Since its inception in 1982, Food For The Poor has been serving the poorest of the poor in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Food For The Poor's programs provide housing, clean water, education, micro-enterprise initiatives, healthcare, and emergency relief in addition to feeding hundreds of thousands of people each day.
I chose to partner with Food for the Poor to build the Village of Joy for the following reasons:
- Positive Impact on the Poor. After helping to fund a home for a family in Jamaica, I felt a strong urge to see firsthand the impact a home has in the life of a poverty stricken family. In 2007, I travelled with Food for the Poor to Jamaica. While there, I visited two villages. As my group walked around one of the villages, curious residents ventured out to talk with us. One resident invited us to see the inside of her modest home. It was sparsely decorated but well kept. She was proud. Another resident explained that crime had gone down considerably after Food for the Poor built the village on what had been a ghetto with tiny shacks made of cardboard and scraps of rusty, corrugated aluminum. We were also told that husbands were opting to stay with their families instead of running from their financial difficulties.
- Remarkable Staff. During the trip, I didn't just observe the people helped by Food for the Poor. I also observed the people who worked for the organization. They were remarkable with hearts that seemed to pop right out of their chests. For example, at a stop to see Food for the Poor's work with disabled and abandoned children, I hung back from the rest of the group and peered into an adjacent room where one of the workers was bathing a severely disabled child. I watched in wonder as the worker sang quietly while she worked, unaware that she was being watched. "I could never do that!" I thought as I felt this woman's joy radiate from the room.
- Financially Responsible Organization. Food for the Poor spends less than 5% of what it receives on fundraising and other administrative expenses. 95% of donations directly support the poor. The organization has top ratings from the Better Business Bureau and Ministry Watch.
For more information, visit foodforthepoor.org.