Unity, Compassion and Unconditional Love: Orlando Residents Propel Celebration of Hope to 20-Year Milestone

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2019) The Food For The Poor Celebration of Hope Gala will celebrate 20 years of helping the poor on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at the Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, thanks to the loving support of Orlando-area donors.

Over the last 20 years, more than 1,000 homes in Haiti have been funded directly by the gala's fundraising efforts and through matching gifts from Food For The Poor supporters. The Orlando donors also have provided a community center, a medical clinic, a fruit tree farm, a tilapia farm, a scholarship program and a school renovation project in Haiti.

Dr. Lynne Nasrallah, who has served as the gala's committee chair for two decades, said she will continue this mission for as long as God calls her to do so. For her, the annual event is much more than a social gathering; she sees it as a way of providing the poorest of the poor with an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

"When I took my first pilgrimage with Food For The Poor, I actually experienced Jesus disguised in the poor, and I listened to His voice and understood my life would be forever changed," Nasrallah said. "Thanks to the generosity of our supporters in Central Florida, we are helping to transform the lives of the truly destitute through Food For The Poor in Haiti. I am humbled by what I've seen over the years because I know God truly hears the cry of the poor."

Fundraising for safe and secure homes is the primary goal of the gala. This year's event will be dedicated to helping impoverished families in Maché Mango by establishing the Emmanuel Village Petit Goave, a housing project of 25 homes.

The homes in Maché Mango now are a patchwork of discarded wood, sticks, sheets of metal, mud and worn out tarpaulin. There is no indoor plumbing and the closest water source is more than two miles away. The community of approximately 6,000 is known for cultivating mangos. Families there earn a living working in agriculture, construction and/or transportation, but most earn less than $1 a day.

"The families we meet, such as the ones in Maché Mango, are trying to earn a living, but they don't have the resources or the money for a better home for their families," Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood said. "For 20 years, Dr. Lynne and her supporters in Orlando have given the priceless gift of a home. When we go back, months or even years later, we are happy to find the vast majority of these families have created their own businesses and their children are going to school. We are very thankful to the Lord for blessing us to be able to help as many as we can through the support of the Celebration of Hope Gala."

Food For The Poor will be honoring the following Orlando-area individuals and businesses that have faithfully supported the mission of the charity by bringing hope to the destitute over the last two decades, Louise and Patrick Rainey, Lisa and Dwight Saathoff, Mayte and Ralph Asencio, Marriott Hotels, and Kathleen and Tre' Evers.

The 20th Annual Celebration of Hope Gala also will feature cocktails, a silent auction, a house rally, dinner and dancing.

Committee members include: Event Chair Dr. Lynne Nasrallah, Linda Bonnewitz, Paula and Bruny Compas, Kim and George del Campo, Nicole and Ben del Campo, Viviana and Jacob del Campo, Tammie T. Cooper, Cynthia Hawkins, Luz and Yani Jusakos, Kathy Kinchla, Nicole Nasrallah, Joanne and George Olson, Nancy Padilla, Lisa and Dwight Saathoff, Liliane Santana and Family, Donna and Jean Wilson, and Holly 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, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned or abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079