JFCS Helping Hearts Volunteers Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with Area Homeless
Annual Thanksgiving Wednesday Community Luncheon
Contact Name: Karen Pharo
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone Number: 941-366-2224 x 143
(SARASOTA, FL – November 25, 2020) – JFCS of the Suncoast’s Helping Hearts Volunteers and staff got acquainted with people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness at the Twentieth Annual Thanksgiving Wednesday Community Luncheon, hosted by the Sarasota Ministerial Association, on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at the Salvation Army. In a family-style setting, volunteers had the opportunity to enjoy a catered meal with the guests, while giving them a chance to tell their story. Volunteers brought fresh fruit for centerpieces, which the guests were able to take with them upon departure.
“We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people at our table. We exchanged stories and related to each other in many different ways. The men offered some important advice to my daughter, Alyssa, as she completes her senior year in high school. We look forward to volunteering at this event in the future,” said JFCS volunteer Larissa John.
JFCS Helping Hearts Volunteers have been table hosts at this event for the last three years. Sarasota Ministerial Association organizes the Thanksgiving Community Luncheon each year in order to affirm the guests’ dignity and raise awareness about who our homeless individuals are for elected officials and the public to see. Among the public officials attending were U.S. Representative Greg Steube, newly-elected Sarasota Vice Mayor Erik Arroyo, new Sarasota County Superintendent of Schools Brennan Asplen, and Jon Thaxton, Senior Vice President for Community Investment, who each year plays the role of “Honest Abe” Lincoln complete with top hat and faux beard.
“Our Helping Hearts volunteers are very generous people who enjoy doing for others,” says Karen Pharo, Director of Community Outreach for JFCS. “We have so many wonderful programs and services at JFCS that help seniors, at risk youth, Veterans, and the homeless. We have a large cadre of volunteers, so we started going out once a month to share our volunteers with other organizations and expand our reach. The Homeless Thanksgiving event is one of our favorite events to support every year. It is so heartwarming to sit down and take the time to hear the stories and remind everyone that they are loved and important.”
Inspired by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, Jewish Family & Children Services of the Suncoast provides counseling, personal support, and financial assistance to youth, adults, families, veterans, seniors and individuals who are homeless in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and Lee Counties. Services are delivered to people in need regardless of their religious background. More information is available at www.jfcs-cares.org.