Denniston International's mission is to empower underserved children and youth worldwide to live happy lives and contribute to their world.
Denniston International was founded by Danielle Pack McCarthy, who was a United States Peace Corps volunteer from 1998-2000 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a small developing island nation in the Eastern Caribbean. While there, she worked as a counselor and teacher at St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua, a school that prides itself on academic excellence—and a priority to take in poor children who would not be able to afford an education elsewhere. Denniston Thomas was Danielle’s neighbor and, eventually though her school sponsorship, a student at the school. He and his family were extremely poor, with no running water or electricity and no sheets on the mattresses they laid out on their floor.
Denniston International was created to honor the spirit, love and courage of Denniston—who was able to use what he had to benefit others and to help support his family. At only 11 years old, Denniston was creative in utilizing the resources around him, and working for a dollar here and there to hopefully put food on the table at night. While visiting Danielle and her family in New York, Denniston was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Denniston fought long and hard for nearly a year of treatment in New York with the Pack Family, until he passed away October 4, 2002 at the age of fourteen.
But Denniston’s life was much more about the way he lived than the way he died. At only fourteen years old, Denniston affected the lives of every person he met with his infectious smile and his selfless ways. In Denniston’s memory, Denniston International has been formed with the mission and goals that Denniston himself would have continued to work towards for children in his home country.