DAVIE, Fla., Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- South Florida residents are uniting to feed the more than 4,000 homeless people in Miami, Florida. Anonymous Hands, a grassroots organization founded by Roxy Wales-Walden, serves the Miami homeless community by organizing food distributions downtown and crowdsourcing volunteers on social media.
"People want to make a difference in the community, but many times they just don't know how to help. Anonymous Hands provides people an opportunity to get involved," said Wales-Walden.
Wales-Walden grew up in Atlanta, where she and her sister would regularly volunteer to feed the homeless together. "My family was very fortunate. Knowing that I had so much to be grateful for gave me a desire to help the homeless."
As a birthday gift to her sister, Wales-Walden recruited one of her colleagues and the two of them fed the homeless in Miami. "I called up my sister and asked what she wanted for her birthday, and she said she wanted me to carry on the tradition in Miami. So a colleague and I went out and fed about 50 homeless people," said Wales-Walden.
That was in 2012. Now, Wales-Walden's initiative has gained a great deal of support, growing into what is now known as Anonymous Hands. Using the power of social media, Instagram in particular, the organization operates pop-up food stands in downtown Miami once a month, sometimes more.
"We call it Anonymous Hands because each time we have an event, a completely new mix of people volunteer," Wales-Walden continued. "Most of the volunteers are people I've never met before, but we all come together for a common cause: to help the less fortunate."
On Thanksgiving weekend, Bankers Healthcare Group Funding Coordinator Tiffany Aviles recruited 14 BHG employees and their families to volunteer through Anonymous Hands.
"I was homeless after my parents passed away, so I have a heart for helping people in that situation," said Aviles, a friend of Wales-Walden. "As someone who understands the difficulties of being homeless, it meant so much to me that my colleagues at BHG and their families joined in to serve those in need."
A homeless census conducted January 22, 2015 by the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust identified a total of 4,152 sheltered and unsheltered homeless in Miami-Dade County, remaining steady with the 4,156 identified in their January 2014 census.
Under Aviles leadership, BHG employees also raised $400 and collected two carloads of clothing to distribute to the homeless.
"My BHG teammates never cease to amaze me with their heart for those in need," said BHG president Bob Castro. "Our corporate charitable efforts are often spearheaded by individuals who are passionate about the cause and take initiative to get others involved. This was the case with Food for the Poor, the Salvation Army Angel Tree and now Anonymous Hands."
Anonymous Hands is always welcoming new volunteers. The team distributes food during the last weekend of every month. Follow @anonymous_hands_miami on Instagram to learn more.
About Bankers Healthcare Group
Since 2001, Bankers Healthcare Group has been committed to providing hassle-free financial solutions to healthcare professionals, including personal and commercial loans, credit cards and insurance services. BHG has provided more than $2 billion in funding to thousands of satisfied customers nationwide. Inc. has recognized the company ten times for growth and job creation. For additional information, please visit www.bhg-inc.com.
Contact: Pat Harrigan (315) 671-4129
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SOURCE Bankers Healthcare Group