A New School and the Unexpected Miracle: Thanks to an Orlando Charitable Foundation
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2017) Harris Rosen, President & COO of the Rosen Hotels & Resorts, which has seven properties with close to 6,500 guestrooms in Orlando, including Shingle Creek, Rosen Centre and Rosen Plaza, will build 79 new homes with water and sanitation, repair 26 homes and provide solar-powered light kits for 105 families in Chantal, Haiti, through his Harris Rosen Foundation.
One of the most powerful hurricanes in decades made landfall along Haiti's southwest peninsula three months ago, more than 100 people in the community of Chantal took shelter in a school building that was completed and dedicated just two weeks before Hurricane Matthew's arrival on Oct. 4, 2016.
The damage Hurricane Matthew caused to the L'institution Mixte St. Jean De Jonc-Labeille – Harris Rosen School has since been repaired. The school was a gift to the Chantal community from the Orlando-based Harris Rosen Foundation, Inc., which has partnered with Food For The Poor for nearly a decade on various projects in Haiti.
"Once the storm had cleared, we began hearing reports about how one of our newly constructed schools had not only withstood the hurricane, but also had served as an unofficial storm shelter for the community of Chantal," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "Our staff in Haiti confirmed that the school indeed had survived the storm, but unfortunately, the homes of the students were severely damaged or destroyed. We thanked God for the lives that were spared and for the faith that help would come for the families of these children who attended the school."
The Harris Rosen Foundation, Inc. has been providing direct assistance to the people of Haiti for nearly 20 years. In response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, the foundation donated a tractor-trailer load of tents donated by Walmart canopies, hygiene kits, sheets, towels, food and more to Food For The Poor. The charity arranged to have the items shipped to Haiti, where they were distributed to the families in the Chantal region.
"It's wonderful to partner with Food For The Poor, which allows us to reach even more of those in need in a meaningful way," said Rosen. "Our goal with building the school was to provide hope for a future for the children and their families in Chantal. However, without their basic needs being met, including a home to live in, these families can't focus properly on taking advantage of the school or, for that matter, enjoying any aspect of their lives. Our larger objective is of course to provide these families with hope for each generation and elevate their lives, whatever it takes."
Chantal is in the Sud Department of Haiti, located north of Les Cayes. It is home to more than 31,000 residents, most of whom earn their living as coffee farmers, but most of those crops were wiped out by the hurricane. Many of the women sell produce at local markets as another source of income for their families.
"The Harris Rosen Foundation is doing a beautiful work to help children in Haiti. We are sincerely thankful for their loving support for the storm victims in Chantal. This is truly a blessing for these families." said Mahfood.
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. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5 percent of our expenses; more than 95 percent of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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