One of the country’s truly unsung heroes is the Youth For Christ organization. Founded in 1946 in Chicago, the Miami Youth For Christ chapter was organized in 1948 after evangelist Billy Graham came to town and led a rally. Graham was the organization’s first employee.
Now, 68 years later, Miami Youth for Christ is still saving the lives of at-risk young people.
On Nov. 12, the South Florida community can help the organization in its effort to save our children by participating in the eighth annual Wild Run and Walk at Zoo Miami. The event was established to help raise funds for the more than 7,000 at-risk youths in Miami-Dade County.
Miami Youth For Christ ministers to the thousands of youngsters who are at risk through its five programs:
▪ Catalyst, a program that embraces the hip-hop community, “where urban teens and young adults congregate to express themselves through graffiti art, break-dancing, DJ-ing(cq) and rapping,” said Bonnie Rodriguez, executive director of Miami Youth for Christ. “It’s a truly powerful program, where young lives absent of hope, find truth and meaning for themselves through the transformative power of the gospel message that is Jesus Christ.”
▪ Campus life, where youngsters meet afternoons in five schools throughout Miami Dade
▪ The KIX program for elementary school children
▪ The Juvenile Justice Program
▪ The Miami Youth Leadership Initiative (MYLI), in which youth pastors are trained to work with at-risk children.
“While being involved in MYFC teaches our youth moral standards, the main thing that transforms their lives is the message of Jesus,” said Phyllis Webber, director of fundraising and public relations for the organization.
The run/walk on Nov. 12, will help fund all the organization’s programs, Webber said.
Registration for the Miami Wild Run and Walk event starts at 7 a.m. and the run/walk begins 8 a.m. Webber said the day will include a scavenger hunt with prizes; tasty breakfast items, a bounce house and face-painting for the little ones, a rock climbing wall, and a variety of games and crafts and fresh-brewed coffee to help stave off sleepiness in the early morning hours before the animals are awake.
Admission is $35 for adults; $16 for children ages 3-12, and free for ages 2 and under. Also, same day entrance to Zoo Miami is included in your registration fee.
Veteran’s Day Wynwood event
Seems there is no way to say “thank you” enough to the men and women who, since our country’s birth, have given their all to keep us free. Some veterans, especially those who were black or of other ethnic groups, suffered abroad and came home to face even more suffering and discrimination. Not to mention the veterans of the Vietnam War — the way they were treated was, as my mom would say, “a sin and a shame”. One would think they started the war. But their only sin was that they were called to serve.
Over the years, most Americans have come to realize that we have not given all our veterans their just due. And some groups and organizations have tried to make amends by sponsoring different events to honor our heroes.
Such will be the case on Nov. 11, when VetFest 2016 will honor South Florida’s veterans at an event to begin at 5 p.m. at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St.
“Veterans risk their lives to protect this country and it is only fitting that we put together an event of the finest caliber to bring the community [together] to honor them,” said Johann Torres, CEO of DNA Entertainment, producer of the event.
Torres has put together an impressive line up for the VetFest event, which will have Bright Light Social Hour of Austin, Texas, as the headliner. Other performers include musicians Otto Von Schirach; Juke; Sunghosts; Chantil Dukart; DJ Heron and DJ Sharpsound. The program will also include food, drinks, art and fashions.
Veterans will be admitted free. Non-vets can RSVP at www.vetfest2016.eventbrite.com for a free ticket. Or, you may pay $10 at the door. Proceeds will be donated to local veterans’ charities.
Church service honors veterans
You are invited to St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church to its Eucharistic Ceremony honoring our veterans. The service will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the church, 9200 SW 107th Ave.
Confirm your attendance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Soup kitchen needs help, too
Over the years the all-volunteer Homestead Soup Kitchen has fed thousands of people, who without it wouldn’t know where their next meal would come from. It currently serves hot meals to 85 to 175 men, women and families on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Now, the feeding place needs your help. According to my source, food is not the problem. The Soup Kitchen partners with Farm Share, the Homestead Food Pantry and generous private donors, who provide ample food except for meat.
While Grace Covenant Ministry and Silver Palm United Methodist Church contribute monthly to the Soup Kitchen, and the Rotary Club of Homestead is a major contributor in times of need such as now, funds are needed for expenses such as electricity, propane, dinnerware, cleaning supplies, trash removal and insurance.
An approved grant to be funded in January or February 2017, will take care of next year’s expenses, but until then, the Soup Kitchen struggles to pay its bills and keep the doors open.
Your help is needed. Donations can be sent to Homestead Soup Kitchen, PO Box 1180, Homestead, FL 33090-1180.
Holocaust film and discussion
The Screening of the Holocaust film series will continue with a one-night-only presentation of the award-winning feature, “Fighter,” to be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov,. 7, at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
Prior to the screening, an introduction will be given by Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, director of the Holocaust Teacher Institute at the University of Miami. Following the film, David Reese, language arts teacher and Holocaust educator at Miami Beach High School will moderate a discussion.
The event is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Church to have arts and crafts show
Palm Springs United Methodist Church at 5700 W. 12th Ave. in Hialeah, will have its annual arts and crafts show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 11, and from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 12.
You will find a wide variety of collectibles, craft items, Christmas decorations, gift items, silver dishes, paintings, crystal ware, linens and new electrical appliances.
On Nov. 12, the day will also include a spaghetti dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.. It’s all-you-can-eat spaghetti and will include a salad bar, garlic bread, drinks and a dessert bar. The cost is $9 per person for adults and $4 per person for children. Call 305-821-3232 or 305-821-2073 for more information.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email email@example.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.