Food For The Poor to Honor Mary Wong of Office Depot Foundation

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Mary Wong's philanthropic endeavors are recognized throughout the community. She is president of the Office Depot Foundation.

Mary Wong's philanthropic endeavors are recognized throughout the community. She is president of the Office Depot Foundation.


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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 26, 2014) – Food For The Poor will recognize Mary Wong, President of the Office Depot Foundation, as the charity’s Ambassador For The Poor at the 20th annual Building Hope Gala on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton. Attendees will be invited to create a legacy of compassion and generosity by pledging to build critically needed houses for destitute families.

"I am deeply grateful to Food For The Poor for selecting me as the honoree of its 20th annual Building Hope Gala and applaud this outstanding organization's dedication to providing homes and hope for the residents of Pon Batay in Haiti,” said Wong.

“Mary Wong’s charitable giving, and her compassion have inspired many nonprofits and individuals to give generously,” said Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma. “Above all, it is the tears of compassion that I have seen Mary shed each time she watches a Food For The Poor video or looks at our photos, or even when she listens to a story from the field about our children that makes recognizing her a sincere privilege.”

During the past three years, the Office Depot Foundation has donated 14,000 sackpacks filled with essential school supplies to Food For The Poor’s Angels Of Hope child sponsorship program.

“The Office Depot Foundation has partnered with Food For The Poor in our National Backpack Program for several years and is proud to know that, together, we have given thousands of children essential tools to succeed in school,” said Wong.

Wong, whose philanthropic endeavors are recognized throughout the community, was named President of the Office Depot Foundation in 2006, after serving as Director of Community Relations for Office Depot since 2000. She serves on the boards of several organizations and on an advisory board for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Wong also was included in the 2013 list of “America's Top 20 Women in Philanthropy, Social Innovation & Civic Engagement” by Michael Chatman, host of #whyigive on Twitter.

Shaggy and The Hot Shot Band will perform at the gala. Shaggy, a longtime supporter of the South Florida based-nonprofit Food For The Poor, believes that “to whom much is given, much is required.”
Another bona fide champion of Food For The Poor’s mission, chef Ron Duprat – who appeared on the reality TV show “Top Chef” – has offered to share his passion for cooking with attendees to help build homes in his native homeland of Haiti. At the event, attendees can bid on a 12-course dinner prepared by the French-trained executive chef for 25 guests at the home of the winning bidder. Additional silent auction prizes will include electronics, jewelry, vacations, golf and dining packages. This year’s theme is old Hollywood glamor.

Since inception, Food For The Poor has built more than 91,000 housing units for people desperately in need of adequate shelter. A gift of $3,200 will move a destitute family from their dirt-floor makeshift shack in Pon Batay, Haiti, into a permanent home. The community’s dire living conditions are compounded by the lack of clean drinking water in the area. Pon Batay residents must walk miles to the nearest community to fetch water from a well.

For additional information regarding the Building Hope Gala, sponsorship opportunities and tickets, available at $250 per person, please call 888-404-4248 or visit

The Building Hope Gala Chairwoman is Rene Turner-Mahfood, and additional committee members include Wedler Alexandre, Carlos Bodden, Matthew Bryant, Becky Carlsson, Ronda Ellis Ged, LaMae Klos, Susan Krassen, Julie Mahfood, Tashia Rahl, Kara Seelye, Deborah Shapiro and Renee Stetler.

Gala sponsors to date include  Club Managers Association of America, Dennis Charley & Associates, DKB Trade Concepts Inc., Innovvaire, J.R. Dunn Jewelers, Leslie L. Alexander Foundation, The Levitetz Family Foundation, McFFe Group, MOR Printing, Oceans 234, Seaboard Marine, TD Bank, Teemlink Ltd., The Calmark Group, Trinity Direct, United Healthcare and The Boca Raton Observer.

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 Associate
954-427-2222 x 6054