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Why this family-run nonprofit that's feeding the hungry deserves to stay open.

'We do this to say, "Come be happy. Let us take care of you."'

Why this family-run nonprofit that's feeding the hungry deserves to stay open.
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State Farm

Hosea Williams once had an interaction with a homeless man that changed his life — and his family — forever.

That day, he came across a man eating out of a garbage can, so he decided to buy him a sandwich. The man was so hungry he ate right through the wax paper to get to the food.

Williams was so struck by the experience that he immediately decided to do something to help on a larger scale. And as a national field officer for Martin Luther King Jr., he was no stranger to rallying humanitarian efforts. That Sunday, he and his family fed 100 homeless and hungry people.


Hosea Williams. All photos via State Farm.

And that was just the beginning of their work.

They soon started a nonprofit called Hosea Helps to keep their mission going to help the homeless and hungry. Now, over 40 years later, his daughter, Elisabeth Omilami, is at its helm.

Thanks to tireless efforts and thousands of volunteers, they've fed over 500,000 people since 1971.

Hosea Helps volunteers.

"We were there for Katrina. We were there for Flint, Michigan. We were there for Haiti and the Philippines, Uganda. We were there," Elisabeth says.

However, aside from helping during large-scale humanitarian crises, the organization shines on national holidays.

One of their biggest events happens on Thanksgiving. They serve Thanksgiving dinner to thousands of people at one time, and they can enjoy it while listening to live music.

They also give access to hot showers, clothing, toiletries, medical examinations, legal advice, job placement, chiropractor services, housing consultation, and counseling free of charge to those who need it.

"We do this to say, 'Come be happy. Let us take care of you,'" Elisabeth says.

Considering all they do, it's heartbreaking to learn Hosea Helps itself lost its home recently.

Hosea Helps volunteer closing down their original space.

They were given 30 days to vacate the space they'd been occupying for over 26 years. It was the same building where Elisabeth's father Hosea's offices once were.

Because of this major setback, the Omilamis weren't sure the organization was going to make it through the year.

However, thankfully, there's a new generation stepping up to the plate to make a difference.

Elisabeth's son, Awodele, is going to be taking over Hosea Helps and already has big plans for the nonprofit. He's been helping the homeless since he was a boy and will pick up the torch by spearheading renovations in their new building.

"We sold everything — we had just to get that building — but it was worth it to secure the future of our organization," Elisabeth says.

Jeremy Austin, one of Hosea Helps' volunteers.

They have high hopes for the new space, but they also have some incredible volunteers — many of whom used to be homeless themselves.

"When I got help, it was more than just food," says Jeremy Austin, one of Hosea Helps' volunteers who used to be homeless. "They actually helped me find a job. They pretty much changed my life."

Hosea Helps has 18 different programs designed to help solve the problems facing families and individuals who are living in poverty and may be facing homelessness.

Some of these programs are research-based while others are putting plans into action designed to ease the burden of poverty, but all programs are aimed at turning around the homelessness epidemic.

A child and grandmother at a Hosea Helps event.

"We’re all one big family," says Sean Peek, another volunteer. "We have to help each other out."

There's still a lot that needs to be done for Hosea Helps to get back on track, but the Omilamis aren't worried. They'll always find a way.

"Even if the future holds us having to make bologna sandwiches and take them under the bridge, then that’s what we’ll do," says Afemo.

Despite all that organizations like Hosea Helps do, homelessness remains an enormous problem in America. If you want to lend a hand, there are so many ways for you to get involved. Check out Hosea Helps' website for more details.

Learn more about their work here:

Help for the Holidays: Hosea Helps

They're going to feed thousands of homeless people this holiday season despite the fact that the organization was recently without a home itself.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

@SubwayCreatures / Twitter

A man who uses a wheelchair fell onto the tracks in a New York City subway station on Wednesday afternoon. A CBS New York writer was at the scene of the incident and says that people rushed to save the man after they heard him "whimpering."

It's unclear why the man fell onto the tracks.

A brave rescuer risked his life by jumping on the tracks to get the man to safety knowing that the train would come barreling in at any second. The footage is even more dramatic because you can hear the station's PA system announce that the train is on its way.

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