MIAMI (WSVN) - NBA Hall of Famer, Alonzo Mourning hosted his 23rd annual Thanksgiving drive.
Families passed through the Overtown Youth Center for boxes of Thanksgiving goodies that will help them feed their loved ones this holiday.
“Sometimes we don’t have money… It’s a good thing they got this here,” said one attendee.
Several organizations helped raise more than $20,000 dollars that went toward purchasing more than 400 meals this year.
“With the cost of living going up, people being displaced, it’s a struggle for a lot of families now,” said Mourning. So however we can, and when I say ‘we,’ I mean the Mourning Family Foundation and Overtown Youth Center, however, we can provide some relief and support and some hope and encouragement and some love, we do it.”
Volunteers and organizers got up early to pack up the boxes and load them into the truck, preparing for Tuesday afternoon’s event.
“It reminds you of what’s most important and it reminds you of the fact that what we do here is bigger than programming after school. This is about feeding a family, feeding communities, uplifting communities during the holidays,” said Cristal Cole, a volunteer. “This is where I find my joy.”
There were plenty of organizations that brought a lot of joy to families in South Florida on Tuesday.
“This is an awesome collaborative effort with Miami-Dade Corrections, our partners and media network Hot 105. We are here to give out over 800 turkeys,” said Sherea Green.
Some families got up very early for this Miami event with Miami Dade Corrections and High Power Society.
“I arrived this morning at 2 o’clock,” said one woman. “This food that I get from the Farm Share, I share it with other people.”
Many people wanted to guarantee they’d get a meal. And in some cases, some plan to pass it forward.
“It’s always awesome to give back to the community. This is what Thanksgiving is all about,” said Green.
And there are so many grateful hearts this holiday season in South Florida.
“Very helpful because nowadays everything is hard,” said Zuly Fernandez, who participated in the drive.
“I want to thank the center for doing this for us,” said one man.
“It’s very helpful, it’s great, they always provide for all the families,” said Claudia Balare. “It gets bigger and better every year.”
The event went on until 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday for those families who registered.
Broward County also kept up and helped families with Thanksgiving meals on Tuesday.
“We’re looking forward to feeding 1,000 families today, we’ve been doing it for several years,” said Robert Morcos, CEO of Social Mobile.
Social Mobile joined the Mobile School Pantry for their 11th annual Gobble Giveaway, where families received a gift card and all the goods that would complete their holiday meal.
“We shut down the office early and we got the whole team out here to come and help feed these families,” said Morcos.
There was no doubt that plenty of these families for thankful for the generosity of this community and the people who went out of their way for them.
“It helps a lot, especially for the people who don’t get assistance because I am one of those that don’t receive assistance, so it’s even harder for me now,” said Balare.
Most organizations require a pre-registration for the food drive, contact the organization to find out their requirements.
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