From Feb. 3-7, something amazing happened in Palmetto Bay. Volunteers joined together and created more than 2.5 million meals for starving children around the world. It happened when Christ Fellowship Palmetto Bay opened its doors to Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding starving kids in nearly 70 countries.
“We are so proud to be a part of this great cause,” said campus pastor Sammy Flores. “We hosted four six-hour shifts of people 24 hours a day all week. Each shift is producing what is called a MannaPack, a sealed plastic bag of specially-formulated food. Each shift produced enough food to feed 100 kids for a year!”
“We have four ingredients that are poured, measured, mixed and then packed in sterile conditions using our human assembly lines,” said Brooklyn Meeker, team lead of one of the shifts. “It’s quite fun and efficient.”
Each MannaPack produces five meals of nutritious food. Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) has worked to develop the food mixture so it would be easy and safe to transport, simple to make with only boiling water, and culturally acceptable worldwide.
The MannaPack consists of rice, the most widely accepted grain in the world, soy nuggets, vitamins, minerals and dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition. Since the started, FMSC has delivered more than a billion meals. This year alone, they will serve 250-million meals to kids.
With the success of the FMSC and Christ Fellowship partnership, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is looking to team up and produce MannaPacks year-round in the Miami area.
Besides feeling good, being part of community and feeding hungry kids, each student also earned community service hours for their efforts.
ANNUAL MIRACLE GAMES
The eighth annual Miracle Games drew about 200 people to Palmetto Senior High School to raise money for the Transplant Foundation. Organized annually by Pinecrest teens (founded by Jordan Rose in 2007), this three-on-three basketball tournament has grown larger and more successful each year.
This year, due to a chance recent meeting of some involved parents, the separate “3s for Z” 3-point shot competition joined forces with the Miracle Games. And, it was three Palmetto students Matt Hellinger, Jonathan Roth and Jayden Hardaway who led this year’s event, as they have for three years in a row.
With all those threes associated with the Miracle Games, it’s clear that three truly is a magic number. As background, the “3s for Z” 3-point shot competition is in honor of Alexander Standiford. Standiford was known as Zander — or Z — wore jersey No.?33 as a Palmetto High basketball player and had a great three-point shot.
Standiford was a close friend and Palmetto varsity basketball teammate of Tim Hardaway Jr., now with the New York Knicks. In 2009, when both went off to college, Standiford died suddenly, never able to see his buddy play in what ultimately became the national spotlight. Since then, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been paying tribute to his friend by writing “RIP Z33” on his left shoe.
It is with love and humanity like that that the Miracle Games filled the gymnasium and outdoor courts with tons of kids all playing their basketball hearts out. “We’re here to support Zander’s family, the Panther family and to be good sports,” said Filipe Emura, another friend of Standiford.
“It’s important to be helping people in need.”
When it all wrapped up, more than $5,000 was raised, doubling prior efforts. The 3-on-3 winning team was London Duran, Frankie Pubchara and Jorge Pubchara with runner-ups Jovan Guerrero, Hector Villagra and Gabriel Pena. The “3’s for Z” male winner was Tavian Percy and female winner was Jenna Kaplan. But truly the biggest winner was the community.
“We are blessed to have such a great place to live,” said Roth. “We’re proud to have done some good.”
COUNTY HIKES TRASH PICK-UP FEE
Besides the fees you already pay in annual property taxes for trash pick-up, new ones are on their way. If you have an extra green waste cart, you’ll be paying to use it after Sept. 30, 2015. Each additional green container you have will cost $79.50 per year. A letter will go out to homes that outline to owners their option to retain or cancel additional waste cart service. The County’s 311 Answer Center is taking customer service calls related to the program through a dedicated telephone line — 305-499-8773.
For more information, go to http://www.miamidade.gov/publicworks/waste-collection.asp.
REAL ESTATE UPDATE
The South Florida real estate market is back! If you’re curious about what your home is worth, it would be my pleasure to provide you a free, no obligation home evaluation. Only a neighborhood expert who’s seen the inside of your home can give you an accurate value. Call me and let’s see how I can help.