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Evansville, Indiana
July 10, 1998     The Message
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July 10, 1998

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 iiii!!:i , I i iii00!0000i!il , i i!%i " "Building Miracles" Unique Pro gram Offers Tangible Way To Help the Poorest of the Poor craig Cole Velma Brown stepped out of her patchwork tin shack and faced the brightening dawn sky. It had rained ; again during the night, and her tears had mingled with the steady drips from e leaking roof They were tears for her three young'sons and the pain they ere being forced to endure. "Th i e littlest one -- that is Richard i' d Mommy, when can we come out of ,ms nm,e and go into a pretty house?' id I said, 'One day, one day, Father i take you out,'" Velma Brown emotionally relating her struggle. outside, turned my face to where 11 coming from, lifted my I up to God and cried, 'Touch heart to come and help me.'" t I What happened next, Velma firmly believes, was a miracle Food For The, t POor discovered the Jamaican woman s 1 Within a few months she moved into ! stuff, wooden house -- a safe, dry e for her family. That morning, b_Ur!ng a prayer of thanksgiving, she 6ke into tears, joyful for God's  Ssing and grateful to the American efactor who had sponred her home. "I hear it often from the families We help; these houses are an answer i  prayer. They are a miracle of God," P ained Ferdinand Mahftxxl, founder f Food For The Poor. "And the benefactors who sponsorthe homes 1 :?!!!i! ,'%1i i :i] ! .... i iiii ii;iii !i!iii!!i00 !]i)iil ,ii,i00 1 I realize this too. They are responding to God's blessings in their own lives by embracing this opportunity to help someone else someone in desperate need. They are God's tools of mercy in the modern world." Those who donate to the home building program in Jamaica & Haiti also enjoy a unique sense of purpose and accomplishment, Mahfood said. They see a tangible outcome of the gift they have given. Donors may also give their gift as a memorial or special recognition to a family member or friend. In those cases, a plaque is attached to the constructed home. "Ib involve as many people as possible, Food For The Poor has created a variety of ways for donors to contribute. Homes can be built with a single gift of $1,51}0. Smaller gilts can also be combined with those of other benefactors to sponsor a single home. These "'miracle teams" are great for church groups, schools and clubs. Once a gift is received, Food For The Poor works through local clergy who locate the needi.est people in their communities. Lumber and supplies are then purchased and shipped to the area of need. When it arrives, this "house kit" is assembled by local carpenters  if possible with help from the recipient and ............... .Z::__7 .......... "'Bt)re and After" 77wse photos h'momtrate the womh'dh" positive changes that remit when an individual or fimdly is bh'_sed with the giji of a home. Thcne are few ,girls a donor can make that have such a meaningful amt tangible outcome. and gives them a new sense of hope, It's a uniquely direct and meaningful form of charity." To sponr a home or contribute toward a team-built home, send your donation to Food For The Ptxr, Home Building Program - Dept. 13489, 550 SW 12 Ave., Deerfield Beach, Ft. 33442, or use the enclosed brochure. All contributions made to this program are tax-deductible. church volunteers. "Thanks to the wonderful response we've had from American Catholics, the home building program has been able to provide hundreds of homes to the poorest of the poor in Haiti and Jamaica," Mahfood said. "You can't imagine the difference these houses make to the families who receive them. It gives them a stable foundation to rebuild their lives. It returns their dignity PAID ADVERTISEMENT Ferdinand Mahfood, founder of Food For The Poor, shares Ms oncer" aboa Third ltbr/dpoverty with Pope John Paul i II. Their most reeent meeting took ptaee at lhe VaticmL Pope John Paul !i has also honored Ferdinand Mahfood I i as" a Knight of St. Gregory  the highest honor available to a Catholic layman. "l feel very blessed by the Pope's i encouragement. It has inspired me to do more  to i focus my whole life on helping the poor," Mahfood said. [ ....