Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 - Feeding The Hungry And Homeless

This Thanksgiving season I sat down to make a list of what I was thankful for. As my list grew, it became more apparent to me than usual... I have truly been blessed. While I worried about what to make for Thanksgiving, others living just a few minutes away were not even sure if they would eat on Thanksgiving. 

The next day as I typed out my blog entry for The Thanksgiving Menu 2011, I found myself feeling a little unsettled. I decided that I needed to give someone else something to be thankful for this year. 

After speaking with a coordinator at Feeding America, I discovered that there are many ways to help out. I decided to lend a hand serving the Thanksgiving Meal at the Broward Outreach Center. I spread the word through the Dolphin Women and was delighted to have Ilona Wolpin, Maria Bush, Jenna Clawson, Mindy Joseph, Katie Fields, and Joy Taylor agree to join me. Katie brought her brother too, and Joy works for Mike's Mobile Media Group so they came as well and brought their HUGE Dolphins truck. 

Between Miami, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach locations there were nearly 3,000 Thanksgiving meals served that day to the homeless and hungry of South Florida.Those in attendance were treated to a fantastic meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and other tasty treats.
In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, there was entertainment for both children and adults that included live music, a kid’s corner that had a moon bounce, cotton candy and games as well as other fun activities. Various giveaways occurred throughout the event. Ilona, the public relations personnel for the Dolphins, decided that we could also give away 20 tickets to the New Years game against the Jets. Everyone was filled with excitement over this! Services such as haircuts, shoulder massages and blood pressure checks were also available free of charge to those who could not afford it.  At our particular location, which was 1 of 3, we were able to feed over 650 guests, distribute over 300 personal hygiene bags, give approximately 100 haircuts, and hand out over 1000 pieces of clothing and shoes.

When arriving at the event that day I didn't know what to expect. I did however brace myself. I am not sure why exactly.  Maybe I was frightened that the unsettled feeling I had felt days earlier was only going to grow as the day went on. I figured I would be behind a table sloppin' food on a plate in an assembly and out in no time... Little did I know, I was in for a real treat. 

The street was filled with life and excitement and I was not stuck behind a table. Everyone that I served that day was extremely thankful and very polite. Everywhere I turned people welcomed me with a smile and kind words. In fact, they were so inviting that I couldn't help but stick around after the meal was over. Unexpectedly, I had found myself surrounded by people bursting at the seems with pure joy and happiness...True thankfulness...I had no idea I would find myself leaving hours later than expected, after laughing and dancing my Thanksgiving away with total strangers. Strangers who decided to embraced me for no particular reason except out of pure kindness...just because...

For that I am thankful...thankful for the truly exhilarating experience.
Definitely a new Thanksgiving Tradition...
Below is a video and a few pictures from the day courtesy of MMMG and Sister Jenna. (Please don't judge my dance moves..ha!)

Free Haircuts

Donated Clothes and Shoes

I loved these two. They were a good time:)

Sister Jenna


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