Caring for Miami is an organization that displays it’s heart for people by seeking to satisfy the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others. Our work is faith-based and we follow Jesus’s example. Our attitude derives from a willing heart mirrored in the verse found in Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me!” Our actions are community centered as we work alongside local churches, community leaders, agencies, universities, and hospitals that share our vision of improving the lives of families in Dade County. Our efforts are measurable as we track our progress and share our results with those involved in aiding us better Miami in the areas of health, hunger, and immigration. Our programs, the Backpack Program, Project Smile, and Bridge, are clear avenues that allow us to serve the under-resourced and hurting in our city.
The Backpack Program aims to meet the needs of children by feeding hungry bellies with food and hungry hearts with the hope and love found in Christ. The core of this movement is the volunteers who display faithful servanthood in the great and the small. More than 300 volunteers per month rally together through packing events to prepare meals for hungry children throughout Miami-Dade County. They strategically place these meals into backpacks to avoid feelings of food insecurity for the children they serve. Then, a smaller group of about 50 volunteers travel to school sites throughout the year, for 36 weeks, to ensure that hungry children’s needs are met. The volunteers who travel to the schools not only seek to satisfy the needs of the hungry children, but also to form relationships with the office staff, security guards, and administrators. The prayer in their hearts is for God to open doors and soften hearts as they plant the seed of the Gospel in a tangible way. As time passes, volunteers watch God move and work as relationships are nurtured, conversations grow deeper, and salvation is celebrated as people give their lives to Christ.
Caring for Miami’s Project Smile Program exists to provide access to free dental services, including oral health education and treatment, to uninsured, low-income families. Our aim is to reduce the number of children and adults with untreated dental disease. The mobile unit allows us to serve people 180 days of the year across 76 zip codes in South Florida. Volunteers, like dentists, dental hygienists, and various others, are the driving force on the mobile unit. They provide about 2,000 services and serve about 900 patients annually. Through collaborative partnerships, like Baptist Health South Florida, Project Smile serves as a dental home for patients seeking treatment. Because of the Emergency Department (ED) utilization, our partnership with Baptist Health has lowered the amount of ED related visits and the likelihood of return visits. This is made possible by offering immediate and follow-up care to patients.
Our Bridge Program is in place to meet the needs of Miami’s biggest population, those who are foreign-born or have immigrated from other countries. This program provides no-cost assistance to this population, regardless of status, documentation, or national origin. The assistance provided to the community comes in various forms such as citizenship applications, English language learning classes, work permits, adjustments of status, and family petitions. Also, Bridge hosts immigration legal clinic events where consultations and assistance with immigration forms are provided. This is mostly made possible through the work of volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and BIA accredited representatives who provide their expertise at no charge.
It is through our programs and the sacrificial work of others that we are able to showcase the love of Christ to all in need. Whether the need is physical, emotional, or spiritual, you can work alongside us to serve others. You can make a real difference for those who are hungry, those who are under-resourced, uninsured, and hurting, and those who may feel lost or without place. Your service and support is the only way we can continue our work of impacting and improving the community of Miami. However you are inspired to serve, be obedient to the call. Spend yourself on behalf of the needy.