The island’s Food for the Poor network, a group of people who are currently working on the Boca Grande Friendship Village II in Haiti, are proud to announce that they have raised $213,000 toward their $356,000 goal.
The community center, with a price tag of $45,000, has been paid for. The $20,700 water filtration system has been paid for. At least 11 of the 20 houses scheduled for building have been paid for, as well as several clusters of fruit trees.
Ben Scott, one of the organizers for the local group, said that while he is thrilled with the outpouring of generosity, they still have a long way to go.
Evelyn Finnegan, a winter resident of Boca Grande, knows all too well how poverty has affected Haiti. She is not only on the Food for the Poor Committee, her son and grandchildren just visited Haiti within the last two weeks.
Evelyn explained that since her interest in the group began, her grandchildren had been paying close attention to what is going on, particularly with the children of the earthquake-ravaged country.
Sara is a freshman in high school, while her younger brother, Peter, is in seventh grade. They both attend Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass.
The children and their father, who is also named Peter, went to Haiti with a group of approximately 20 people from Food for the Poor. For a week they stayed in Haiti, helping to prepare food for hundreds of hungry villagers and taking the children toys.
“I saw pictures of Sarah and Peter stirring the food, with hundreds of people waiting to be fed,” Evelyn said. “They arrived on a Monday and returned on Friday. Thursday night was the first I had heard from them at all, and when I finally talked to Sara she said, ‘Nana, I love it. I am definitely coming back. You would love it.’ Now both children are thinking of ways to earn money to help the people there, because they remember the looks on the faces of the people, the expression of gratefulness, of happiness. It was a feeling they will never forget. It was a life-changing experience, I would say.”
The Boca Grande Friendship Village II still needs a few more things. Solar street lamps can be purchased for $4,000, and the group has already purchased two out of the four lamps needed. Solar lanterns can be bought for $40 each, and they are hoping to get 20 more. Two-room homes with sanitation can be purchased for $6,400, and they are hoping to build nine more of them.
Want to donate a goat? They can be purchased for $90 each, and 28 more are needed.
More information about Food for the Poor can be obtained by going to foodforthepoor.org.
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