On Thursday, November 24th, The Broward Outreach Centers (BOC) | Miami Rescue Mission (MRM) served over 3,300 traditional turkey dinners with all the fixings during the Great Thanksgiving Banquet held in Miami, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach. Haircuts were started at 8am in the morning and continued throughout the event. There was music, health care, and special activities for the kids. A little after 11am the delicious Thanksgiving meal was served by over 600 volunteers — turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, pumpkin pie, delicious coffee donated by THX, and a variety of other tasty treats.
This year’s Thanksgiving Banquet was graciously sponsored by PriceSmart, TJX Foundation, Whole Foods, Potential Church, the Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Riders, Scott Evans Productions and our wonderful supporters.
In addition to the meal; there were free haircuts, over 9,000 articles of clothing were given out, plus “Hope Tote” bags filled with hygiene products and other necessary items were given to all guests. Most importantly, over 100 men and women decided to get off the streets and enter one of the life-changing programs.
“ I love this street outreach. Everybody is so happy to be here, including myself. I would not have had a Thanksgiving meal if this outreach was not here. ”Jimmy, Hollywood guest.
Honorary Chair Alex Hernandez, Founder and CEO of the Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Riders were here with some of the riders from the club. They spoke about helping the community by showing love and compassion in a tangible way. The group earlier in the week rode their motorcycles and collected 7,200 lbs of food. They were thrilled to be on hand to see the crowds that came to the street outreach. At Broward Outreach Center Hollywood we were honored to greet our special guests Tamara James, Mayor of Dania. She also spoke from stage about the need in our communities how people can help make a difference. The Pompano Center was honored to have on hand Mandy Wells, Director of the Broward County Community Partnerships Division.
There was entertainment at each location for both adults and kids that included live music and other presentations. The children were provided entertainment that included a magic show, games and a kid’s corner that had several bounce houses. There was also cotton candy, snow cones, and other fun activities. It was a fun place for the kids to have a wonderful time.
“ Broward Outreach Center in Pompano is helping my whole family at the Family Center. We had been evicted and had no funds or place to go. My husband and our 3 children came here with only a few belongings. This banquet is just wonderful. We thought it would just be another day and look at all the volunteers who came to help us. It makes my family feel so special. We know when we leave this place that our lives will be back on track. ”Tamara, Pompano Guest
“ I love this outreach on the street. The food is delicious and so many other giveaways, such as clothing and hygiene. I even got a massage, can you imagine. I thoghtt this day would be sad, but it has turned out to be a happy day. ”, Miami Guest
The Great Thanksgiving Banquet provided an upbeat, inviting atmosphere on a day that might otherwise be discouraging for the homeless and needy. It was a truly wonderful time for the community to band together and remind the homeless they do not need to feel forgotten or alone this holiday season.
“ All this is done to share the love of God and the compassion of our community to our neighbors. Men, women, and children who are struggling, need encouragment, and a hand up. ”Rev. Ronald Brummitt President
The Miami Campus has served the homeless and needy since 1922. The administration offices, Center for Men, Center for Women and Children, Jeffrey A. Tew Education Center, Community Activity Center-which provides out of school and summer programs for children, Food Warehouse, Health Clinic, and Thrift Stores are located in a three block area off NW 1st Ave. and NW 20th Street. The Centers offer emergency and residential programs. An additional building houses 78 men and has a conference center. The combined Centers provide 390 beds for residential and emergency services.
The Hollywood Campus was opened in 1997 after serving the homeless and needy of Broward beginning in 1992. It was the first center in Broward to offer comprehensive programs for the homeless. The Hollywood Campus has 128 beds for residential programs and 18 emergency beds to serve men, women, and children. It is located at the corner of Scott Street and Old Dixie Highway, near Sheridan Street.
The Pompano Beach Campus was opened in 2002 and has 200 beds for residential programs and 20 emergency beds to serve men, women, and children. The campus is located in the northern part of Broward County near Copans Road. Men, women, and children are served as well as a special program to engage the chronic homeless.
“ I had a such a great time at the Thanksgiving Banquet. I really didn't have anything to provide for my children. This really helps and my kids had a great day. I did not feel alone and know that people do care. ”Belinda, Thanksgiving Banquet Guest