For day 2 of my #30DaysOfCaring posts, I wanted to highlight HomelessHungry.org, a non-profit organization. If you live in Central Florida, you may have heard about Tom Rebman, a local middle school teacher who voluntarily went homeless for 30 days. He wanted his students to understand the difficulties of living without shelter and food (and wanted to keep them reading and writing during the summer months).
Well guess what, Tom has hit the streets again to bring public awareness! He is currently homeless in Daytona Beach (and plans to be homeless in other Florida cities as well)! You can follow his journey and send him words of encouragement on Homeless and Hungry’s facebook page and Twitter.
Right now, Florida is experiencing very cold temperatures! Shelters do not have enough beds for the amount of people living on the streets (and they cost money). This is a real problem and Tom is bringing awareness and trying to make changes! How can you help? Show you care. You can donate and make a difference in the form of supplies and/or PayPal funds.
All funds collected are distributed to the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, and the Ministry of Hope Food Pantry.
While this post focuses on Central Florida, homelessness is everywhere. I encourage you to get involved in your local community. Hopefully, Tom’s experience will inspire you to be more compassionate and rethink homelessness.
Below is Tom’s biography from the charity page.
My journey began with nothing but my ID and the clothes on my back. I didn’t know what would happen, where I would eat, or sleep. I was homeless for 30 days, and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I used only legal government services (Shelters, Food Pantries, etc.) to live. I donated plasma to earn money for bus fare. I took candid video to show how homeless people are viewed and treated. I came to know many members of our homeless community, and lived as a part of their culture.
I created a Facebook page to interact with my students called “Homeless and Hungry”. Every day I posted a video and a blog describing the days’ events. I wanted to help my students analyze the problems the homeless face and come up with solutions to these problems. With the support of the community and followers online, I was able to raise $4,000. Those funds will be divided up between the Orange County Public Schools, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Coalition for the Homeless.
What’s next? I have decided to continue this journey and mission to bring awareness and advocacy for the homeless in “The City Beautiful”. I have launched a program called “Homeless and Hungry”, a 24-hour immersive workshop into the life of the homeless. Please join me for a personalized tour of Orlando from the perspective of the homeless. You will learn first-hand by experiencing the challenges and hardships that our homeless citizens endure every day.”