MIAMI (CBS4) – The Miami Rescue Mission, along with Broward Outreach Centers, shared Christmas cheer by feeding the homeless and needy, and it’s their biggest holiday celebration to date.
Group and individual volunteers are chipped in throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the campus located at 2020 NW 1st Avenue in Miami. Coffee, fruit and pastries were provided.
Orion Roberts, a Miami Rescue Mission graduate said the event, “Helps people to enjoy Christmas and to enjoy what Christmas is all about.”
At 11 a.m. full Christmas meals were served. The menu includes ham, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, rolls and holidays pies. In Miami, the mission was ready to feed 3,000 people.
The kitchen fast at work preparing all the holiday fixings since Monday.
CBS4′s Kara Kostanich spoke with head chef and Miami Rescue Mission graduate Calvin McFadden who said it’s all about helping, and returning the favor.
“This program here at the mission has been good to us so we in return are turning around and giving something back to somebody else,” he said.
The 2000 block of NW 1st Avenue was blocked off to accommodate the over 2,000 homeless and needy expected to attend.
Multiple organizations, including ARAMARK, State Farm, The Hackett Group and others have helped supply and collect toys for the needy children of South Florida. More than 400 families will benefit from the toy giveaway.
Not only is there food and toys, but entertainment will also be one of the highlights of the event. The Regeneration Singers, a group of the formerly homeless, performances from various local churches and entertainment groups will entertain the crowd.
“For so many people this is going to be their Christmas because they’re going to go home to an empty refrigerator or an empty tree or no tree at all,” Casey Angel of the Miami Rescue Mission said.
The mission also provided Christmas trees for families who would like one for the holiday.
For Roberts and so many others that are homeless and hungry in South Florida the event is a
Christmas blessing that the mission said could be the beginning of a new start.
“It’s given me a lot more clarity for a purpose in life and a meaning in life… something to do with my life…for the rest of my life,” he said.
That event concluded at 1 p.m.
Events in Broward were also planned throughout the day.
Beginning at 10 a.m., The Broward Outreach Center at 1700 Blount Road in Pompano Beach featured dozens of individual volunteers and Santa Claus. Over 200 gifts were given out to needy children. All adults received a Hope Tote bag filled with hygiene products and clothes.
A Christmas feast was also served at 12 p.m. as those in attendance enjoy music, activities and entertainment.
The Broward Outreach Center at 2056 Scott Street in Hollywood is hosting a Christmas celebration, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Volunteers helping to celebrate with formerly homeless men, women and children will assist in various give-a-ways, including shoes donated by Running with Sole, cosmetics donated by Ofra Cosmetics and Sunday Riley Cosmetics, clothing donated by Justus Clothing, football tickets donated by the Miami Dolphins, just to name a few.
“We want our homeless to know that they are not forgotten and that we love them,” Rev. Ronald Brummitt, President of the Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Centers, said. “We also want to thank all of our donors and volunteers who help us make this wonderful day an awesome celebration for those that otherwise would have nothing or very little for Christmas.”
Since 1922 the Miami Rescue Mission Centers have served the homeless and needy men, women, and children of Miami. Every day the organization provides food, shelter, clothing, education, job training, spiritual direction and long-term rehabilitation programs in Miami, Hollywood and Pompano to nearly 1,000 homeless on a daily basis.
The mission also has at-risk after-school and summer day camp youth programs.