MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Volunteers step up to help during the holidays in South Florida.
"I think we should bring our children as well because I think sometimes they don't understand what they have. They should count their blessing. It's a wonderful experience," said volunteer Peaches Pearson.
Pearson and her co-workers from Home Depot passed out gifts and a holiday lunch for the hundreds of children at His House Children's Home. It's a tradition for her office to do this, one she wouldn't miss for the world.
His House Children's Home houses over 100 children that have been placed there for any number of reasons. Some have been abused, abandoned or have been brought to the country illegally and have no where else to go.
Here they live in cozy, well-decorated cottages, go to a Christian charter school, and are cared for by missionary families. It's a lifestyle that would not be possible without volunteers like Pearson and the thousands that help out every year.
Still, keeping the non-profit home is a struggle. Their children range in age from babies to teens and clothing, feeding and caring for them costs a lot.
"If it wasn't for the community, we wouldn't be able to have what we have and provide these beautiful homes and a great education," said Sabrina Sosa with His House Children's Home. "It is because of the community. It makes us who we are."
During the holidays, volunteers come and provide food and cheer but all year long, staffers struggle to provide the basics.
"It's not about getting. It's about giving," said Kevin, who attends His House Children's Home in Miami Gardens.
"We need uniforms, essentials like underwear and toiletries, especially clothes and gift cards for the teenagers, " said Sosa.
"I would like to say thank you and give them lots of hugs," said Lela Baptiste, who lives at His House Children's Home.
The needs are similar at Chapman Partnership in Miami, which helps the homeless every day. This time of year people brings toys and food, but the most desperate needs are the things that will help them get back on their feet to leading a normal life.
"We need socks for the kids, underwear, school supplies and uniforms and baby items," said marketing director Patrica Vila.
"To me, it's very touching to spend time with these children who are really hungry for our attention," said Marisela Vega. "Personally, it's a great time for me to give back."
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