I moved to Fort Lauderdale a little over a year ago. I’ve been looking for a volunteer opportunity to fill some of my spare time. As a former educator, I’ve always been drawn to organizations supporting children. Whether it be reading to children at a homeless shelter or spending time with children who’ve been taken away from their family. This is what I enjoy most. Unfortunately, I hadn’t found anything of interest to me until I saw a Facebook post of friends volunteering for Showering Love.
I’ve always been turned off by the homeless. I think I stereotyped them as taking advantage of the system. Maybe they were lazy and chose to be homeless so as not to have any responsibilities and to rely on others. After speaking with my friend about her volunteer experience with Showering Love and learning that most of the homeless she encountered were extremely grateful to the volunteers and appreciative of receiving a shower. They did not chose to be homeless, and learned that the organization is providing a hand up and not a hand out, I decided to participate in the next volunteer opportunity with Showering Love.
Heading to Miami
The Showering Love bus, Grace, will be on the streets of downtown Miami with many other organizations. They participate every third Sunday of the month to provide for the homeless. Make the Homeless Smile, which donates clothes, shoes and a hot meal, barbers and hair stylists. Showering Love provides a 10 minute shower, a clean new t-shirt and underwear. They also provide a tooth brush and toothpaste, deodorant, new socks and goodie bag with toiletries. The amount of support provided to the homeless and the good givings of the people in the community to serve others who are less fortunate is heart warming.
Still, I was a bit hesitant of what to expect from those living on the street. I was waiting for the hostility and anger to appear at any moment and behaviors that would make me question why I decided to commit myself to this day.
What a Surprise
I saw smiles, laughter and even heard a thank you here and there. Everyone was friendly and appreciative to the volunteers. I could see the gratitude in their faces and hear it in their thank you’s. One person I spoke to, who had been receiving support from Camillus House in downtown Miami, recently got a job and an apartment. He was hoping we could provide him with sheets and towels. This made me realize that some who are homeless really do want help. They want to get off the street and make a better life for themselves.
It was a joy to have had this volunteer opportunity
Showering Love is a wonderful organization. Jeanne is an amazing woman who has the biggest heart I know. Her compassion for others and love for the community in making it a better place. I look forward to continuing to support Jeanne and Showering Love. Helping to bring smiles and laughter to those who are less fortunate.
We want to give big thanks to Pamela Moore for volunteering and for taking the time to write this wonderful article.
Your donation will provide a shower to those struggling and help restore dignity. Dignity is in short supply when you’re living on the streets.