Determined 9 year old looks for donors to help build homes in Haiti

Leave a comment for Rachel or make a donation to her fund here.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 1, 2009) – Inspired by a recent visit to Food For The Poor, Rachel Wheeler, 9, plans to build a “baker’s dozen” of homes in Haiti. Rachel joined members of Lighthouse Point’s Chamber of Commerce for a tour of Food For The Poor headquarters in Coconut Creek. Rachel listened carefully and asked a lot of questions during the presentation by Robin Mahfood, President and CEO of Food For The Poor.

Rachel, a third-grade student at Zion Lutheran Christian School in Deerfield Beach, wanted to do something to support Food For The Poor’s quest to help the unsheltered. So, she’s spearheading an initiative to build 13 homes. Her plan is to approach people and business owners, asking them to participate and donate $200 to Food For The Poor. A donation of $2,600 can provide a destitute family with a basic, safe and secure home.

“I feel God sent us to Food For The Poor to fulfill Rachel’s helping heart,” said Julie Wheeler, Rachel’s mother and a member of the chamber. “She is a great kid with lofty ideas about helping others who are less fortunate. She has been this way since she was old enough to talk.”

The dire housing needs in Haiti were compounded by the grueling 2008 hurricane season. Housing has been a top priority for Food For The Poor since its inception, with more than 55,000 housing units given to the poor. By providing simple, sturdy homes to the poorest of the poor, the charity can change the lives of entire families by giving them the security of a safe, dry place to live.

“Rachel’s intelligence and genuine desire to help the poor was truly impressive,” said Mahfood, a resident of Lighthouse Point. “I believe she will work hard to achieve her goal to provide homes for 13 families in Haiti.”

Food For The Poor, the nation’s largest international relief and development agency, is located in Coconut Creek. Under Mahfood’s management, Florida’s largest charity has doubled in size every three years, and during 2008 maintained an operating cost ratio of under 3 percent.

To support Rachel’s effort, please make checks payable to Food For The Poor and include the special source code “SC# 69603” so the money can be tracked to the house-building effort. Donations 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

Jennifer Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
(954) 427-2222 x 6054