The Starfish Difference

by | Jun. 27, 2006


Carl Haupt founded the Starfish Difference (TSD) the summer of 2003 when he and some of his friends pulled some lost-and-found coats together from a local school and donated them to the needy. Since then they’ve been hauling supplies over the Mexican border to impoverished people in Agua Prieta, Sonora. From supplying a widow with ten children with necessary supplies to building a two-bedroom home for a destitute family, TSD is truly making a difference.

The people of Agua Prieta have encountered a recent change in their lives due to the influence of the Starfish Difference. Haupt explains, “We try to help as much as possible in every case. The people we visit have told us many times that their lives are so much better. They never go without food or clothes if we hear of the need. We have assisted in building new homes and repairs to existing homes.”Other faithful members include ninety-year-old Ferne Jordan, whose main goal in life is to help others; Charlene Wright, who, on a small income, still donates fifteen dollars a month toward building materials; Judy Marcheski, whose free time is spent helping the poor; Gene and Pam Kastner, who donate time and resources; Carl’s wife, Sarah, who manages the budget; and Carl’s brother, Dave, a skilled electrician who helps with wiring the homes in Agua Prieta.The most recent feat TSD took on took place in August 2004, when Carl, at age seventy-eight, climbed Mount Kilamanjaro, raising $12,000 for the poor. He was awarded the Guiness Book of World Record’s award for being the oldest person to climb Mt. Kilmanjaro.

Carl has been helped by many people along the way. “Twice I have had housewives give me some tortillas to take home only to learn that they were made with the last flour in their homes. Other times I have shared food and drink with people who have next to nothing, but they want to share the little that they have. I have seen smiles on faces that will melt a heart. Children and parents, old folks and strangers have hugged me. I have seen tears of gratitude for bringing food to the residents who wondered if, not what they were going to eat.”

The Starfish Difference has impacted Carl Haupt incredibly. “I am much more satisfied with my life than I have ever been before,” he says.” I feel a great peace in my heart and special joy whenever I visit my people in Agua Prieta. I just wish the Lord had the need of a fourth Nephite.” 

To find out how you can help, visit or contact Carl Haupt at (520) 586-7334.

Comments and feedback can be sent to