MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami Heat teamed up with the Miami Rescue Mission to feed more than 600 families in Overtown, Wednesday.
The team’s players, coaches and executives served the families hot meals and food to take home for the holidays. It’s the 25th season of giving for the Heat organization.
“They support us so much, so any little thing we can do, anytime we can give to them, I think they really appreciate it,” Justise Winslow said.
Udonis Haslem, a Miami native who has spent his entire career with the Heat, said giving back is personal for him.
“For me personally, obviously, it’s my community, it’s my city,” Haslem said. “I never left, and when I say I never left, I really never left my surroundings. I’m always in the inner city hanging out in Overtown.”
The event was held at the Miami Rescue Mission Community Activity Center in Overtown.
“To make a memory, there’s so many, there’s so many dark memories and things that are going on in our community, but to make a memory, to see somebody smile,” Antonio Villasuso from Miami Rescue Mission said, “to see somebody happy at least for that moment, you give them a moment.”
The players didn’t just serve hot meals, they also took pictures and played games with the fans.
“You never get to see them close up, so I really got a first-hand, got to shake some of their hands,” Janie Jackson said, “and I am just grateful and thankful.”
Team President Pat Riley, who has been with the team since 1995, is proud of the work the team has done.
“Over the 25 years, 15,0000 turkeys and 10,000 meals, on this one day, have been given out, so that’s all this is about,” Riley said.
Coach Erik Spoelstra enjoyed seeing the reactions of the families and kids.
“To be able to take a day and spend time in our neighborhood giving back seeing the families, the kids, their faces light up,
“We don’t get help like this at all, so it’s just a blessing,” Jazzlin Walker said.
The Heat’s work with Miami Rescue Mission also helps communities in need in Little Havana and Little Haiti.
Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.