Community Voices

End Summer Hunger Sort-A-Thon to help feed hungry children

Dedicated volunteers helped sort food at the 2015 End Summer Hunger Sort-A-Thon, Feeding South Florida’s support program for schoolchildren.
Dedicated volunteers helped sort food at the 2015 End Summer Hunger Sort-A-Thon, Feeding South Florida’s support program for schoolchildren. Feeding South Florida

Feeding South Florida counts 280,630 children in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties who need food assistance. Many rely on breakfast and lunch through the National School Lunch Program. But during summer break, they are at risk of going hungry.

Volunteers can join in the second annual “End Summer Hunger Sort-A-Thon” to help make sure these children have access to food. The event will be June 18 and you can sign up now, for 2½-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., to help sort donations.

“The End Summer Hunger Sort-a-Thon helps fill a critical need in our community during the summer by ensuring that children who rely on breakfast and lunch through the National School Lunch Program throughout the school year, will have that same access to food during the summer months when school is not in session,” Feeding South Florida President and CEO Paco Vélez said in email. “Feeding South Florida is the largest and most efficient food bank in the area. For every $1 donated, we can provide six meals.”

The event will be at the Feeding South Florida Main Warehouse at 2501 SW 32 Terr., Pembroke Park. To register, visit or call 954-518-1818.

There is no fee and this is a popular volunteering event so it is best to register early. Individuals and groups are welcome. Note that no children under the age of 12 can participate, and an adult must accompany teens under 16.


Need something really special for your garden?

Then you will not want to miss the Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society’s annual show and sale 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 21-22 in the Garden House at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. The show is free with garden admission

This is one of the most beautiful shows with a display of rare and unusual plants grown by the society’s members, and vendors who come from around the world. You can select from ferns, cycads, hoyas, crotons, flowering trees, orchids, bromeliads and aroids.

To discover more about this dedicated group and learn how you can get involved, visit


The volunteers of the Southern Cross Astros will host a special event to see fiery Mars rise in the southeast opposite the setting sun starting at 7 p.m. May 22 at the Deering Estate at Cutler. Earth will be closer to Mars on this date than it has been in a decade.

The Astros will arrange hi-tech telescopes on the waterfront. Mars will be at its brightest for a few weeks and you can see the white polar caps and dark canyons through the SCAS equipment. Bring a picnic, blankets, binoculars, chairs, and bug repellent. Admission is $5.

This is a weather-permitting event. In case of rain, the group has scheduled May 29 for another try when Mars will make its “close approach” to Earth.

To get more information, leave a message at 305-661-1375. You also can visit


Since 1991, Amigos For Kids has raised awareness about South Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected and less-fortunate children and their families.

The nonprofit group hosted the 2016 “There’s NO Excuse for Child Abuse!” Blue Ribbon Awareness Walk and Candlelight Vigil at Jose Martí Park in Little Havana during April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month. More than 600 children, family members, elected officials and residents gathered for the event.

“The Blue Ribbon Awareness Walk and Candlelight Vigil is a very special event due to its symbolism,” said Rosa Maria Plasencia, president and CEO of Amigos For Kids in a release.

“Four children lose their lives daily to this horrible tragedy, and every candle lit represents a visual demonstration of a life or innocence extinguished as a result of abuse. We are encouraged by the community participation, given this is the first time we actively promoted the walk to the public,” she said. “The success of this event is imperative to educating our community about the importance of a safe and healthy violence-free family environment.”

Baptist Health Brickell Run Club Founder Frankie Ruiz said his runners joined in the cause that focuses on education, abuse prevention, and community involvement.

“Close to 400 of our runners joined this great organization to share the powerful message that There’s NO Excuse for Child Abuse!” Ruiz said. “We look forward to continue collaborating with Amigos For Kids and bringing about awareness of the importance of a less violent future for the children in our community.”

Miami Dade College joined the group in solidarity by illuminating the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower in blue throughout April 18-19.

Amigos For Kids relies on the help of dedicated volunteers and donors throughout our community and the organization creates awareness through public service campaigns and fundraising. To learn more, visit

The group is hosting its very popular Miami Celebrity Domino Night on June 18. The website has information about sponsorships and tickets.


Make a plan to see the second production of Flying Solo II-UK triple-bill, bio-dramas presented by What if Works at 8 p.m., May 20 at Seminole Theatre, 18 N. Krome Ave., Homestead.

The plays, directed by Phillip M. Church, are Manicomio, written and performed by Allyn Moriyon, about the Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello; Geli and Uncle Alf, written and performed by Pia Vicioso-Vila, about the life of Hitler’s first niece and love Geli Raubal; and Warmth of the Sun, written and performed by Erik Rodriguez, about The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.

A general admission ticket for all three plays is $10. Call the Box Office at 786-650-2073, and to learn more visit

As part of its mission, WIW is partnering with the Miami Bridge shelter in Homestead, and the United Kingdom’s Antsee Bridge and Sherborne ArtsLink to offer a series of free, acting workshops for low-income “at risk” youth.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at