Life-Transforming Trip Inspires Gettysburg Man to Build Homes in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 03, 2016)  A Gettysburg, Pa., couple, Stephanie and Frank Bender, are private people with a philanthropic spirit. For a decade, they have quietly donated to the international relief and development organization Food For The Poor.

But it was a mission trip to Haiti last December that made a lasting impression on the heart and mind of Frank Bender.

"Stephanie, my wife, and I have contributed for about 10 years. At home, looking at similar scenes on television, one can remain detached and emotionally distant. But when I visited the residents of Alpha Village, saw their plight, and looked into the faces of their children, I saw their humanity," said Bender, who is retired. "These were my brothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren and I had to help them."

Alpha Village is a community that's located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The area is overcrowded with families who are living in tents with no access to clean water or sanitation. Situated between a polluted body of water and a garbage dump, the conditions are inhumane.

When Bender returned home, he knew he wanted to do more to help these families, but wasn't certain just what he wanted to do. Reflecting on a conversation he had in Haiti with a longtime Food For The Poor employee, he said he had found the answer.

"He told me that if he had one wish it would be that each Haitian family had a home to call their own. That was the genesis of my idea to raise enough contributions to build 20 two-room homes for Haitians," said Bender.

The result was the Homes For Haiti Dinner presented by Food For The Poor. It will be at the Links at Gettysburg, 601 Mason Dixon Road, Gettysburg, Pa., on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Cocktails and silent auction start at 6 p.m., and dinner is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person. For more information, please call Food For The Poor at 888-404-4248.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support Food For The Poor's housing program in Gressier, Haiti, for Alpha Village residents. The proceeds will provide sturdy, concrete homes with water and sanitation components, along with solar-powered light kits.

"It's really humbling when we hear about the life-changing experiences of a donor after visiting one of the countries where Food For The Poor serves, especially Haiti," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "It's about people, it has always been about the people. The image of Christ is in the people we are helping and we are truly thankful to everyone who is a supporter of this organization's determination to help the poor."

Committee members are Stephanie and Frank Bender, Sue and Bruce Bradshaw, Charles Earley, Jane and Fred Jensen, Alice Kabatt, Kay and Dave Larson, Janet and Claude Rodier, Richard Sadowski, Gloria Stem and Liz Zaic.

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