Bloom Luncheon Raises Awareness of Housing Needs in Haiti: Michael Tonello, author of "Bringing Home the Birkin," is Guest Speaker

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2018) Supporters of Food For The Poor will help the lives of Haiti's destitute poor blossom this fall at the charity's inaugural Bloom Luncheon on Nov. 1.

Guests will enjoy a fashion show by Neiman Marcus and meet Michael Tonello, author of "Bringing Home the Birkin," as he recounts his pursuit of the world's most coveted handbag.

Tonello, guest speaker for the event, found his niche as an eBay luxury reseller, buying and selling Hermes items, including Birkin bags and scarves. His book is in its 10th printing and available in 13 languages after its 2008 release.

Just in time for the holidays, attendees at the luncheon also will have the opportunity to purchase select fashions from Neiman Marcus.

The Bloom Luncheon begins at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club, 2425 W. Maya Palm Drive, Boca Raton.

Proceeds will support Food For The Poor's home-building efforts in Haiti.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. An estimated 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, searching for enough food to eat, clean water to drink, and a safe place to live.

In 1995, Food For The Poor began a housing program by building homes in Cite Soleil. Since then, 16,304 homes have been built in Haiti. In the first eight and a half months of 2018 alone, Food For The Poor has built 1,169 homes.

Homes funded by Food For The Poor donors are built on cement foundations with concrete block walls and galvanized sheet roofs so families can feel safe from storms. Each house has two bedrooms and a living area, sanitation and a water component. Each family also receives a solar-powered light kit and furnishings with their home.

By providing the simple dignity and safety of their own home, donors are restoring hope to the destitute poor and allowing their lives to bloom.

"We are excited that the Bloom Luncheon will increase awareness of one of the most important needs we meet, which is to provide sturdy homes," said Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma. "A safe, solid home is a significant blessing in a poor family's life. When you take a family out of a crumbling shack and provide them a new home with a foundation, you plant seeds of hope."

Noelle Kahan is the executive chair for the Bloom Luncheon. The host committee includes Noelle Brillembourg, Katherine Cathcart, Lori Guarini, Elena Lawlor, Elizabeth Macey, Stefanie Rosenzweig, Patricia de Siqueira Castro and Joan Marie Veesaert.

Tickets are $125.

Sponsors include Neiman Marcus, Modern Luxury Magazine and TD Bank.

For more information, please contact Shanny Tozzi at 888-404-4248 or email at

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. For more information, please visit

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054