Helping people who need a little extra boost, several local groups worked together to hand out supplies for those in need. We spoke to people who say it’s important to keep an eye on our neighbors even if they don’t ask for help.
Religious-based missions The House of Ride Nature, Mission Community Church and St. Matthew’s House hosted an event in downtown Fort Myers Saturday to enrich community members who needed help getting the things they need.
“You never know what a person needs because somebody doesn’t want to tell you they’re hungry all the time,” said Carol Lindsay, who attended the event.
About 1,000 people gathered at the event, and it ended with a lot of smiling faces. Everyone had to bear the heat of the day, but they were able to get what they needed. Once people did, they left grateful and less worried about getting food on the table.
Hundreds of bags were filled with life’s necessities and ready to be handed out to community members.
“I think it’s good because a lot of people need different things,” Lindsay said.
And different things are exactly what people received at the event: They were able to get haircuts, and people even got to do a little shopping.
Lindsay is a mother of five, and she said she often takes advantage of food drives to help support her family. Lindsay said getting help makes a huge difference in the lives of families who are struggling.
“It’s good to give them a chance to help their kids and get them some water,” Lindsay said. “Because sometimes you don’t have enough money to get water especially when you’re out here on the street.”
But it’s not easy for organizations to provide. Josh Ellison, the community outreach coordinator at St. Mathews House, said the organization does what it can to make sure the community is supported.
“Especially in the summer, there’s less donations, typically amongst food and other items like that and clothes,” Ellison said. “There’s a lot of snowbirds that leave. So especially in the summer, it’s so important to have large distributions, especially of food where families really are in need. This is a practical way to meet them.”
All the supplies brought for community members were successfully handed out at the event.
“We just really want to be able to find a need and fill it, find a hurt and fill it,” said Pastor Jordan Roe of Mission Community Church. “And there’s a lot of meat in the city, so we don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks.”
Local pantries are always looking for donations, especially in the summer.