Orlando Supporters to Build 48 Homes for Families in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2016)  Thanks to the loving generosity of Orlando-area residents who supported the Food For The Poor Celebration of Hope Gala on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Orlando World Center Marriott, 48 families in Ca Ira, Haiti, will have new homes by the end of the year.

Located along the coast in Léogane, Ca Ira is a community where families have been living in abject poverty, many as a result of the 2010 earthquake. Gala Committee Chair Dr. Lynne Nasrallah and a group of donors visited Haiti in August to see the need. It was there they met Cherila and her four children.

"I told her to pray diligently, and that God would bring her and her children the gift of a new home at Christmas," said Dr. Nasrallah. "She started smiling and then, with her incredible voice, Cherila started singing a beautiful song of thanks to God. 'Merci Mon Dieu, merci'."

The 17th Annual Celebration of Hope Gala featured cocktails, a silent auction, dinner and dancing. The highlight of the event was the live house rally, which took on a very special meaning. Many of the homes bought for families in Haiti were in honor of Fr. John McCormick, a beloved rector of St. James Cathedral in Orlando.

Fr. John, a dedicated supporter of Food For The Poor, died in the early morning hours of September 19. His last mission trip to Haiti was with Dr. Lynne and the Orlando-area donors. He not only saw the desperate need, but he also experienced the joy of the families now living in the 41 home village in La Fosse, which was funded by supporters of last year's event.

Click www.FoodForThePoor.org/orlando2016 to watch a video of the mission trip to Haiti.

"This year's gala is a bittersweet occasion. It's bitter, because our dear friend Fr. John, who has been a champion of the poor for nearly 20 years, is no longer here to celebrate this event with us. It's sweet, because Fr. John's legacy will live on in the memory of all of those who knew and loved him and in each home that will be built in his honor," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "There are no words to express my gratitude for the work Dr. Lynne and the Orlando Gala Committee members are doing to improve the lives of families in Haiti."

Along with new homes, Food For The Poor provide food, a clean water source and training on how to farm the land. The families in La Fosse also were given cows, sheep, goats and chickens, and the residents in the future village of Our Lady of Knock in Ca Ira will receive the same.

"How humbling it is to be in the presence of the poor. It seems that by being close to them that we are nearer to God. Every time I go to Haiti, the joy I experience gets deeper into my heart, while the wound of poverty gets deeper into my soul," said Dr. Nasrallah.

To support the house-building projects in Haiti, please call 888-404-4248 or visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/orlando.

Celebration of Hope Gala Executive Committee members include: Event Chair, Dr. Lynne Nasrallah, Maritza and Anibal Beltran, Linda Bonnewitz, Janice Chong, Paula and Bruny Compas, Kim and George del Campo and Family, Freda and Trevor Dieffenthaller, Jason Gringas, Cynthia Hawkins, Dr. Anis Khalaf, Kathy Kinchla, Vernon Lee, Maureen and Dan McCartney, Bernadette McComb, Nicole Nasrallah, Elizabeth and Rob O’Brien, Nancy Padilla, Robin Neel and Dr. Tim Prince, Amira Rodriguez, Lisa and Dwight Saathoff, Liliane Santana and Family, Shana Simpson, Jean & Tom Wilkes and Family, Holly Wilson, and Donna and Jean Wilson.

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 www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079