Two Men on Different Paths Discover the Same Road with Food For The Poor
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 13, 2019) The expression "it's a small world" personifies an encounter between Ed Raine, a former Boston businessman, and Kevin Carges, a deacon from New York.
"We met 10 years ago on a mission trip to Haiti with Food For The Poor, and many in the group were deacons or priests," recalled Raine, now Executive Vice President of Food For The Poor. "It was an incredible experience and I well-remember Kevin; he was compassionate and connected well with the children. That mission trip also made a deep impact on me. When you experience true poverty you can't unsee what you saw – it changes you."
After 30 years in the corporate world, driven by a desire to make a difference, Raine decided he was ready to make a change. He joined Food For The Poor in October 2017 and oversees many aspects of organizational development and strategy. Raine discovered in April 2019 that the deacon he met a decade ago is one of the charity's most dedicated supporters as Carges prepared for a trip to Jamaica.
"The best relationships Food For The Poor can have are the ones that you see grow over time, and this is a wonderful shared experience," Raine said.
Moved by what he saw on the 2009 mission trip, Carges founded the charity Eight 4 World Hope at St. John Fisher College with the help of six members from the college Class of 1984.
His Rochester, N.Y., based-organization has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of schoolchildren in Jamaica through Food For The Poor.
It's a mission that holds a special place in Carges' heart and is something he hopes members of his organization will appreciate.
"Life-changing is how I would describe how it's been for me over the years, and this is how I'll say it will be for those on this trip with us for the first time," Carges said. "I hope when they return home they will go back with an understanding of what it means to give back. The things that you see and the people you meet will stay with you forever."
Carges has built, repaired or expanded seven schools in Jamaica, since his first mission trip to the Caribbean country with Food For The Poor in 2006. Carges and nine members of Eight 4 World Hope, including his son Andrew, were in Jamaica and saw how their donation has transformed Alexander Basic School in Old Harbour, St. Catherine. The previous building had severe leaking, no electricity, a limited water supply and a kitchen without appliances. The staff and students thanked Eight 4 World Hope with a sweet celebration of songs and cake.
The Eight 4 World Hope group also visited several other schools and additional Food For The Poor projects during their five-day mission trip. They also helped a single mother and her three sons paint their Food For The Poor home in Wynter's Pen, Spanish Town.
After a group tour of Food For The Poor-Jamaica, they went to the boardroom where Carges was surprised with a video conference call from Raine in Florida. Raine had a staff member present Carges with a small-scale version of the life-sized sculpture of "Jesus the Beggar." The sculpture is a dominant feature in the lobby of the charity's Florida headquarters, and is the center piece in the group photo with Carges and Raine in 2009.
"We all have choices to make and you've made the choice to make a difference, and that is what it's all about," Raine said. "Jamaica is a very special place and the work you're doing there is very special. Please know it's much appreciated, and I want to sincerely thank and congratulate you for all that you do on behalf of the poor."
This was the first time the two men had seen one another since the 2009 mission trip to Haiti, and Carges was clearly moved by the expression of gratitude.
"I cannot do any of this by myself, and I have to thank all of those who are willing to give of themselves," Carges said. "I cannot say thank you enough for making a difference in this world."
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.
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