Going Home After Hurricane Dean: The American Friends Of Jamaica Creates “A Thousand Roofs Of Love”

Friends Rebuild Homes for Friends Affected by Hurricane Dean

NEW YORK (August 24, 2007) – In the wake of Hurricane Dean, which made landfall in Jamaica on Sunday, August 19, 2007, The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Jamaican charitable and social initiatives, responds to the needs of Jamaican citizens with the A Thousand Roofs of Love in partnership with Missionaries of the Poor, led by Father Richard Ho Lung. The roof project initiated by Ambassadors Sue and Chuck Cobb has gained the support of United States Ambassador to Jamaica , Brenda Johnson and husband J. Howard Johnson along with AFJ President Ambassador Glen and Gloria Holden, each personally pledging $20,000 USD to support roof rebuilding and repairing of 1,000 homes.

Many children and families in southern parishes remain in shelters since they have lost homes and personal belongings due to the significant flooding and storm surges dumped by the Category 4 hurricane. “The American Friends of Jamaica sends our sympathy to our friends, brothers and sisters in Jamaica ,” commented Ambassador Glen Holden, AFJ President. “We are responding by providing materials to many individuals who had damage to their roof. Our goal is to reach 1,000 homes and we have raised almost 40% of that goal at this time.”

Father Ho Lung adds, ‘It is building a beautiful sense of care and hope”. Since the Hurricane hit, the Missionaries of the Poor have been engaged in providing immediately needed packages of food as well as setting up soup kitchens for many without food.

Amb. Sue Cobb further explains, “A Thousand Roofs of Love Project will bring tremendous comfort to these suffering communities. This is a massive task and the Missionaries of the Poor deserve all the help we can give them in their remarkable and selfless service for the welfare of those less fortunate than themselves.”
An assessment revealed there is tremendous need for roofing material to repair the damage. The goal is to provide materials for 1,000 homes at $250 USD per home, ($200 for materials and $50 for food). Amb. Holden continues, “A contribution of $250 USD will provide basic food and shelter for families who are in desperate need of a helping hand. Let’s work together and start rebuilding homes with love.”

Each dwelling will be provided with four pieces of zinc and four pieces of plywood. With an additional pledge from the Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove , Florida and others, the fund currently totals over US $80,000. The support of individuals and organizations willing and able to participate in this 1000 Roofs Project will help achieve the set target of $250,000 USD.

All contributions are tax-deductible. For more information or to make a contribution, please use one of the following methods:

Please send check payable to The American Friends of Jamaica
In memo line, write: Hurricane Dean Relief and mail to:
The American Friends of Jamaica
ATTN: Keisha Phipps, Executive Director
1120 Avenue of the Americas , Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10036
Tel: 212-626-6883

Visit the American Friends of Jamaica Website at www.theAFJ.org/HurricaneDean to make a contribution or call the office at 212-626-6883 to provide credit card information.

About the American Friends of Jamaica
The American Friends of Jamaica is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting Jamaican charitable organizations and social initiatives targeted at improving the lives of Jamaicans through systemic development in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. Its history dates back 25 years. Founded in 1982, the American Friends of Jamaica was established to strategically connect resources from North America to charities in Jamaica . The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Jamaican charitable and social initiatives For more information, visit www.theafj,org

About Missionaries of the Poor
The Missionaries of the Poor (MOP), is an international catholic organization that serves the poorest of the poor. It operates homes for the sick and destitute. The backbone of the mission of MOP is the brothers and priests of this religious community. For more information, visit www.missionariesofthepoor.org.

Media Contacts:
Nadeige Martelly
Tel: 305.476.3600
E-mail: [email protected]
Andria Mitsakos