What Fills Your Soul?
In 1996 I was busy with my career, had hobbies I loved and was blessed with wonderful friends and family. My life was full – or so I thought. Then I was approached by then-Mayor Xavier Suarez to lead a capital campaign to build an apartment building for formerly homeless families for Camillus House (the largest service provider for the homeless in South Florida), an organization which, at that point, I knew nothing about. The fundraising goal was $6 million and, well, I always like a good challenge. And so, began my long relationship with Camillus House. I became a board member, several years later vice chair with the understanding I would not become chair for many years. As fate would have it, less than two months later, by a set of unforeseen circumstances, I became chair. God has a way of always placing us where we are meant to be.
This experience has been enriching in so many ways. In addition to learning a great deal about people who find themselves homeless – their struggles with mental health, human trafficking, addiction, and street survival – I learned a very simple lesson: We are all the same, we just sleep in different places at night. Accepting that we are all God’s people makes my life simple and drives me to help our brothers and sisters in need.
If you are part of the 305 Hive, chances are you are blessed in many ways. You are educated, have a roof over your head, are not food insecure, and are able to provide yourself and your family a safe, comfortable and likely well-above-average lifestyle. You have worked hard, had support along the way and are goal driven. In other words, you are blessed. If you do not have a charity or charities that you connect with and feel strongly about (although I bet many of you do), take some time to think about what resonates with you – what YOU think is important. There are many worthwhile causes in our community that could use the resources you fortunately possess: time, talent and treasure. For me, that charity is Camillus House. I spend about 30 hours a week in the late summer and fall helping with the Camillus House gala (selfish plug-it is December 7th and a heck of a party if you’re interested in supporting) and again in the spring for the annual event called The Auction. It is the work God has given me to do. It fills my soul. I hope you find something that fills yours.
About Camillus House
Camillus House has provided humanitarian services to persons who are poor and homeless in Miami-Dade County, Florida since 1960. As a ministry of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, Camillus House was originally established to serve Cuban exiles. From its humble beginning as a small soup kitchen, Camillus has grown into a full-service organization offering a comprehensive “system of care” including food, clothing, emergency, transitional and permanent housing, physical and mental health care, and substance abuse treatment.