Mason’s Dacheka Kolcum has a special place in her heart for her native Haiti


Dacheka Kolcum’s heart remains in her native Haiti, even if she hasn’t set foot in the Caribbean island nation since she was a little girl.

When the George Mason University women’s soccer standout heard about the Aug. 14 earthquake that devastated Haiti, she immediately jumped into action to help. 

The senior sport management major from Leesburg, Virginia, was born and raised in Haiti until being adopted by an American family at age 6. She’s since reconnected with her biological family and has wasted no time in lending a helping hand. 

“It was really hard [hearing the news],” Kolcum said. “The first thing I wanted to do was call my family. When I knew they were OK, then I knew how to do something. I knew this was a calling for me to step forward and take some action.”

A GoFundMe page she set up has raised nearly $5,000 to help provide basic necessities for those most adversely impacted by quake.

One of the most impoverished nations in the world, Haiti immediately found itself in dire need of help, even as it was still recovering from a previous massive earthquake in 2010. The most recent quake killed more than 2,000 people and injured more than 12,000 others. More than 136,000 of the nation’s buildings were either damaged or destroyed.

Dacheka Kolcum earned the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honor earlier this year. Photo by Mason Athletics.

The money raised on the GoFundMe page will be distributed through a local organization in Haiti run by Kolcum’s biological father. The group is working on bringing materials and aid, such as clean water, clothes, food, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, to the areas in Haiti most affected by the earthquake.

“Haiti is my roots, Haiti is my family, Haiti is what I wake up every day to work towards,” Kolcum said. “I think I’ve been put on this Earth to give back to my home country. Haiti is my motivator.”

First-year Patriots coach Manya Puppione said she was happy to help when Kolcum first approached her about contributing to people in need.

“I am just in awe of Dacheka's leadership, empathy, and her willingness to take action,” Puppione said. “I know that she wants to be there to help out with her feet on the Haitian ground, and I know she will get there when she can.”

Kolcum said she’s been struck by the overwhelming generosity of the Mason community and others. Even the smallest donations can go a long way in a third-world nation like Haiti, she added.

“Helping as many people as I can in Haiti and opening as many eyes as I can in America is the end goal,” Kolcum said.