Making a Difference, $1 at a Time

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2016) – Helping others, especially those less fortunate, was part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message. Students and teachers at Somerset Pines Charter School in Pompano Beach are taking that call to service to heart in honor of Martin Luther King Day by helping Food For The Poor transform the lives of impoverished children in Haiti.

Students often want to make a big impact but feel a lofty fundraising goal is out of their reach. Food For The Poor is partnering with the school to show how even a small gift can make a huge difference.

Twice a month, for 90 minutes at a time, the K-8 school transforms into a marketplace, where students learn citizenship, the value of work, and donating to charity.

Using math skills they have learned in the classroom, students take turns holding jobs or purchasing goods at more than 20 businesses ranging from a bakery to a paint your own pottery store.

Students get paid in “Bulldog Bucks” but have to pay taxes and donate to charity. The school matches the charitable contributions with real dollars. Those funds are donated to Food For The Poor’s We Pledge 100 campaign, which challenges students nationwide to help other students in places like Ti Limbe, Haiti, where 85 percent of the population lives off less than $1 per day.

The school made its first donation to Food For The Poor last fall and plans to donate again after the next Marketplace Days scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15 at Somerset Pines Charter School, 901 NE 33rd St., Pompano Beach.

“Students are learning real-life situations, they’re learning about extreme poverty in other countries and how it is important to help those with greater needs. A lot of our students are Haitian,” said Dr. Donna Kay, principal at the Pompano Beach academy. “They are asking how they can do more.”

We Pledge 100 challenges every school to donate at least $100 by asking each student to contribute $1. The goal is to build 50 homes with water, sanitation and solar-powered lights, a community center, and agriculture and animal husbandry projects in Ti Limbe, Haiti. A local school also will be expanded with 12 classrooms to accommodate 480 students.

Surrounded by stunning mountains and captivating green terrain, the village of Ti Limbe is one of the most impoverished communities in Haiti. Many families live in homes made of sticks and mud, bathe in and drink contaminated water, and struggle to find sustainable income. Children lack adequate education - one of the only means to escape poverty.

Ten-year-old Hermide is a dedicated student, but her opportunities are limited in Ti Limbe. She helps her mother prepare breakfast daily for their family of seven. Some days, they have coffee borrowed from a neighbor and four bread rolls to share.

“I love to study because I want to succeed in life, then I’ll be able to help my mother. I would like to help her do what she cannot do for herself and for the other kids,” Hermide says.

We Pledge 100 strives to cultivate the spirit of philanthropy in students from kindergarten to college, instilling in them that it doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference, only one dollar.

“Children of this small community long to go to school, to study math, become doctors, nurses, engineers, and the list goes on,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “If we can provide this community with access to education, safe housing, clean water, and agricultural resources for self-sustaining initiatives, we can help them thrive.”

Go to to view a video of Hermide’s story.

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 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

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054