A South Florida organization committed to helping the homeless on a daily basis went the extra mile on Thanksgiving, thanks in part to a boxing legend and some special volunteers.
Hundreds of people turned out early on Thursday at The Caring Place in Hollywood as part of the Broward Outreach Center’s annual Thanksgiving banquet celebration.
Volunteers were eager and ready to help feed those in need.
“We feed the homeless every day, but when you do it out on the street, and you have music and entertainment — they’re giving all kinds of gifts, the decorations are there — then people really feel loved on,” said Marilyn Brummitt, vice-president of development of The Caring Place.
Among those in the crowd giving back and offering free haircuts was Kirk Taylor, a graduate of the program, who once found himself on the receiving end of the services being offered.
“They’ve helped me out so much in the past. I was in a dark place at one time; I felt lost,” he said, “and someone told me about the program here, and I came and checked it out, and they helped me to get back on my feet.”
To those sitting in the barber chairs, it’s about more than just a haircut. Sometimes it’s a leg up that can make all the difference.
“I’ll do anything for this program. It’s a great program, and thank God there’s a program like this in Broward County,” said Taylor.
And from the barber chair to the kitchen, former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield joined in to help.
“It means a lot. It’s not like I came up rich. I came up where the Boys Club fed me,” said Holyfield.
Holyfield made it a family affair on Thursday, fighting a match of a different kind: hunger. He donated dozens of cooked turkeys and hams to feed neighbors in need.
“The thing is, what you give, you tend to receive, and that’s pretty much what it is,” he said. “My son is here with me, and I want him to know, just because there’s nobody that had to give him [help], but still, you want to be in a position to be able to give.”
A message of giving and gratitude, benefiting the greater good of others.
Between both campuses, over 3,000 meals were served on Thanksgiving Day.
“We can’t do what we do without those that are coming alongside us and serving,” said Brummitt.
For more information about The Caring Place, click here. For Miami Rescue Mission and Broward Outreach Centers, click here.