A few years ago, I was introduced to an international relief organization called “Food for the Poor.” I traveled to Jamaica to see in person what this wonderful agency does for the world’s poorest of the poor.
For many impoverished people, living under a tarp or in a cardboard box is a way of life. Fueled by the kindness and generosity of strangers, “Food for the Poor” builds houses for people.
These houses are not what we would consider the typical American residence. But these small, brightly-colored homes offer something that thousands of people have never experienced before: a front door with a lock, windows, rooms -- a place to call their own.
In many cases, the joy and honor of having a home has lifted people into a spirit of determination to try and achieve a better life for themselves and their families. They often do.
But no matter what happens, at least they have a solid, safe roof over their heads.
Shortly after my wife Denise died last year, “Food for the Poor” went ahead and built a house in her honor and memory. When I received a photo and a certificate showing me the house they built, I remember beaming. She would have been so proud.
My Denise championed the underdog. Her tender heart ached for poor people, for abused or abandoned pets, for any living creature that faced hard times.
While she was not a person who liked anyone to fuss over her, she certainly would love the idea that today, a grateful family is living in a house in Jamaica that was built in recognition of her wonderful life.
I miss her every hour of every day.
So it is with a heavy but full heart that I am on my way to Jamaica with some of my dearest friends to visit Denise’s house.
While there, I am going to broadcast my radio show and feature “Food for the Poor.”
It costs $2600.00 to build one of these amazing little houses.
I am on a mission to honor Denise by trying to get at least ten of these houses built for her.
The way I see it, if “Food for the Poor” can be kind enough to build one house, I can reach out to my listeners and readers and try and repay their graciousness ten-fold.
If you would like to help me, please go to www.mikeonline.com and click on the “Food for the Poor” banner. If calling them directly would be more convenient, operators are ready at 1-866-433-HOPE. Any sized donation will help me fulfill my mission. My fantasy is that a number of churches or business leaders or even individuals who have been blessed in life will want to have an entire house built and donate the full amount for a residence.
But I know that’s probably being greedy.
If you can give 10, 50, 100 dollars, it will matter. Together, we can do this. And one day, I hope to know that my precious wife led to at least ten families -- maybe many more -- who are sheltered from the storms and live in warmth and safety in their own houses.
That would make her very, very happy.