The Coronavirus pandemic has caused people to lose jobs, making it difficult to pay bills and provide food for their families. As part of Rebound South Florida, we’re highlighting a nonprofit organization that’s helping South Floridians recover from the hardships they’re now facing.
“Traditionally, we serve about 4,000 people every month. Right now during our COVID response, we’re serving over 10,000 people every month,” said Vanessa.
Vanessa Tinsley is the Executive Director of Bridge to Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides support for low-income and in-crisis households.
They’ve been around since 1988 and Vanessa says the number of families needing their assistance has skyrocketed.
“We’ve seen so many things, there’s so much fear, desperation, and mostly insecurity. We have a lot of hotel workers who were already displaced because we had several move in from Monroe County after hurricane Irma. Now here we are again,” said Vanessa.
With the long lines at food distributions across South Florida, Bridge to Hope created a sign up sheet on their website. It’s called “Park and Pop”.
“If you go on our website, which is BridgeToHope.net, there’s a link on the top of the page that you can click and you can register and choose an appointment. So, let’s say you choose Thursday at 11 a.m., you just roll in, park your car, open your trunk, we drop the stuff off, and you’re back on your way within 5 minutes, ” said Vanessa.
“I have not seen so many people looking for help like I’ve seen this past month,” said Joan.
Joan Muniz met Vanessa at one of Bridge to Hope’s food distributions. About a year ago, she was homeless with two kids, now she’s back on her feet and helping others.
A small act of kindness changing her life for the better and making a big impact for everyone in need.
“I come home every day and I talk to my kids because they know our situation before. How we were very homeless sleeping in the streets. My girls ask 'mom, how do you feel? Doing what they did to you, helping you.' and I say it helps me be a better person and help more people,” said Joan.
With the demand for food continuing to rise every day, Vanessa says they’re in desperate need of volunteers and if you can’t lend a hand, a donation of just a dollar counts.
It will help their mission to provide food for every single person who signs up.
“We’re bringing in anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 pounds of food every single week. So, we’re very diligent to make sure that nobody has an appointment is not going to be served,” said Vanessa.
For more information on how you can help by volunteering or if you’re in need, head to BridgeToHope.net.