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Miami Rescue Mission Celebrates “Thanksgiving In April”

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(Source: CBS4) A volunteer washes the feet of a man taking part in the Miami Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving in April event.

(Source: CBS4) A volunteer washes the feet of a man taking part in the Miami Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving in April event.

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the hundreds of children taking part in the block parties at the Miami Rescue Mission and Broward Outreach Centers, Friday was a chance to play hard, and enjoy all the fun that comes with the Easter holiday.

For their adult family members, who are either homeless or just in need of a little help, the event is a lifesaver.

“What we see is the needy families of South Florida coming out so much, families that can’t provide an Easter celebration for their children,” said Miami Rescue Mission Communications Manager Casey Angel.

Isaac Essix brought a whole colony of family members to the Thanksgiving in April Good Friday event. His own kids, their cousins, and a grandmother.

It was a chance for the kids to get free haircuts, enjoy facepainting, and arts and crafts, and spend some fun time with each other. It’s also like a vacation for parents like Essix.

“Because of the economy the kids need something, and the parents need a break and help also,” said Essix.

Rescue Mission managers say the faces of those in need has changed with the downturn in the economy. He says struggling families, and single mothers rely on their services.

Volunteers served up roughly 3000 meals and the adults got important medical screenings. Podiatry students from Barry University and other volunteers washed and provided basic care for the feet of anyone who asked.

“Really to signify Good Friday and how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples,” explained Angel.

“Good things come on Good Friday,” smiled Essix. He believes events like this holiday celebration will lead to a stronger South Florida beyond today.

“The parents get a break, the kids get something in return, and plus it brings the community closer together as a whole.”

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