Six Villages and Counting, Thanks to a Dedicated Parish

Fr. Richard Martin, pastor of Church of the Nativity in Burke, Va., thanked the staff of FFP for helping his parish help the destitute.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 2, 2011) — For 13 years, Father Richard Martin, pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Burke, Va., has worked side by side with Food For The Poor to help transform the lives of hundreds of families who once lived in deplorable conditions in Haiti.

On Friday, May 27, Fr. Martin presented Food For The Poor’s CEO/President Robin Mahfood with another generous check.  Nativity Parish’s 2011 Lenten collection will be used to build 100 new homes in its seventh village. "Nativity Village in Mazere" will be located in Cap-Haitien.

"Food For The Poor has delivered aid and so much more to those who are desperate for help, and together we make a difference," said Fr. Martin, Church of the Nativity. "I want to thank all of you for being shepherds. All of you are caretakers and shepherds. What would Food For The Poor be without its shepherds?"

Fr. Martin presented FFP with
a generous donation from Nativity Parish's 2011 Lenten collection.

In 1998, Fr. Martin’s church built its first "Nativity Village" consisting of 27 homes in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with help from Food For The Poor. Since making that commitment, every year for more than a decade, Nativity has taken on additional projects to ease the suffering in the Caribbean nation. By the end of 2010, that first project at Canapé-Vert grew to six complete "Nativity Village" developments. Now, there are more than 800 houses in various parts of the country.

"Here at Food For The Poor, we are very thankful for Fr. Martin and his compassionate parishioners. Because of their loving kindness, many lives in Haiti have been changed and will continue to be changed for the better," said Mahfood. "What a tremendous blessing Nativity has been to us."

Since February 1999, Nativity parishioners have accompanied Fr. Martin on mission trips to Haiti, to see for themselves the fruits of their generosity.  As he celebrates his 45th anniversary as a priest, he will continue the tradition, and will head back to Haiti with volunteers from his parish this summer for the ground breaking of "Nativity Village in Mazere."

"This village will provide so much more than just 100 new sturdy homes with sanitation," said Jim McDaniel, a Nativity parishioner and Food For The Poor staff member. "There will be a water filtration system, a community center for vocational training, and agricultural projects – this way the people can grow their own crops and generate revenue to become self-sustaining."

The funds will build "Nativity Village in Mazere" this summer in Cap-Haitien. This will be the 7th village funded by the church.

Last June, 13 parishioners from Nativity Parish traveled to Cap-Haitien with Food For The Poor to visit “Nativity Village at Chastenoye,” where 50 homes were built for 50 families who were relocated from Shada.  This Cap-Haitien slum is an inhumane place with no clean water; a place where the smell of garbage, along with the smell of burning trash fills the air.  

Take a look back at Nativity’s 2010 mission trip to Cap-Haitien, Haiti, by visiting the following highlights on Food For The Poor's YouTube channel:


Part I: Church of the Nativity mission trip

Part V: Church of the Nativity mission trip

Part VII: Church of the Nativity mission trip


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

Wanda Wright
Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079