Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageMiami non-profit raises awareness to help ‘stomp out hunger’ Special

By Andrea Evangelista     Sep 20, 2010 in Lifestyle
Miami Beach - Miami is well-known for its fantastic beaches and party-heavy scene but less so for the struggles many of its residents face on a daily basis. But some groups are working to fight poverty and hunger issues.
In 2008, for instance, the poverty level in Miami-Dade County was at 16.5%, up from 15.3% in the previous year (U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey and Miami-Dade County). Meanwhile, unemployment rate in the metropolitan area is at 13.2% as of July this year, up from 11.4% during the same time last year (Bureau of Labor Statistics). For many individuals and families, this presents a vicious cycle they feel they can never get out of, and even thinking of where to get basic necessities can be a big feat.
This is precisely what Joshua’s Heart Foundation hopes to end. Founded in 2005 by then five-year-old Joshua Williams, the non-profit aims to ‘stomp out hunger’ through community outreach and education. With a dynamic team of volunteers, a dedicated advisory board and community and corporate partners, JHF has served over 1,000 families in the county through regular food distributions and other outreach programs.
Attendees at the first Happy Hour with Joshua’s Heart in July 2010. Published with permission.
Attendees at the first Happy Hour with Joshua’s Heart in July 2010. Published with permission.
Joshua's Heart Foundation
“It is extremely important to support JHF and its programs. Our mission is to ‘stomp out hunger,’ with a focus on children,” explained Michelle Thomas, one of the organization’s advisory board members. Happy Hour with Joshua’s Heart Foundation was instituted last July to help kick start two of JHF’s newest initiatives—the Backpack Program, which will provide children from disadvantaged families and communities a backpack filled with food they can take home over weekends; and the Reading Program, in collaboration with the Hallandale Beach Teen Center, which will work to keep youth in school and off the streets by getting them interested in books. Following the success of the first Happy Hour in July, the event returned last Thursday, with over 70 of Miami’s well-heeled philanthropists turning up at Dolce at the ICON on Alton Road, Miami Beach, to support the benefit.
Dolce, located inside the ICON Residences overlooking the scenic waters of South Pointe Park, provided a relaxed, intimate venue for the event, serving attendees with hors d’ouvres including a variety of mushroom, fish, tomato and sausage bruschettas and wine courtesy of W Wine Boutique. Highlights of the evening included a serenade from twelve-year-old musical wonder, Gibbor Greene, who also pledged to help JHF any way he can, and the arrival of Joshua Williams, accompanied by his mom and advisory board member, Claudia McLean. “I always love to meet supporters. It’s important for me to thank them. I like meeting people,” Joshua enthused.
Joshua Williams (center) and mom Claudia McLean (fifth from left) during the Governor’s Award cere...
Joshua Williams (center) and mom Claudia McLean (fifth from left) during the Governor’s Award ceremony at the County Commissioner’s Meeting in February 2010. Published with permission.
Joshua's Heart Foundation
“I am proud of him and we are thankful; we hope the accolades will help him to fulfill his dream of making sure no child goes to bed hungry,” said Claudia of her son’s achievements, including receiving the Governor’s Award last February, and, most recently, the 2010 Caring Award from the Caring Institute. “I am honored that I was chosen; hopefully this will help us get more sponsors for our programs. I also hope that I can inspire others to make a difference,” added Joshua.
Supporters can look forward to more community events this fall, including the Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest benefitting JHF and Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation on October 14; the next Happy Hour with JHF on November 4; a Thanksgiving food distribution in North Miami on November 20; and a nursing home visit sometime in December.
To donate or sign up as a volunteer, email or visit
More about Charity, Non-profit, Miami beach, Joshuas heart foundation, Joshua williams
More news from
Latest News
Top News