PARKLAND, FL- February 14 has become a day of service and love in Parkland in an effort to honor the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two years ago. Community members from Parkland and Coral Springs and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, North Broward Prep and Westglades Middle School spent the evening prepping and serving a meal to the homeless in Fort Lauderdale.
Two hundred homeless people were served a home cooked meal, salad, fruit and a dessert. Guest were able to eat as much as they possibly could, then proceed to select gently used clothing that had been donated and leave with pre-made sandwiches as well.
"February 14, Valentine's Day is a day normally associated with love and happiness. For the Parkland community it will forever be changed as it reminds us of the tragedy that took place that day. So having the opportunity to volunteer and give back, bring joy to others means so much and helps us to heal,” said lead volunteer, Adria Minevich.
Charlie Khalil, Alexa Teo and the Kids Care Club handed out Boxes of Love to the homeless during the meal. The Boxes of Love were filled with practical and fun items to remind people they are loved and not forgotten. Close to 500 Boxes of Love were made by Parkland and Coral Springs residents and distributed to homeless people and families.
"The Boxes of Love made our guests feel special and that their lives truly do matter. Many were moved to tears knowing that youth took the time to do something of this magnitude for them," added Pery Canan, Director of Shared Meals and Mobile Showers of HOPE South Florida.
Left over food and Boxes of Love will be distributed this weekend to additional homeless population in Pompano Beach.
"Last night meant so much to us. I'm so proud to be part of such a wonderful community that allows us so many opportunities to serve others, and to feel that love and support is such a blessing," shared lead volunteer Kim Goldstein.