Boca Grande celebrates a decade of Hope for Haitians

Boca Grande celebrates a decade of Hope for Haitians

■ STAFF REPORT

Haiti is no stranger to crisis. The Caribbean nation yet again is in the midst of a conflict affecting the entire country. Food For The Poor, and donors such as Boca Grande Hope for Haitians, understand that their work is not in vain, as families in the midst of the problems are being helped.

“The Hope for Haitians Committee is making a remarkable impact in Haiti,” said Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma. “Over the last decade they have built hundreds of secure homes with sanitation. They have built community centers and schools and provided access to clean water. Food For The Poor is thankful for everything they’re doing to help the families who are trying to have a better life.”

Ben and Louise Scott, chairpersons of Boca Grande Hope for Haitians, held their 10th annual Boca Grande Hope for Haitians cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception at The Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande on February 5.

At this year’s event they took the opportunity to thank their supporters for helping Haitian families.

More than 80 guests attended the event, and dozens were presented with a “Good and Faithful Servant” pin upon arrival. Committee member Rev. Jerome Carosella spoke briefly about the meaning of a faithful servant before Ben Scott presented 10 of their most loyal supporters with a “Christ the Beggar” statue.

“Your loving support is helping to lift Haitian families out of poverty,” Ben Scott said. “May our great God continue to bless all of you.”

The Scotts began building homes with the Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee through Food For The Poor in 2010, and they have built more than 400 homes for destitute families. They are currently fundraising for the second phase of 50 homes in the remote area of Savann Kabrit, which is east of Port-au-Prince, near the border of the Dominican Republic.

Keynote speaker Delane Bailey-Herd, senior field advisor of Food For The Poor, also shared how lives are being changed in Haiti, thanks to the generosity of the Boca Grande community.

“The power of transformation is being manifested because you’re kind enough to give of your resources,” Bailey-Herd said. “Your generosity is helping materially, but it’s doing so much more; you’re providing families with the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty by helping them to visualize their own possibilities. This is the impact of your donations.”

The Hope for Haitians reception also featured a silent auction of authentic Haitian artwork, rums, jewelry, paintings and sculptures.

To make a secure online donation, please visit FoodForThePoor.org/bocagrande.

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 Linda Grant, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Tom and Nancy Lorden, and Sue Sligar. Honorary committee members: Charlie and Florita Field.

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 FoodForThePoor.org.