For many, Thanksgiving Day is a lonely, hard day. Groups in South Florida are working to change that by volunteering their time and effort. At the Miami-Dade County facility in Liberty City about 50 volunteers with a handful of nonprofits were giving out holiday meals Thursday morning.
The volunteers came from the Miami Children’s Initiative, Operation Turkey and the Miami-Dade Corrections Department.
“Often people consider Liberty City an underserved community, but I call it the most deserved,” Latousha Daniels of the Miami Children’s Initiative said.
Daniels says that after the coronavirus pandemic, the deaths and the accompanying lockdowns, these nonprofits are much needed.
“We all realized in COVID that we all need help. That we’re not an island and that being in isolation really made us realize that separation is not a good thing,” Daniels said. “Moments like this help us reconvene, reconnect with the community, so they know they are not forgotten. They are remembered, and that there are people here to serve.”
Joining them Thursday morning was Bryant McKinnie, former University of Miami and NFL offensive lineman. This is the second year his foundation has helped with this event.
“A lot of people may be lonely with nowhere to go to get food,” McKinney said.
Similar events happened across South Florida, including at the Broward County Salvation Army.
They served 500 meals to homeless people in the area.
Across town, the same thing happened at the Caring Place thanks to the Miami Rescue Mission.
Volunteers here included boxers Riddick Bowe and Evander Hollyfield.
They helped others give out meals, hygiene products and clothes, face painting for the kids and fresh haircuts for the adults.
Their goal was 3,000 meals.
Almost 15,000 people died in South Florida over these last two years of the pandemic. These groups are helping where they can.