One Boca Grande Thanks Another for a New Life
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 14, 2011) – The leader of the Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee and the Haiti Project Manager for Food For The Poor brought a message of gratitude to those attending the March 2 event in Boca Grande.
"Merci, merci, merci…thank you so much for impacting, changing, transforming, restoring, for giving life," said Delane Bailey-Herd, Haiti Project Manager for Food For The Poor. "The residents of Boca Grande Friendship Village in Pierre Payen, Haiti, say 'Next to God, there is Boca Grande, Fla.' I know you cannot even imagine that in such a short space of time you have made such an amazing, eternal impact in one community."
Ben Scott, chair of the committee, traveled to Haiti on Feb. 14 to meet the residents, walk through the concrete block, two-room homes, watch classes in action, and taste the fresh, clean water that means life and health in the country. More than 200 mothers, fathers and children have moved from homes made of mud and sticks into 40 sturdy homes in the village.
Ben Scott gives an update on the project.
"When we met here last year, we weren't sure what would happen when we shared our plans to raise money for a village in Haiti. I'm here today to report to you that we did raise the money, and in seven months we did build the village we said we would build," Scott said.
Now, building on last year's successful mission to change lives in Haiti, the Boca Grande committee is launching the next part of its campaign. Plans for the second phase go directly toward helping people become even more self-reliant with more homes, a school, and a cow farm.
The Boca Grande Friendship Village consists of:
• 40 double-unit concrete homes with kitchenettes. Each house also includes sanitation, and a 200-gallon plastic water cistern to collect rainwater.
• A water treatment system with the capacity to process clean water for the entire community.
• 500 fruit trees, including mango, avocado and citrus
• Animal husbandry, with one goat for each family
• A community chicken farm
• Community Center
• Solar charging system to provide the community center with electricity
• A five-room vocational school
Delane Bailey-Herd addresses the crowd.
"It is easy for me to thank you for all of these things," Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, told the group in a taped message. "However, how can one thank you for the other things you have given them that are not quite so material, that are not so palpable. How can I thank you for the dignity you have given, the hope that you have given, the faith which you have reinforced with your love for them?"
Those gathered responded immediately to Scott's call for help with a second phase. Many wrote checks on the spot, and Scott said checks have continued to arrive each day since the event. Scott said he is eager to work on the next important elements of the village.
"The committee thought it was really important to focus on the school in this next phase," Scott said, before showing the gathered crowd a short video of the cramped, noisy, makeshift classrooms that children must endure each day to try to get an education. "Let's see what we can do."
Committee members include: Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Read Heydt, Tom and Linda Aley, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Ray and Iliene Corcoran, Charlie and Florita Field, Lou and Corie Fusz, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Audrey Knapp, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Bruce and Barbara Stirling and David and Mary Jo Wilson.
To watch a video on Scott’s visit to the village and presentations from the March 2 event, please visit YouTube.
Committee members at the event.
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.
Food For The Poor
Public Relations Director
954-427-2222 x 6614