Young Golfer Uses Skills on the Greens to Help the Poor

Rafe Cochran, 9, presented a $6,000 check to Food For The Poors CEO/President Robin Mahfood on Wednesday.
Rafe Cochran, 9, presented a $6,000 check to Food For The Poor’s CEO/President Robin Mahfood on Wednesday.

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2014) – Rafe Cochran, 9, divides his time between his third-grade studies at Palm Beach Day Academy, in Palm Beach, Fla., and participating in international and stateside golf tournaments for his age division. Cochran fell in love with golfing after picking up his first set of clubs at the age of 6, and now is using his talents to help the poor.

“I have been working very hard with my golf coach to become a professional golfer when I grow up,” said Cochran. “I practice every day and play in golf tournaments around the world. I also study very hard in school so one day I can get into a top university.”

Getting into a top university isn’t the only big dream for this little boy. Rafe also cares deeply about the plight of the poor. He was inspired to help the poor of Haiti when his class visited Food For The Poor’s headquarters in Coconut Creek last month. After listening to one of Food For The Poor’s Haiti project managers talk about the dire need in the country’s rural communities, Rafe made a promise to help the organization.

“Rafe is always ready to give of himself to help others, that made me feel he has great values,” said Diahann Cochran, Rafe’s mother. “My husband and I completely support Rafe wanting to help the different causes he believes in.”

Putting his words into action, the young golfer decided to donate to Food For The Poor by pledging holes from his participation in the 32nd Annual Doral Publix Junior Gold Classic Tournament in Miami. The first donation came from Rafe, who contributed the money he received for his ninth birthday. And, thanks to the generous supporters who pledged $100 for pars, $200 for birdies and $250 for eagles, Rafe exceeded his goal and presented a $6,000 check to Food For The Poor’s CEO/President Robin Mahfood today.

“I want the funds to help build a home or supply food to families in Haiti,” said Cochran. “It makes me feel happy to help people. I wanted to support Food For The Poor because I saw how these children lived and how fortunate I am. I was devastated and wanted to help.”

“The gift of a home to a destitute family is a second chance at life. It’s a tremendous thing what this young man has done. Rafe’s donation will restore hope and dignity to a family that’s been struggling to survive,” said Mahfood. “The goal of Food For The Poor is not to keep people dependent, but to use the donations that come to this organization to help the poor become self-sustaining. It’s heartwarming to meet children who genuinely care about helping others.”
Rafe’s philanthropic character reflects his parents’ longtime support of a number of charities. Diahann, a fashion designer, and father Jay, a professional racecar driver, say they noticed their only child’s compassionate spirit on a trip to South Africa. At 5 years old they say he questioned why some families on the outskirts of Cape Town were living in cardboard houses and drinking water from pipes. He didn’t think it was fair.

Rafe has spent the last two years developing his talents in a sport that’s intensely mental and competitive. His mother says she’s happy her son is passionate about golf and is equally happy that Rafe has discovered Food For The Poor and recognizes for himself that you don’t have to be an adult to make a difference.

“I feel what you all are doing at Food For The Poor is wonderful. I love the fact that young people like Rafe are becoming more aware of the poverty in the world and are motivated to help others,” said Diahann.

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

Wanda Wright

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