education, health care, arts, and microfinance initiatives, primarily directed toward women and children.
Connecticut Quest for Peace is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1985 by a group of dedicated volunteers whose mission is to help the poorest people of Nicaragua. Our employer identification number is 26-4439286 and all donations are tax deductible.
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, and 78% of the population earns less than $2.00/day.
CT Quest for Peace has no paid staff and less than three percent of the total budget is spent on fundraising, which means that 97% of donated dollars go directly to programs in Nicaragua. All CT Quest for Peace humanitarian aid programs are provided free of charge to needy Nicaraguans regardless of race, religion or tribal origin. Ultimately, the goal is to give the people of Nicaragua the tools they need to create sustainable communities that will flourish in the future.
CT Quest for Peace is funded and operates entirely independently of the national organization Quest for Peace, which is an arm of the Quixote Center in Washington DC.
Quest for Peace beginnings: Sending open arms—not military arms to Nicaragua
As the U.S. Reagan administration escalated military aid to Nicaragua’s Contra rebels in the 1980’s, national Quest organizer, Bill Callahan, decided to take action. He vowed to match U.S. military spending—dollar-for-dollar—with humanitarian aid to Nicaragua’s poorest citizens.
When President Reagan declared an embargo on Nicaragua, Callahan put out an urgent call to peace and justice organizations across the country.
In Connecticut, Rose Marie Gorman, chair of the Peace and Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, spread word to leaders in her community about the plight of the Nicaraguan people.
Kathleen Deignan and Gina Sader-Rubenstein responded immediately, collecting and shipping clothes, dried food, seeds, tools, school supplies and other essential aid to Nicaragua. CT Quest continues to be an organization that does not get involved with political issues in Nicaragua. CT Quest seeks to improve the lives of the poor in Nicaragua by working through proven Nicaraguan organizations to provide humanitarian aid in a variety of education, health care, arts, and micro-finance initiatives, primarily directed towards women and children.
Soon after, two couples—Randy and Linda Klein and Gail Faithfull and her husband Leo McDonnell—took over organizational responsibility for an independent Connecticut-based Quest initiative.
They dubbed the organization Connecticut Quest for Peace (CT Quest) to differentiate the program from its Washington-based sister.
In 1995 the Bridie Fund enabled CT Quest to begin sustained funding to a number of community-based educational, food and healthcare programs in Nicaragua.
Since then, CT Quest has diversified and expanded its aid programs to Nicaraguan families and shipped more than $12 million in humanitarian aid to needy Nicaraguan communities.