By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s the spirit of giving that drove Melvin to fill pick up two trucks with food and supplies to help the homeless in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

“I’m blessed so I’m going to try to bless somebody else,” Melvin said.

He and his friends are giving out food, hygiene supplies, and socks.

Marcus Smith got one of those bags. “I just lost my place on the 5th,” he said. “Trying to make it and keep my head up.”

Smith doesn’t know how this works yet. He’s new to all this after losing everything. “I sleep in my car. I lost my home because I couldn’t pay the rent. I lost my job. So here I am,” he said as his voice cracked. “Forgive me, here I am trying to make it. This is all new for me,” he said.

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Alice Jackson comes here every year, bringing 100 meals for those in need. Not only is it Christmas, but her birthday. Her present is giving to others through her group “A day in the park with Alice.” https://www.facebook.com/alice.ragin “It just gives me great pleasure, give my heart joy to be able to do this on a constant basis because God truly has been great to me and I want to bless someone that’s less fortunate than I am,” Jackson said.

“It’s very thoughtful,” said Dante Cobb who received a meal from Alice. “They could be home with their families. I think it’s very thoughtful.”

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And Fabiola Richardson is hosting the “Love brunch.” She does it in the name of her son, who died.

She and the volunteers from the Lou Foundation are handing out warm clothes, hot meals, and personal care items.

They’re hoping to make life a little better for those who need a boost after a difficult year. “It’s been a tough year for many people out in the community because of covid 19,” said Lisa who’s fallen on hard times after losing her job. “It’s great they’re doing this to help people out who are going thru a hard time,” she said.

The Christmas message here — one we’ve heard before, it’s better to give than to receive. “You have to be thankful for what you have,” Richardson said. “A lot of times you don’t understand how much it is to bring a smile to someone’s face, to be a blessing, to think about others besides yourself.”

To learn more about how you can help in the fight against homelessness, for Broward County, click here and for Miami-Dade, click here.

Ted Scouten