An Evening in the Tropics: Celebrating 20 Years of Providing Hope to Haiti
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (August 23, 2022) With more than half of the population already facing hunger, high food and fuel prices, and escalating gang violence complicating life in the already troubled Caribbean country, Hope For Haitians continues to provide hope to the people of Haiti.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, longtime Food For The Poor partner Hope For Haitians will hold its 21st annual “An Evening in the Tropics.” Funds raised at this event will support the construction of a village in Acul-Samedi, located in the commune of Fort-Liberté.
This life-changing effort aims to provide safe, secure homes with proper sanitation for 75 families. Each household will receive a solar kit to supply nighttime lighting, energy, and security.
The community will receive two water wells and two water treatment systems, and 15 solar-powered streetlights will be installed to light the streets at night. In addition, a much-needed community center will be built.
Marie, an elderly woman and potential beneficiary, has lived in the Acul-Samedi Community with her husband for more than 40 years. They raised their children and grandchildren in a house built with the resources they had at the time; a house that could not withstand flooding.
“When it rains, the house leaks, and in no way can we ensure my family’s safety,” Marie said. “We throw rags on the floor to keep it dry. However, it is not enough when the rain persists. We cannot sleep there because the house will flood.”
Hope for Haitians Executive Director Chris Weickert wants to change situations like this.
Since joining the group in 2019, Weickert has helped the organization continue to transform the lives of Haitian families despite the pandemic, an earthquake, civil unrest, and other significant challenges in Haiti.
“I have seen how the supporters, donors and volunteers demonstrate by their actions a personal response to the call of Jesus to care for the poor,” he said. “Their generosity over decades has changed thousands of lives.”
Acul-Samedi’s residents are mostly farmers who grow manioc (cassava or yuca) and peanuts as their main crops. During droughts, they are forced to cut down trees to make charcoal for a living. A large percentage of residents eat rice or corn for one meal per day.
While assisting Haitian families in meeting their basic needs for housing and water, the Acu-Samedi Community Development Project components are the first step to preparing the next generation for a journey of self-sufficiency and community empowerment.
Saturday’s event will also be an opportunity to share with donors the previous year’s accomplishments, which included building homes for 50 families, assisting nearly 100 families in replacing livestock lost due to flooding, and supporting the education of 160 children and 50 adults.
FFTP, a longtime partner, is grateful to Hope For Haitians for all they have done and continue to do to provide hope to Haitian families.
“Hope for Haitians is more than just donors; they are partners who have a vested interest in lifting the community out of poverty and helping them on their journey to sustainability,” said Mark Khouri, Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer for Food For The Poor.
Over the course of 21 years, FFTP and Hope for Haitians have collaborated to build 765 homes, provide clean water and sanitation to over 270,000 people, construct community centers, provide agricultural opportunities, prop up youth and adult education and support medical services in Haiti.
This year’s featured keynote speaker will be Dr. Cleantus Jean Jr., a native of Haiti who is dedicated to creating opportunities for the most vulnerable in his home country. Dr. Jean Jr. is the founder of the HELP Foundation, a Haiti charity, and a key leader in projects that promote sustainability, education, and medical care in North and Northeast Haiti.
“An Evening in the Tropics” will include a cocktail reception, silent auction and formal dinner with friends and members in a tropical-themed setting at the Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club in Rockford, Ill. Mike Robinson, who has been the master of ceremonies for many years, will be in charge and Board President Bill Derry will present the appeal for support.
Hope For Haitians Founding Board Members include Patrick Bachrodt, Tom Lorden, and Peter Roche, and the current board members are William Derry, Steve Wolf, Amy Ott, Virginia Canavan, William Clancy, Michael Gallagher, the Rev. Robert Jones, Danny Lorden, Robert McLaughlin, Andy Schultheis, Keith Jones, Troy Haggestad, Michael Delany, Jr., Dale Dickinson, Adam Derry, Dan Mcguire, Maggie Clancy, Michelle Coovert, Bernard Forster, Patrick Zacchea, Rick Adams, and the Rev. John McNamara.
To help Hope For Haitians reach its goal, please visit www.HopeForHaitians.org.
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 vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.