More often than not it is hard to find volunteers who will roll up their sleeves and serve the homeless people in our community. Such is not the case in downtown Orlando. For 12 years, there has been a grassroots group called Hungry Sunday serving about 200 homeless people every second Sunday of the month. We at iPrevail have been blessed enough to be able to join them and follow their example of tirelessly serving at the same time every month, to learn to give a hug, have a conversation, create more meaningful contact and not just be another "break out session".
For the first time in more than 7 years of us serving alongside our friends from this grassroots group , we were surprised to find another group show up at the same time! Note that neither of these efforts are official organized events, but are the fruits of friends and community members coming together to make a difference.
We set up on the other side and the homeless people we serve were overjoyed to have round two! It was definitely a party unlike no other. This time of the year is even made more special when we saw more people joining "the party". Big businesses and small business as well as community volunteers responded to our call to help out such as our friends from Bombas who donated 1,500 pairs of socks, which was received and delivered to our local UPS store (whose management donates free mailbox and receiving services for us), and was stored and sorted in our local Compass storage (whose owners donate a storage unit for us to house community donations). Our retired friends from Palm Valley did a great job sorting through the socks and all other donations which enabled us to provide specific sizes and packages that allowed us to meet individual needs.
From the words of one of our volunteers, Robyn Burke: "My family has constantly serviced for the past three years. We are very thankful to be apart of an organization that brings so many together, regardless it demographics and differences. We've experienced first hand the Everlasting gift of helping others. There is a blind homeless man named Harold.Every second Sunday of the month, other homeless individuals help Harold to make sure he has plenty of food and that his needs are addressed. Even within the homeless community, we are seeing and experiencing empathy at it's most genuine form. There are children who are the definition of privilege, out serving food with innocent minds , learning valuable life lessons in helping others who are in need of a helping hand."
To find out more about this effort, please visit Hungry Sunday ( a grassroots faith based group not affiliated with iPrevail). Donations of basic necessities, cold weather clothes, and non perishable food are typically not distributed during the feeding events in order to keep the focus on sharing a meal and building relationships. They can be distributed in between the feeding events or coordinated with Jean Green at 941-456-0629.