The early Saturday September morning was rainy and windy, but student organizer Mary Logan Woolsey, 16, and all her volunteers managed to give away enough food and personal care items for 350 families in spite of the weather.
They arrived at 7 a.m. at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Coconut Grove to set up the Farm Share food bank produce, chicken, milk, bread, cheese and canned goods for distribution. They also needed to unpack body wash, liquid hand soap and toilet paper donated by Joshua’s Heart Foundation and the Woolsey family.
“One thing we could not have foreseen, was the fact that a tropical storm blew through in the middle of the distribution,” Mary Logan said. “We found out only one day in advance, so we had very little time to prepare.”
She said the downpours and large gusts of wind made it difficult to keep the tents “upright and functioning.”
“The most surprising and amazing aspect of it all was how positive everyone remained, even while they were being totally soaked by the rain. All the volunteers kept working without questions or complaints, and just carried on as if nothing had changed.”
Mary Logan, a junior at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, is a junior advisory board member with the student-run Joshua’s Heart Foundation. The group to help others in need was founded by Ransom Everglades graduate Joshua Williams when he was 5 years old.
This was the second Farm Share Distribution led by Mary Logan. Her classmates showed up to volunteer at the drive-through event as well as some other, better-known, helpers. All wore masks and kept to social distancing protocols, difficult for an event of this kind.
“I was so impressed by the overall positivity and dedication from our volunteers,” she said.
“It was so humbling to see everyone there, from State Representative Nicholas Duran, to commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Ken Russell and his daughters, SEIU Local 1991 President Martha Baker along with nurses and doctors from Jackson Memorial Hospital, President of Related Urban Development Group Albert Milo Jr. and his children, to Ransom Everglades Upper School students, parents, Joshua’s Heart volunteers, and members of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church all participating with such enthusiasm.
“I thought it would be difficult to create our normal sense of unity and togetherness at a distribution without being able to actually be together, but this group of people made my worries completely disappear.”
Surgical masks were donated by Russell, Levine Cava, SEIU Local 1991-Jackson nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals, and State Representative Nicholas Duran, who represents the area around Jackson Memorial.
Through “many setbacks, obstacles, and surprises,” Mary Logan said, the event “ultimately proved to be a true testament of the power of unity.”
Peace Love World founder helps community
Alina Villasante, founder and designer of Peace Love World based in Doral, has made sure her company is behind efforts to keep the community inspired and assisted.
Peace Love World has donated over 9,000 clothing items valued at $350,000 to the children of Jackson Health Foundation, PATCHES Medical Daycare, Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Chapman Partnership, Lotus House, Camillus House and Baptist Health.
Villasante, a Miami Beach resident who was born in Cuba and raised in New York, is also an ambassador for the Baptist Health “Wear A Mask Challenge.”
“Peace Love World is my destiny and through life’s many hurdles, I stick through my mission and purpose. The epitome of always keeping the light on even in the dark,” Villasante said.
“The pandemic has been extremely hard for everyone professionally and personally. One thing that continues to be a main factor in my life is that community is everything. First, being a part of the Baptist Mask Campaign has allowed me to bring awareness to such an important aspect in our ‘new normal’ and show my neighbors who I wear my mask for. It’s so important to support each other during this time.
“Second, being able to give back to the children in our local hospitals has been incredibly impactful on my life.”
Learn more about the Wear One, Share One Baptist Health Campaign with the mission that “Sharing is caring” at https://baptisthealth-coronavirus.com/community-support/wear-a-mask-challenge
Tree project honors Sallye Jude
Sallye Garrigan Jude, longtime member of the Coral Gables Garden Club and advocate for environmental issues, is being honored in the new community outreach initiative to increase the urban canopy of trees. Jude joined the Garden Club in 1983.
Club members are collecting donations to plant shade or flowering trees at each of the five Miami-Dade County public schools that are within the Coral Gables boundaries.
Jude was honored during the Sept. 22 Coral Gables City Commission virtual meeting with the Project Canopy Proclamation that states “a Garden Club committee has organized Project Canopy, coordinating with school Principals and PTSA Presidents, and agreed unanimously to fund the plantings of (3) 14 ft. shade trees for five public schools. The Garden Club’s commitment is a total of $11,000. This project is dedicated to Sallye Garrigan Jude, a longtime Member of the Coral Gables Garden Club, and advocate for Environmental issues for many years.”
Jude, the Garden Club states, “has spent a lifetime as an active member and leader in a multitude of organizations promoting the love of gardening, the beautification of our City and the care of our planet. Her lifelong love of trees is well known throughout the South Florida and Coral Gables communities.”
Those who would like to give a tax-deductible donation to Project Canopy in her honor can go to https://www.coralgablesgardenclub.org/project-canopy/
Bike challenge helps Legal Aid
“Speeding Lawfully” will take the place of Dade Legal Aid’s annual Patently Impossible Project this year. The virtual bike challenge will be at 10 a.m., Oct. 25 and is expected to draw several hundred supporters to raise funds for Dade Legal Aid clients impacted by Covid-19.
“Speeding Lawfully is a socially distant bike challenge for anyone from every fitness level,” said Jaime Rich Vining.
“All proceeds from the event will help Dade Legal Aid and its Pro Bono Project, Put Something Back, to continue providing equal access to justice to low-income residents of Miami-Dade County in need of civil legal assistance including those that are adversely impacted by the pandemic.”
Vining has been Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee for more than a decade. Tickets can be purchased online at www.dadelegalaid.org Suggested donation is $75. Write to [email protected] for sponsorship information.
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