With all of the various nationwide and global charities working now to support victims domestically and internationally, it’s easy to forget about those local organizations that have been assisting those in need regularly.
For example, Three Virtues Organization, Incorporated. will have distributed food to over 26,000 people in Homestead by the end of this month.
And that’s just this year.
Since 2013, this group has been feeding approximately 180 families every Thursday at 9AM, via their food pantry; located next to the Homestead Housing Authority on South Dixie Highway.
Deacon Alpha Fleurimond, of Sacred Heart Church–the charity’s director–explained that most of the food, such as vegetables/produce, is supplied by the local group Farm Share: who collect items from area farms.
With other community partners like Catholic Charities, Knights of Columbus, and Miami-Dade Police Department, Three Virtues is able to keep their pantry stocked with the other necessities.
Since Hurricane Irma however, they’re looking to get more, to give more.
“There’s a lot of people out of jobs,” said Fleurimond. “Most of our people that we’re serving: the migrant worker, different people, they used to work in a nursery; or they used to work in Key Largo at a hotel, restaurant…most of those places aren’t functioning.”
Since these individuals will be unable to work until December, he said the need is even greater now.
“They need some money, they need some food, they need something,” Fleurimond said.
As such, alongside a monthly collaboration with Farm Share and Homestead Housing Authority, Three Virtues also gives food to Homestead’s South Dade Migrant Camp.
Yet with all they accomplish, they do so without any government grants.
“We just try to do fundraising, looking for sponsorships/partnerships, to see if we can get some funding,” said Fleurimond, “and also we do activities throughout the year.”
Events like this past-summer’s fundraising gala, held on July 17th at Dickinson Community Center, help to gather the necessary funds Three Virtues uses to assist within the community.
The honorees at this fundraising dinner: Chief Al Rolle, Knight of Columbus Chapter 4998, and keynote speaker Bill M. Duquette, CEO of Homestead Hospital; helped to ensure the organization’s continued success as local food, financial, or service social service provider.
One such service, provided directly to local youth, is the afterschool program at St, John’s Episcopal School, attended by 50 children currently.
With additional local church and government contributions, Three Virtues was even able to have their first summer camp this year, free for 55 children (pre-kindergarten to eighth grade), that included everything from swimming to field trips.
Just as important to the giving of money however, is the giving of time, Fleurimond said through the need of volunteers.
“We get some volunteers, but we need more volunteers” said Fleurimond.
Alongside the future goal of getting fully government-funded, he said getting more multi-language volunteers to serve, Haitian, Spanish, etc., would benefit their organization to give more services.
“You have people that need help filling out their food stamp application,” Fleurimond said, “but…when it comes to Haitian, we don’t have any Haitian organizations down here, it’s only us. We don’t only serve Haitian, we serve everybody, but because of language barrier sometimes those people don’t get service.”
Despite the possible charity fatigue, due to this year’s numerous needs, Fleurimond said we should still continue to help where we can at home.
“This is an organization that is in our backyard. Sometimes you find people give [to] some places far away, and our backyard is dirty–we need to clean our backyard first,” Fleurimond said. “Whatever you give, is going back to the community: the kids, the seniors, the unfortunate.”
If you’d like to help this local charity, a 501 C3 group, Three Virtues can be reached at 786-610-9855 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.