Chicago Couple to be Honored for Lifesaving Water Wells in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 9, 2016)  Although the country is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, access to safe drinking water in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is a major problem.

"I have seen in the past people drinking water from filthy streams, and bathing in filthy water," said Jim Dobbs, Chicago businessman and philanthropist. "Fresh water is a basic. It is the basic element that everyone needs to live."

Knowing that access to a clean water source is vital in the battle against waterborne disease and illness, Food For The Poor has implemented more than 3,000 water projects in Haiti, thanks to the generous support of donors like Dobbs and his wife Jan. Through Food For The Poor the Dobbs have installed 24 water wells across the country, which are currently supplying more than 42,000 people each day with fresh water.

The couple, who has been donating towards water projects in Haiti since 2006, will be this year's recipients of the Good and Faithful Servant Award at the 11th Annual Dreams, Past & Present event on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre, 2401 W. Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates, Ill. Click for Dobbs' most recent water wells mission trip to Haiti.

Presented by Food For The Poor and hosted by Fr. Medard Laz, Andrew and Florette Sokulski, the Dreams, Past & Present event began 11 years ago after the Sokulskis lost their daughter, Julie Sokulski Hesser, at the age of 32. Inspired by her strength, faith and courage during her final days, they began raising money in 2006 with Fr. Medard Laz and members of the Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, Ill., to create a living legacy in her honor through Food For The Poor projects.

Over the past decade, the Sokulski family has encouraged others to raise money to improve the lives of the destitute through Food For The Poor. They also raised money in recent years to equip the new recovery rooms at the Bernard Mevs Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The goal of this year's event will be to fund a new primary school in Gressier, Haiti, to ease overcrowding and to provide a suitable and comfortable learning environment for 142 children. The current school building is constructed out of zinc sheets and pieces of plywood with a low ceiling, which makes it difficult for one to stand up straight at some areas inside. The classrooms are unbearably hot with poor ventilation and the school has one unhygienic pit latrine for both genders. The construction of the Institution Star Academy will be a two-phased project.

The 11th annual Dreams, Past & Present event will feature a cocktail reception, a silent auction, dinner and the opportunity to change the lives of children in desperate need of an education. Live entertainment and dancing will follow the dinner. For additional information and tickets click

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily 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

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079