Children smile in front of their new home in Mache Mango, Haiti, that was provided by supporters of Food For The Poor’s Celebration of Hope Gala in 2022. The 24th annual Celebration of Hope Gala, which will be livestreamed at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 28, is raising funds to build 30 homes in Trouchouchou. Photo/Food For The Poor

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2023) – For more than two decades, Orlando-area donors have committed to transforming the lives of some of the most impoverished families in Haiti. Supporters of Food For The Poor’s (FFTP) Celebration of Hope Gala are once again being called upon to provide the life-changing gift of a home to families in Trouchouchou, Haiti.

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The goal of this year’s gala is to build 30 new homes and provide four solar-powered streetlights to offer security at night.

The 24th annual gala is set for Saturday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. ET. For the fourth year, the program will be livestreamed, taking viewers on a journey of prayer, transformation, and hope.

Register for the event or make a gift at foodforthepoor.org/celebration.

Serame, who lives in a house made of wood, sheets, and cardboard, is praying for a safe, secure place where her four children can sleep at night.

“When it rains, it’s really hard for us,” Serame said. “We have to stay awake and collect rainwater with buckets.”

FFTP Board Member Dr. Lynne Nasrallah said supporters are determined to raise the money so Serame and families like hers in Trouchouchou can have the dignity of their own home.

Nasrallah, who has chaired the gala for 24 years, said the resilience and joy of Haitians makes them strong and faithful.

“No matter the insurmountable challenges, Haitians remain unshaken in their faith, hope, and love of the Lord,” she said. “The resilience of Haitian families is truly inspiring. Despite facing countless challenges, their unwavering faith and spirit shine through, reminding us of the power of hope and love.”

For months, Haiti has been consumed by gang violence, which has displaced about 200,000 residents and killed 3,000 people this year alone, according to United Nations estimates. Nearly half the population requires humanitarian assistance. Political instability has increased in Haiti since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in 2021.

Despite those challenges, FFTP remains committed to Haiti, where it has helped families since 1986.

Last year, the gala’s generous donors raised money to build homes for families in need in Maché Mango, Haiti. They also provided funds for a water well and a community center, which will serve as an integral place for families to gather for prayer, for children to do homework, and to unify the community.

FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the gala’s generous supporters continue to be an answer to the prayers of families for a safe, well-built home and access to treated water and sanitation.

“In Trouchouchou, Haiti, families like Serame’s need our support,” Raine said. “They long for a safe, secure place they can call home. With the generosity of donors at the Celebration of Hope Gala, we can provide these families with the dignity they deserve. Our donors’ unwavering commitment has transformed countless lives, and we are incredibly grateful for their generosity.”

The gala’s online silent auction is now open and closes on the night of the live event, Saturday, Oct. 28, at 10 p.m. ET. The silent auction can be viewed here: https://events.handbid.com/auctions/celebration-of-hope-29938/items

Committee members include Linda Bonnewitz, Bruny and Paula Compas, George and Kim del Campo, Mike and Dr. Desirae Friend, Cynthia Hawkins, Nicole Nasrallah, George and Joanne Olson, Lisa Padilla Ortiz, Nancy Padilla, Dwight and Lisa Saathoff, Tom and Jean Wilkes, Jean and Donna Wilson, and Holly Wilson.

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 Latin America and the Caribbean. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, 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 foodforthepoor.org.


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