FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – South Florida has lost a champion for the homeless and less fortunate.
Arnold Abbott, the founder of the nonprofit organization Love Thy Neighbor, was 94 years old.
Without fail, he would be found at Fort Lauderdale Beach every Wednesday feeding the less fortunate.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean J. Trantalis said this about Abbott upon finding out about his passing:
“The City of Fort Lauderdale is truly saddened by the loss of Arnold Abbott. He was a courageous individual and a champion for the underserved. His generosity, compassion, and selfless efforts to assist the most vulnerable members of our community left an indelible mark on our City and led us on a path to a brighter tomorrow. We offer our deepest sympathies to the Abbott family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Chef Arnold, as he was known, used to say that he had been arrested several times for violating a city of Fort Lauderdale ordinance that restricted charities from feeding the homeless.
Since those days, Abbott and his 150 or so volunteers had carried on without issues but not without struggles.
“Homeless people are just like anybody else. They’re just people down on their luck,” Abbott would say.
Recently, donations had been low and two of his assistants, whose names he did not want to disclose, had been stealing from his non-for-profit organization, Abbott had said in an interview.
Abbott’s organization feeds hundreds of people per week.
If you’d like to make a monetary or in-kind donation to Abbott’s organization, visit lovethyneighbor.org