Jacksonville has a large homeless population that is in need or not only shelter, food and clothing but people that care.
For 37 years the St. Francis Soup Kitchen has taking pride in rendering help to the homeless on the first coast. Every Saturday morning, St. Francis opens their doors to individuals in need serving sandwiches and other goods including non-perishables. Aside from food, the kitchen also provides items like clothes, and shoes that have been donated from stores and patrons around town.
Across Jacksonville, dinner and necessities are taken care of but Inside Jacksonville’s Sam Herb spoke with a woman who desires to help kids without a home still find birthday joy.
Margie Cox and her team at Hero Bakers provide birthday parties which include bake goods like birthday cakes and cupcakes for less fortunate children. Cox says she wants to give back because she can relate to the situations that the children are in. She says, “These children were homeless, really homeless children. And I thought that is my calling that is what I want to do. Unfortunately, when my kids were growing up, we were in a shelter and they didn’t have anything like this so that was important.”
For a homeless child, birthdays and other holidays are just another day. The idea behind the hero bakers is to give meaning to important days in a child’s life. Each party provides excitement and entertainment for 30-60 children. From clowns to Easter bunnies each party is different in theme but share the same significance. All the bakers at Hero Bakers say they are thankful to be apart of such a self-less organization.
Baker Trudy Hehn says the gratitude of the children is the best feeling for her. “A little girl came up to me and threw her arms around me and said ‘can you hold me’ and she was covered in cupcake icing and everything and it kind of melted my heart. It was a very special moment for me.”
A Hero Baker birthday party can cost anywhere from $300 to $400 and can get into thousands for holiday parties. Each party is more than just cupcakes; it brings presents, laughter and love, which is priceless. To the bakers, putting a smile on a child’s face is just icing on the cake.
Hero Bakers are completely fueled by volunteers. If you would like to help, email Margie Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org