As National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps members serving in the community of Jacksonville we know there is an issue, and that issue is Homelessness. On January 24, 2018,Changing Homelessness conducted their annual mandated count of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless people. On that night there was a total of 1,794 on the streets or in emergency shelters.
A couple weeks before Christmas I was volunteering at Clara White Mission
during their Daily Breakfast. As you can imagine the room fills up pretty fast. At one point an elderly man using a walker sat down next to where I was stationed and immediately began to try to warm up his bare hands.He looked up at me and asked if I had any gloves to give him- we didn’t. Seeing how we are in Florida, winter hats and gloves may not be on everybody’s wishlist, but there are many nights/mornings each winter that get to be below freezing.
Imagine this man not having gloves on some of the coldest nights but still having to use his hands to be able to walk with his walker.
This automatically sparked the idea of how I wanted to spend my Christmas in Jacksonville.
December 23, 2018
National Health Corps Florida Americorps member, Laura, and I tied ribbons on 84 pairs of winter gloves and 25 winter hats.
December 24, 2018 - Christmas Eve
National Health Corps Florida Americorps member, Laura, Nathan
and I spent all day baking 362 chocolate cookies and 3 bags worth of chocolate pretzels (pictured above). We also volunteered at Salvation Army for their Meal Ministry.
December 25, 2018 - Christmas Day
With the help from our Program Director; Laura, Nathan and I went to Downtown Jacksonville to distribute our holiday treats. Afterwards we also delivered tins of cookies to 5 surrounding fire stations.
This blog post was written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Lauren Kroeger.
Lauren serves at Baptist Health- Social Responsibility Department as a Health Educator.