Councilwoman Judy Waldman made it a special Christmas for many Homestead families last December when once again she distributed hundreds of toys to children in need. The Homestead Soup Kitchen Toy Drive has become an annual tradition for Councilwoman Waldman who has donated and distributed toys at the Homestead Soup Kitchen Christmas event for over 15 years.
This year’s toy drive was a resounding success with many local businesses, organizations and schools coming together to help those who are less fortunate in our community. At a special presentation during the January 2013 City Council Meeting, Councilwoman Waldman recognized all those individuals and organizations who supported her during this year’s annual Homestead Soup Kitchen Christmas Toy Drive.
“If not for the support of many individuals and businesses that made this Toy Drive possible, hundreds of children would not have had a Christmas this past year,” said Councilwoman Waldman during the presentation. “I just want to thank the Homestead community for coming together and making the Toy Drive for the Homestead Soup Kitchen a success because every family and child deserves to have a Christmas.”
The mission of the Homestead Soup Kitchen is to serve those members of the community in need of a hot meal, regardless of circumstances. By having a “no questions asked” policy, the Soup Kitchen provides over 700 meals a week to individuals and families of the Greater Homestead/Florida City area and beyond and holds an annual Christmas event for families and children in need.
“I want to thank Judy for always being there to help us and support us throughout the years,” said Homestead Soup Kitchen volunteer Juanita Smith, a former Florida City commissioner and Vice-Mayor. “Once again, she bought and distributed toys for hundreds of children who would not have had any toys because their families have very little.”
Mrs. Smith explained that the Homestead Soup Kitchen works with a very limited budget, and relies mostly on donations and the services of volunteers such as herself and Councilwoman Waldman. She also thanked City of Homestead City Attorney Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske for once again donating $1,000 to purchase food, and encouraged everyone to donate food, clothing or funding to the Homestead Soup Kitchen.
During the council Meeting special presentation Councilwoman Waldman awarded recognitions to Congressman Joe Garcia, his aid and South Dade representative Kevin Chambliss, Ms. Veronica Rivera’s Keys Gate Charter High School tenth grade class, Flor Arzuaga, Maria and Francesco Lombardo from Mamma Mia Pizzeria, James Accursio and Carmen Talarico of Richard Accursio’s Capri Restaurant, Richard Solorzano of the Big Cheese, Juan Galo of Walgreens on Canal Drive, Juan Galo & Dianne Prendergast Malibu Bay HOA, Ruth Campbell Director of Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum, Jacki Pilkington of the William “Bill” F. Dickinson Community Center, Juanita Smith former Florida City Commissioner and Vice Mayor, now head volunteer of the Homestead Soup Kitchen, Greer Wallace of the Little Angels Foundation, and Rosa Brito of the Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce.
The Homestead Soup Kitchen serves meals to hundreds of people on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm. For information on how to volunteer, donate goods or funding visit www.homesteadsoupkitchen.com