A man's legacy unites a community - Father Chuck's Challenge

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 26, 2009) - Twenty-seven members of the greater Philadelphia community traveled this month to Nicaragua with Monsignor Francis X. Schmidt and Food For The Poor to dedicate two self-sustaining villages in La Rica, Nicaragua. When Frances’ Village and Father Michael McGivney’s Village are complete there will be 200 homes, latrines, a community center and projects for water, animal husbandry, and agriculture. The Holy Family and St. Eleanor health clinics also were inaugurated during the trip.

The two villages are part of Father Chuck’s Challenge, an initiative named in memory of Father Chuck Pfeffer, a priest who was beloved by the community, and was mentored by Msgr. Schmidt.

“Father Chuck’s Challenge provides a constant reminder to all who knew him about the importance of addressing the needs of the poorest of the poor - especially the young,” Msgr. Schmidt said. “We have expanded Father Chuck’s Challenge throughout Nicaragua. Secure, permanent homes are crucial to providing families with a new start in life.”

“The destitute residents of these remote, mountain communities were overjoyed by the extreme generosity of Father Chuck’s Challenge donors,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s Executive Director who accompanied the group. “These villagers have lived in dire need of shelter, clean drinking water, and self-sustaining nutrition and income. Some of the old homes we saw were built using clay, grass, pieces of wood, plastic and old zinc sheets. The new Food For The Poor homes are true blessings for the poor.”

Msgr. Schmidt is currently fundraising for phase three of Father Chuck’s Challenge. The project will improve the living conditions of the rural communities in El Hular and La Dalia, Nicaragua. One hundred families will receive new housing, sanitation facilities, and the supplies and resources necessary to raise chickens. Additionally residents will benefit from the construction of two community centers, the implementation of a water system, and reforestation development. To learn more about Father Chuck’s Challenge or to donate, visit www.foodforthepoor.org/fatherchuckschallenge.

To support Father Chuck’s Challenge, checks should be made out to Food For The Poor and include the special source code "SC #64724" so the money can be tracked. Checks can be mailed to Food For The Poor, 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073.

Food For The Poor is the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, with more than 97 percent of all donations in 2008 going directly to programs that help those in need. Food For The Poor provides nourishing food, safe shelter, necessary medical care, educational materials, support for orphans and the aged, and much more to the poorest of the poor in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. For more information, log on to www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
(954) 427-2222 x 6614