Walton County Non-Profits Work Through MLK Holiday

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

I started off today looking for volunteers doing community service for Martin Luther King Day, but what I found were non-profit Organizations still serving their community while everyone else had taken the day off.

For the Waterfront Rescue Mission and many other organizations, helping those in need is said to be a twenty-five hour, eight day a week job.

"Basically the homeless situation does not take a holiday so we have to be open for that purpose. If people need our services then we're going to provide them to them," said Executive Director of Waterfront Rescue Mission Brian Ekedahl.

It's the same story at the Harvest House.

"We're a food pantry and so hunger doesn't stop just because we have a holiday. So our food pantry was open today and we served a lot of folks," said Executive Director of Harvest House Lori Joyner.

And for those out of work, every day presents an opportunity to find a job.

"Our purpose of existing to help folks who have barriers to employment to find employment so they can provide for themselves and their families," said Goodwill Manager Buddy Vincent.

For the people that work at these agencies, taking a day off could have drastic consequences for someone less fortunate.

"The community itself supports us a great deal, we live in a wonderful community Fort Walton Beach and they do provide us with a great deal of what we need to give to the residents and the guests who come to us," said Ekedahl.

"The biggest benefit the folks who are hungry we know that they are going to be eating tonight so the families the kids will be eating tonight," said Joyner.

The roster of volunteers at the Waterfront Rescue Mission and the Harvest House put-in more than a hundred hours of service a month each.


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