Food For The Poor Dedicates Home in Memory of Gen. Colin Powell
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2021) As Gen. Colin L. Powell’s family, friends, and Congressional and military leaders bid him farewell today in a private service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Food For The Poor is paying tribute to him with the dedication of a home presented to a needy family in Jamaica.
Powell, the first Black national security advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, passed away on Oct. 18 due to complications from COVID-19. He established a lasting connection to FFTP in 2015 through his support of the inaugural Peacemakers Community of Hope, a 27-home FFTP community in the town of Spring Pass in Hamstead, St. Thomas, Jamaica.
“I am glad I had the opportunity to help with the project,” Powell said in a written statement shared during the village’s dedication six years ago. “I offer my congratulations to Chris Wallace, my friend Burn Loeffke and all the other committed people who are bringing this project to fruition.”
Powell and retired Maj. Gen. Bernard “Burn” Loeffke became friends through their membership in the White House Fellows Program and their work as attachés to China in the early 1970s. Loeffke, who lives in South Florida, inspired Powell and other FFTP donors to fund the first of four Peacemakers Communities of Hope across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Loeffke has dedicated each of communities in honor of John W. Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson and Founder of the White House Fellows Program. The dedication also honored the memory of U.S. Army Sgt. Larry Morford and China’s Cpl. Lei Feng, two men, Loeffke said, who gave their lives on behalf of their fellow man. He selected Jamaica as the first community location because it was the birthplace of FFTP, and is the homeland of Powell’s parents, Luther and Maud Powell, who immigrated to the United States from St. Elizabeth.
Just days before leaving South Florida to attend Powell’s funeral, Loeffke fondly recalled his friend’s strength as a leader, paraphrasing a quote from Gardner, the founder of the White House Fellows.
“The role of a leader is to keep hope alive, and Powell did that,” Loeffke said. It was Powell’s depth of character that motivated Loeffke to build a house in his honor. Today, six years after the village’s dedication, Powell’s connection to his parent’s homeland and FFTP is being further strengthened.
The new home dedicated in Powell’s memory is a blessing for Latoya Fagan and her daughters, Tawana, 16, Mikayla, 9, and 8-month-old Alexa. The family previously shared a small house made of zinc sheets and plywood with no indoor restroom and had to purchase water for daily use. Their new two-room home in St. Elizabeth includes sanitation, a rain harvesting system for collecting water, furnishings, and a solar-powered light kit – all provided by FFTP in memory of Powell, his generosity, and his historic legacy.
“All of us at Food For The Poor share in the nation’s grief over the loss of Gen. Colin Powell. He was an American hero, patriot, and a groundbreaking public servant,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “We are grateful to have a connection to Gen. Powell through his support of our Peacemakers Community of Hope in Jamaica, and we are honored to dedicate a new home in his memory in the community where his parents lived before immigrating to the United States.”
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.