(L to R) Fr. Richard “Dick” Martin’s younger brother, Jack, together with Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood, unveiled a plaque in Food For The Poor's lobby to commemorate Fr. Martin’s dedicated service to the poor.
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2015) – Food For The Poor’s Operation Starfish® program invests small change to create significant change in the lives of the poor. The Operation Starfish® program is a simple way for your family, church, school or organization to celebrate the spirit of compassionate giving, and the difference we can make by saving one child at a time.
Operation Starfish® is designed to let families engage in the sacrificial spirit of Lent by giving participants both the opportunity for spiritual reflection and the chance to make daily sacrifices. The program encourages individuals to deposit 50 cents or more each day into their Operation Starfish® collection box to help the poor. At the end of Lent, when all donations are collected, combined and counted, projects to improve the lives of the destitute will be implemented.
The Operation Starfish® program has five arms of aid to transform the living conditions of destitute families. These programs include food, water, housing, education, and micro-enterprise opportunities.
Food For The Poor has free supplemental materials available to support Operation Starfish® activities, including special devotional calendars, beautifully illustrated donation boxes, children’s workbooks and a video. Food For The Poor’s devotional calendar features a daily Gospel reading and a weekly reflection. The children’s workbook is divided into several lessons that teach children about poverty in the world, while offering activities that are fun and informative.
Those interested in starting an Operation Starfish® program at their parish, school, or organization can visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/operationstarfish or call 877-654-2960 ext. 6219. Parishes nationwide also participate in Operation Starfish programs during Vacation Bible Study sessions, Christmas in July celebrations, Back to School fundraisers, and in preparation for Advent.
For 16 years, Father Richard Martin, former pastor at Church of the Nativity in Burke, Virginia, attributed the growth and fruitfulness of his parish to the partnership with Food For The Poor through the Operation Starfish® program.
Fr. Martin died in May 2014 at the age of 74. In his memory, Church of the Nativity parishioners built an entire village near Grand Boulage, Haiti, with proceeds from their 2014 Operation Starfish Lenten campaign. The Good Shepherd Village will be the 10th village built by Nativity parishioners in the last 16 years.
“He was a tremendous pastor,” said Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor President/CEO.
“Fr. Martin had a real love for people, and he exemplified Christ’s love everywhere he went. His genuine love energized his parishioners to year-after-year think beyond themselves, to create miracles for Haiti’s poor.”
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the 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 ministry 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 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.