(WSVN) - It’s the season of giving, and that means helping those less fortunate. 7’s Craig Stevens is here now to show us how some South Floridians are making a difference.
Sleeping on the streets is a grim reality for the homeless in South Florida.
Thomas Foley knows how easily life can take a turn for the worse.
Thomas Foley, helping homeless: “A couple of years back, I was not as fortunate as I am today to have a place to live. I was sleeping on a family member’s couch. Homeless? No. Out in the streets? No, but just about as close as you can possibly get to it.”
Life is good now, and from his home in Davie, he is working to help those in need.
Thomas Foley: “This is all for one person.”
Thomas and his girlfriend Sonia are busy putting together special care packages for homeless people in Broward.
Sonia Millet, helping homeless: “It’s a blessing that we can share with others.”
Each bag has about $100 worth of non-perishable food, toiletries, a rain poncho, a blanket, even a gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts!
Thomas Foley: “We have the ability to help these people, so why not? There’s no reason why we can’t take what we have and share.”
Eighteen-year-old Erika Castroman feels the same way.
Erika Castroman, helping homeless: “We decided to do everyday necessities because they’re pretty much out there with nothing.”
Last year, a chance encounter with a homeless man inspired her to create a Facebook page called Stockings Filled with Love, drumming up support and donations.
Erika Castroman: “We ask people for donations like everyday necessities, food, water, soap, tissues.”
She and her family gave out 50 backpacks last year. This year they’ll double that number. Their home in Hialeah is a staging area, getting everything ready to be delivered in Downtown Miami on Christmas morning.
Ivette Castroman, helping homeless: “I am very proud of her, we both are. I love that she came up with this idea, because it is something that we can do to give back to the community.”
For this American High School senior, it has been a life-changing experience.
Erika Castroman: “I’ve learned that I shouldn’t take what I have for granted. There’s so many people out there who don’t have the same opportunities as me, so this makes me feel really great, giving them and showing them love.”
Giving during the holidays is rewarding, and these families say it will be an ongoing tradition for them.
Thomas Foley: “If you see someone out there that needs a helping hand and you have the ability, whether it’s a Monday, a year from now or today, just help. That’s what we’re all about.”
Bringing the spirit of Christmas, hope and healing, to those who need it most.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.