MIAMI, HOLLYWOOD, POMPANO BEACH — With the help of more than 400 volunteers, the Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Centers recently served more than 2,000 Thanksgiving-style meals to the homeless and hungry of South Florida at their three campuses in Miami, Hollywood and Pompano Beach.
Attendees were treated to a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing and other treats.
In addition to the meal, homeless and needy men, women and children in attendance were able to have their feet washed by volunteers and cared for by students from Barry University’s Podiatry program.
The needy were also able to receive free haircuts and/or showers in hope that individuals would make a life-changing decision and enter one of the full-scale rehabilitation programs offered at the intake tables on each campus.
“I haven’t had someone be concerned with my well-being for months, much less care for me like this,” said Mary Thomas while receiving foot care from a volunteer. “I didn’t think something this simple could make me cry, but it is just such a beautiful thing they’ve done here.”
In addition to the Thanksgiving in March meal, there was entertainment at each location for both children and adults that included live music, Easter-themed plays, a kid’s corner that had a moon bounce, cotton candy, games, a reading corner, as well as other fun activities. Easter baskets were passed out to each and every child in attendance at the three Centers with over 400 in total.
“Today is special because we are able to feel important again,” participant Thomas Mann of Hollywood said. “The fact that I woke up with my stomach growling and now I am full and happy, having a wonderful day, that is something to be thankful for.”
The Miami campus served more than 1,200 meals, Hollywood 452 meals and the Pompano campus served 350 meals, plus each person attending received HOPE TOTE bags with hygiene items inside. Several thousand items of clothing were handed out and many had their health concerns addressed. Hundreds had their feet washed, and foot care and new footwear were given.
“The reason we do this is to show the homeless and needy that they are loved,” said the Rev. Ronald Brummitt, president of the Miami Rescue Mission and Broward Outreach Centers.
“Many people have worked together by giving financially, doing various drives, volunteering their time to make this possible. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples the night he was betrayed and before going to the cross. Volunteers washed feet, served food, gave away clothing and mostly interacted with the homeless to show them there is hope for future.
“Because of the compassion showed many decided to come off the streets and others were blessed by the love. You never know the complete consequences of these outreaches. We hear stories weeks, months and years later of how one of these outreaches touched and even changed a life. We are so grateful to our supporters.”