Georgia Girl Builds Home in Haiti to Honor Aunt's Memory

Untitled Document
Abby stands with photos of her deceased aunt and the family who have a Food For The Poor home because of Abby.
Abby Collins, 10, proudly holds a photograph of the family who received a Food For The Poor home and a photograph of her aunt in whose memory Abby built the home.

Related Items:

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2013) – This summer, 10-year-old Abby Collins received a photograph of a smiling family in Haiti in front of their new Food For The Poor home. For four years, Abby has sold homemade heart-shaped dog cookies, chocolate frosted cupcakes and other baked goods to raise the money needed to build this home in memory of her namesake.

“I received a letter from your grandmother telling me about your accomplishment to build a home for a family in Haiti,” Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor’s President/CEO wrote in a letter to Abby. “I find your act of kindness to be a true testament of Christian charity. This is how God wants us to live our lives – loving one another and caring for our neighbors. You are a true blessing to this world and you have blessed your family by your most gracious and unselfish act of love.”

Abby never met her Aunt Abby Marie Ledbetter, who died at 16 shortly after being injured in a car accident the summer before her junior year of high school. Her family has kept her spirit alive by sharing stories, photographs and videos.

“This home in Haiti will allow her memory to live on with the hope and gratitude of this family – the recipients of your efforts,” said Mahfood.

Kathie Ledbetter was surprised by her granddaughter’s desire to build a Food For The Poor home in honor of her aunt, and immediately credited God for touching Abby’s heart.

Ledbetter heard Food For The Poor’s fundraising campaign on Atlanta’s 104.7 The Fish four years ago. She called her daughter Amy to help her make an online pledge to support a needy family for a year. While on Food For The Poor’s website, Amy shared the charity’s mission with Abby and her son, Walker.

“We are so proud of Abby, and hope this home is a blessing for a family in Haiti,” wrote Ledbetter, who attends Gospel Light Baptist Church, in Winder, Ga.

As Abby proudly holds a framed photograph of her Aunt Abby in one hand, and the photograph of the Haitian family in the other, you cannot help but notice the resemblance between Abby and her aunt.

“I hope God will bless them, and they will enjoy the house,” said Abby, who was glad the house was painted pink. Her brother Walker is now considering building a blue Food For The Poor house.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry 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 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.  For more information, please visit


Jennifer Leigh Oates

Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054