FFP stocks local Baptist clinics with medical supplies

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 23, 2009) – As Marie Toussaint surveyed the full shelves of donated medical supplies at the Living Water Care Center in Pembroke Park, she talked about how a partnership between Food For The Poor and the Gulfstream Baptist Association is making a difference for the poor in South Florida.

“You can’t imagine our joy when we saw the supplies,” said Toussaint, Director of Church and Community Ministries for the Baptist association. “The week before we didn’t know how we were going to do it; we were squeezing the last drops out of tubes of gel, and then God answered our prayers.”

The 18 pallets of medical supplies and hygiene products were donated to the Baptist group by Food For The Poor. Pastor H. Michael Petty Sr., Executive Director of Missions for the Gulfstream Baptist Association, was among a group of six Baptist ministers and others who traveled to Jamaica with Food For The Poor in January. Out of that trip grew a desire by the Baptists to work with Food For The Poor in its ministry. The donation of the medical supplies is the first step of that collaboration.

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“We are tremendously pleased to be able to assist this organization that is doing so much good in the local communities,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States. “They are providing a vital service to the poor, and we are honored to partner with them.”

Petty also expressed his gratitude to Mahfood. 

“My dear brother, you will never be able to measure the great joy and encouragement that accompanied the truckload of supplies. The people who will benefit from the supplies are obvious and tangible,” he said. “However, the ministry provided to the patients and to our team of servants is intangible, but nonetheless valuable and real.”

The Living Water Care Center has two locations, one in Pembroke Park that opened in 1998 and one in Fort Lauderdale that has been operating since 2002. The centers are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time.

“These two clinics are seeing increased patients during the country’s economic recession,” Petty said. “Meanwhile, the resources to operate the clinics are less. The contribution of these medical supplies will make possible our continued commitment to providing professional medical care with dignity and honor.”

Petty, who is responsible for 170 Baptist churches in Broward County and whose staff and volunteers serve many Haitian clients at the clinic, said he is eager to have his group partner with Food For The Poor in Haiti. Water and farming projects are at the top of his fundraising list.

“The need is so great in Haiti, but if you can make a small difference in an area – then you have made a big difference in their lives,” he said.

Food For The Poor serves the poor of the Caribbean and Latin America. The nonprofit provides food, emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, basic housing, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. More than 97 percent of all donations received in 2008 went toward programs that help the poor. For more information, visit www.foodforthepoor.org.

Kathy Skipper
Manager, Marketing and Public Relations
(954) 427-2222 x 6614