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South Florida’s Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA) spreads holiday cheer among the Homeless in Miami

MIAMI – Members of South Florida based Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA) took time out last Tuesday (Dec. 29) to spread some warmth and cheer among the vast homeless communities of Miami Dade.

On a cold day with abnormally low temperatures in the lower 50’s, which is non-traditional weather in the Sunshine state for the past 2 weeks hot lunches were served to the many homeless men and women in a parking lot at the corner of 8th street and 2nd Avenue in downtown Miami by JURA President Dr Vonnie McGowan and her daughter Jody Black, Vice President Mrs. Liz Burns, Past President Joan Gonzalez and her husband Orlando, PR Director Junior Henry, members Mrs. Shelia Depass , and Ms Eunnes Beswick.

JURA Team Members

Much needed blankets and warm clothing were also distributed among the large crowd that hurriedly congregated at the news and the sight of the vehicles of JURA members.

The menu of Curried chicken, baked chicken rice n peas with vegetable salad, boiled corn prepared by the members, served with a drink and other snack items, were gratefully received and were much appreciated by the many recipients.

JURA Team Members handing out hot lunches.

JURA members additionally spent a few more hours offering help, counseling and encouraging the many seemingly hopeless and destitute men and women, some from as far away as Indonesia, Africa and Ceylon, there were many homeless men some admitting to having been living in the same manner in Chicago and Washington State for many years, but were given help to travel to Florida where it is much warmer, as they try to escape the brutal and life threatening winter on the streets in other cities.

JURA Team Members handing out blankets.

Some members of JURA have been providing for the Down Town homeless, in the past years, and frequent trips are made to the area and food and clothing are regularly distributed.

JURA, a 26 year old organization in Florida has been visible in the Caribbean circles providing assistance in times of need, disaster relief , providing assistance to persons with HIV/AIDS and other conditions.

Persons in need of housing, and in medical emergencies, helping bereaved families and assisting immigrants with various matters and other immediate needs.

The shipping of medical equipment, educational supplies and building material to various Caribbean Islands is still being undertaken by this group as is needed, as the immediate past President of JURA, Mr. Hugh Osborne of Caribbean Ocean Logistics provides shipping services to the Organization.

JURA’s President Dr.Vonnie McGowan have launched a collection tin drive Initiative tagged: “Your small change can make a big change for the youth and athletic Programs of Jamaica”, this has been an ongoing initiative benefiting the JAAA and its program since 2007.

Efforts from this program will help to fund the athletic programs leading up to the Olympics in 2012, The World championships in Korea in 2011 among other youth programs.

Collection cans are placed in various churches, schools and business locations in Dade Broward and Palm Beach counties. Please visit JURA’s website to donate or to become a volunteer member:

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