Orlando Residents Replace Haiti's Tents and Shacks with Permanent Homes

  The Asencios, Marinos, Herds and Mahfoods

ORLANDO (Nov. 9, 2010) –At the 11th annual Food For The Poor Orlando event, supporters gave the people of Haiti New Hope, New Beginnings. Event proceeds will be used to construct critically needed homes and sanitation in Emmanuel Village V, in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. The village will house those who have been displaced by the earthquake, and those who are living in the Prolongé swamp and the slums of Shada.

“The situation in Haiti is very serious,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor, at the Oct. 22 event. “The people of Haiti need everyone’s help to build safe, permanent homes in Haiti.”

Food For The Poor’s building of homes in Haiti is limited only by the nonprofit’s funding.

(l-r) Claudia Good, Dr. Lynne Nasrallah and Michael Good

“I pray Food For The Poor receives a donation for $50 million so we can build as many homes as possible throughout Haiti,” said Mahfood. “There are so many people who are suffering in Haiti. Their anguish truly hurts my heart.”

New Hope, New Beginnings event sponsor, Winter Park Construction and its staff, used drills and hammers to build a 12-by-12 foot house in the hotel’s ballroom at Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa. As guests walked through the modest house, they were able to visualize and appreciate the significance that receiving a Food For The Poor home makes in the lives of the destitute. Food For The Poor can build a safe, permanent house for $2,600; one with a latrine costs $3,100.

During the past 10 years, the passion and commitment of the Orlando community has built more than 500 housing units in Haiti through the Emmanuel Village Home Building Project in Cap-Haitien, Thomazeau and Gonaives.

  (l-r) Amira Rivera, Nicole Nasrallah,
  Sharyn Gabriel and Karen Campbell

“More than 1 million people were displaced by the earthquake, some of whom have been forced to live under tarps, blankets and tents,” said Dr. Lynne Nasrallah, Event Chairperson. “You restore hope each time you are able to move families from their dilapidated shanties, and give them the key to a home with a concrete foundation and a roof that does not leak.”

At the gala, Nasrallah gave a detailed and compelling account of her recent journey to Haiti. In July, a handful of Orlando residents traveled to Haiti with Nasrallah on a Food For The Poor-sponsored mission trip to witness firsthand the conditions of the people and to see how the nonprofit continues to improve their lives and living conditions throughout the country. Together they journeyed through swamps, inaugurated a village, served hot meals at Food For The Poor’s distribution center in Port-au-Prince, visited a home for handicapped children, and learned how self-sustainable initiatives empower villages and increase in-country production of food.

The evening included live music, a silent auction, house rally, and a four-course dinner followed by dancing. Bidding on silent auction prizes offers opportunities for guests to shop and donate to the cause at the same time. Prizes included exclusive art and collectibles from the Caribbean and Latin America, designer jewelry, vacations, golf and dining packages.

Maritza and Anibal Beltran

Committee members include: Anibal & Maritza Beltran, Linda Bonnewitz, Vendla Daverman, The del Campo Family, Cynthia Hawkins, Jackie Heaps, Dr. Aida Jimenez and Isabel Jimenez, Kathy Kinchla, Donna Larson, Tom Murphy, Paul Mylod, Desirae Nasrallah, Nicole Nasrallah, Nancy Padilla, Lisa Padilla, Amira Rivera, Diane Rogers, The Santana Family, Lee Sayago, Marie Schwarz, Gandy Thomas, Jean & Donna Wilson, Kelly Wilkes, and The Winger Family.

Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, 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
Food For The Poor
954-427-2222 x 6054