June 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

“I made a deal with life”: Life's winner, she gives back

"I made a deal with life": Life's winner, she gives back

A nurse from Laurentians has been giving back to her community a hundredfold since winning the jackpot 16 years ago, inspiring her fellow citizens to follow her in her humanitarian project.

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“I made a deal with life. When I bought my ticket, I told myself that if I won, I would do this until the end of my days. I couldn't see myself doing anything else,” says Rachel Lapierre, president and founder of Book Humanitarian in Saint-Jerome, which helps people in need.

It happened in 2008 at a grocery store in Saint-Sauveur, but the 62-year-old woman still remembers it like it was yesterday.

She has her hands full with her four teenagers at home, her job in the emergency room, and a humanitarian book she wishes she had more time for. Something said to buy a scratch ticket….

“I was waiting for my children to scratch the bed. There were three identical fruits, but it didn't say that it was a winner for life,” recalled the man, who carefully kept the ticket to the Lotto-Quebec offices in Montreal in his bra.

A winner for life

She realized she had truly hit the jackpot: $675,000 or $1,000 a week for life.

“Knowing me, I'd better take it for life. If I'm given a large amount of money, I'll definitely waste it, there are so many people who need it!” she said.

For as long as she can remember, she has always wanted to make a difference.

30 years ago, she fell in love with humanitarian travel. Among other things, she lived with her young children for four and a half months to work in an orphanage for young people with AIDS in Chile.

She also works in Mother Teresa centers in India and directly on the streets, where people really need her. For ten years, she has been going there two or three times a year, bringing someone with her to study with her.

An inspiring presence

“I saw Rachel in an interview and she seemed very inspiring, so I decided to go,” asserts Louise Savoie. Since her visit to India in 2020, the 62-year-old woman has been participating in the humanitarian book five days a week.

GEN-Report on The Humanitarian Book by Rachel Lapierre, founder of The Humanitarian Book in Saint-Jerome.

Louise Lavoie has become Mrs. LaPierre's right-hand woman since she followed her to India four years ago.

Mario Beauregard/Agence QMI

Here, the nurse's presence unites. “When I met her, it clicked right away, she's like a big sister to us,” said Carol Levesque, a volunteer and active in the kitchen for four years.

GEN-Report on The Humanitarian Book by Rachel Lapierre, founder of The Humanitarian Book in Saint-Jerome.

Carol Levesque prepares food boxes.

Mario Beauregard/Agence QMI

Mme Lapierre could never buy something that made him so happy.

“When you buy a sweater, you're happy for two days; A car, two weeks at most, but when you do a good deed, you keep it in your memories forever,” she said.

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