For the third consecutive year, members of Lynn University’s Students For The Poor will sleep in tents on campus the week of April 4-7 to call attention to the desperate living conditions of those who remain homeless and in need throughout Haiti and other developing countries. Since 2008, the campus organization has partnered with the international relief and development agency Food For The Poor.
Despite foul weather, that drove Lynn University students from their tents Tuesday afternoon, the students are persevering in their mission to spread awareness. The storm provided a glimpse at what Haiti and other developing countries face as hurricane season approaches.
“We want to get a better understanding of how people in a Third-World country live and eat,” said Tom Schloemer, a member of Students For The Poor and survivor of the 2010 Haiti earthquake that took the lives of four Lynn students and two professors.
As they have done in years past, students will sleep, eat and study inside a structure on the university’s lawn near the student center that portrays housing built by Food For The Poor in developing countries and in tents adjacent to it. The pre-fabricated, 12-by-12-foot yellow Food For The Poor house will be disassembled the morning of Friday, April 8.
“The importance of Students For The Poor Week this year is to provide students with a little insight of what poverty means in places like Jamaica and Haiti, two of the countries Students For The Poor serves,” said Dan Hennessey, vice-president of Students For The Poor.
“We can’t forget the events that happened last year in Haiti, however a lot of the world and news has,” said Rebecca Block, a Lynn University advertising and public relations student.
Block, 22, remembers the students and faculty who traveled on Lynn University’s 2010 J-Term course to Haiti with Food For The Poor. The group arrived one day before the catastrophic earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, instantly claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.
For $3,200, Food For The Poor can build a single-unit home with sanitation to replace a crumbling shack that leaks when it rains. In 2010, Food For The Poor constructed a total of 9,460 new housing units with concrete foundations, locking doors, windows, and a zinc roof with hurricane straps.
“Our goal is to keep awareness alive and educate people about what they can do to help the countries progression towards sustainability,” said Block. “They need so much help from us.”
“We want to show students how they can get involved and help the poor,” said Hennessey.
To support their effort, make checks out to Food For The Poor and include a special reference number “SC# 64619” so the money can be attributed to Lynn University’s Students For The Poor campaign.
You can learn more about Food For The Poor’s 2011 mission trips for college students by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also involve your school in Food For The Poor’s mission by calling 1-877-654-2960, ext. 6988 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.