Travel to Haiti Commemorates Chicago Couple’s
10th Anniversary of Giving

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 21, 2015) — A Chicago couple committed to saving lives in Haiti recently traveled to the island nation with Food For The Poor to see firsthand how funds raised at their 10th annual event in Streamwood, Illinois, will help modernize the Bernard Mevs Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

For 10 years, the Sokulski family has encouraged others to help raise money in memory of their daughter, Julie Sokulski Hesser, to improve the lives of the destitute through Food For The Poor. The annual benefit dinner established to celebrate her life will be Thursday, Sept. 17, at The Seville Banquet Hall, 700 S. Barrington Road, in Streamwood, Ill. 

“If you can barely get through the day, how can you have hope for the future?” said Florette Sokulski as she reflected on the country’s dire needs while in Port-au-Prince.

Money raised at this year’s event will equip the new recovery rooms at the Bernard Mevs Hospital. Scheduled surgeries constantly are being reprioritized based on the most critical needs, because there are not enough recovery beds to accommodate the growing demand.

“When you are down to nothing, God is always up to something,” said Andy Sokulski, while in Haiti.

“Food For The Poor and the doctors and the staff at Bernard Mevs sincerely appreciate the Sokulskis’ desire to bring hope and life to so many others in their daughter’s name,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor Executive Director.

When the Sokulskis’ lost their daughter at the age of 32, they were inspired to help others by Julie’s strength, faith and courage during her final days. They began raising money in 2006 with Father Medard Laz and members of the Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, Ill., to create a living legacy in honor of their daughter through Food For The Poor projects.

“Offering a hand up rather than a hand out is the key,” said Fr. Laz. “It is truly great to see how people are helping themselves.”

For additional information about sponsorship opportunities and tickets, please call 888-404-4248 or email

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.

Jennifer Leigh Oates

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054