Haiti Village Celebrates the Lives of 14 Lynn University Mission Members

Food For The Poor has started construction on a housing village in Haiti dedicated to the 12 Lynn University students and two faculty members who were on a Haiti mission trip when the devastating earthquake struck. The “Journey of Hope Memorial Village” will offer friends and family members the opportunity to visit Haitian families like those who were selflessly served by the Lynn University group. The village is scheduled to be inaugurated in January 2011.

“Construction of the village was inspired by the tremendous spirit of service possessed in those who traveled to serve the poor in Haiti,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “With broken hearts, we often remember those whom He called home. It is our prayer that the village will offer comfort to those in need, and joy to those who will call the village home.”

The Journey of Hope Memorial Village in Anse à Veau, Haiti, is an answered prayer for 25 families who will receive a new two-room house with sanitation unit, access to clean drinking water, and the supplies and resources necessary to raise chickens. A chicken coop will be built to house each of the families’ 10 chickens. The chicken eggs will provide a sustainable source of protein and supplemental income. The village’s second animal husbandry project will involve cattle.

Housing is a major priority for Food For The Poor. Since Jan. 12, Food For The Poor has constructed more than 466 two-room houses in Haiti. Providing these families with simple, sturdy homes drastically changes their lives. They can now experience the security of a safe, dry place to live – relieving them of the desperate and constant need to find shelter. Additionally, residents of the Journey of Hope Memorial Village will benefit from the construction of a community center that will provide a place for a health clinic and vocational training classes; a fruit tree orchard consisting of mango, citrus, avocado and breadfruit trees; and a nine-classroom school.

Three specific locations in the village – the school, meditation garden and community center – will be named in honor of those Lynn University students and faculty who were together in Haiti during the earthquake.

Many of the Lynn University members who traveled to Haiti in Jan. 2010 had traveled the year before to Jamaica with Food For The Poor to serve the country’s underprivileged. Earlier this month Lenny and Lin Crispinelli, Stephanie Crispinelli’s parents, traveled to Jamaica to retrace her steps and to experience what inspired her to travel the following year to Haiti.

In less than three days, Stephanie Crispinelli’s family and friends, along with contractors and carpenters, built and dedicated a basic school called ‘Steph’s Place’ in Race Course, Clarendon, Jamaica. The group wore shirts that read, “Failure is not an option,” and hung a banner near the work site that read “Do Work.”

Regarding the memorial in Jamaica, Susan James, Food For The Poor’s Jamaica country manager said, “It was sad, beautiful and incredible at the same time.”

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations
954.427.2222, ext. 6054