Hope For Haitians reception going virtual this year, working to make lives better in Savann Kabrit, Haiti with more supplies

January 8, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – For the first time in 12 years, the Boca Grande Hope For Haitians reception at The Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande is going virtual.

The annual in-person fundraiser was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Chairpersons Ben and Louise Scott, who have held the event with Food For The Poor since 2009, are determined to move forward. The couple is not letting the COVID-19 crisis pause their passion for helping families in Haiti during this critical time.

“We know the great toll this catastrophe has caused here in America; but try imagining its impact on the suffering in Haiti,” Ben said. “We have seen the life-changing impact Boca Grande Hope For Haitians has made in the lives of thousands in Haiti over the past decade. More recently we’ve funded 153 homes in three phases in Savann Kabrit. It is my hope that even though we cannot be together in person due to COVID, the Boca Grande community will continue to give generously to get even more families out of mud huts and into secure homes.”

In lieu of the in-person annual cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, the Scotts created a special video message. Click FoodForThePoor.org/bocagrande for this year’s virtual event to see an update on last year’s village completion and to learn more about the fundraising goal of the Boca Grande Homes & Wells for Haiti campaign in 2021.

For Kerline and her family, the gift of a Boca Grande home has transformed their lives and she wants the Hope For Haitians donors to know how grateful she is for their loving compassion.

“I have nothing to give them, all I can do is thank them because nothing I can give would be enough,” Kerline said. “They gave me a house to live in, they gave me a bathroom, I now have a place to store my water and I have good water to drink. I used to drink water from the gutter, now I can catch the rainwater, fresh water to drink. Thank you, I am so happy for my new house.”     

Boca Grande Hope For Haitians funded more than 150 homes over a three-year period in Savann Kabrit through Food For The Poor. The goal in 2021 is to build another 30 homes for the fourth phase in Savann Kabrit, in addition to 25 water wells for impoverished communities.

“The dedication of the Boca Grande community is truly exceptional,” Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine said. “Access to potable water to drink and for preparing meals is vital for good health. It’s also very important for handwashing and in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. We’re extremely thankful that in addition to secure homes in Haiti, Boca Grande Hope For Haitians is responding to another critical need and has committed to drilling 25 water wells throughout the Caribbean nation.”

Each water well will have a hand pump, and will be up to 150 feet deep, depending on location. These much-needed wells will bring relief to many who must walk 30 to 45 minutes to a water source that’s unsafe to drink.

Since 2009, Boca Grande Hope For Haitians has built more than 500 homes on the island nation through Food For The Poor.

To help Boca Grande Hope For Haitians reach their goal, please visit FoodForThePoor.org/bocagrande or call the Food For The Poor Special Events Department at (888) 404-4248.

Committee members include: Chairpersons Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Michelle Robertshaw, Henry and Ginny Bryant, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, John Denneen, Lou and Corie Fusz, Jim and Lynda Grant, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Tom and Nancy Lorden, and Sue Sligar.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty 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 and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, visit FoodForThePoor.org.