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Port Charlotte community 'Celebrating Humanity' by coming together to help those in need

Posted at 6:17 AM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 06:17:33-04

CHARLOTTE CO., Fla. — People from all walks of life gathered at Bayshore Park on Sunday all for a common cause.

It’s called Celebrating Humanity and it's helping provide resources to the homeless.

"Today is really not just about the unsheltered or the sheltered, but it’s about all of us together," says Amanda Ricker, Founder and President of Celebrating Humanity event. “I saw a homeless man down at the pier and I wondered when he was invited to the party. So we decided to throw an event and call it celebrating humanity.”

Over the course of the last five years, Celebrating Humanity has grown to become what we see today. Resources of all kinds, like haircuts, are provided free of charge.

"It was something to look forward to every year. Knowing that there’s some activities to do and they’re available," says Andrea Weinberger, who is formerly homeless.

Weinberger has been going to Celebrating Humanity every year since it started. She understands its meaning because she was once homeless.

“It’s been off and on," she says. "Off and on. I had a place then I was back in the woods and now I’ve got another place. Currently in this place for about a year and a half.”

And it’s days like today that can help turn things around.

“I’ve got this happy CD from one of the vendors," said Weinberger. "I think it’s this one over here. We were singing. They have this happy song. We were singing, yeah.”

But they’re not the only ones who were singing. Members of the Charlotte High School choir put on their own performance. Helping get that message across- that even when things may seem their worse, there’s still a little light that shines thru…

"A lot of times, there’s a lot of resources in the community but people don’t necessarily know where or feel comfortable receiving that," said Ricker. "So the more we get to know each other and talk and feel like we’re in it together, the more people might be able to receive some of the help that is around for them.”