Clean the World’s mission has always been to help the less fortunate by providing health and hygiene to those in need in our community and across the world. On Easter Sunday, we fulfilled this mission on the local level by participating in “He Got Up,” a day of celebration and services for homeless individuals, families, and others in need.
This event at the Orlando Citrus Bowl stadium was the first of its kind. Homeless people from three Central Florida counties received free transportation to the Citrus Bowl, where the Orlando Serve Foundation took advantage of existing local resources to help people on the path to self-sustainability. They had access to food, various types of aid, and a resource fair that connected the unemployed to job readiness training and employment opportunities.
Clean the World joined forces with Orlando Serve Foundation to provide showers for every attendee. As the sun began to rise, the Clean the World team was ready and at their stations. Portable shower trailers had arrived, equipped with warm water and changing rooms. Each guest received a towel and hygiene amenities. Bathing is a something many of us take for granted. With the lack of proper shelter, the homeless often go without basic hygiene. And with fluctuating weather conditions, it can become difficult for our neighbors in need. Florida has one of the highest homeless populations in the United States. There are 30,000 homeless and “home-insecure” people in Central Florida alone.
He Got Up was an event to inspire and serve this population. As a community, we gathered in good will to share our time and services. The event offered haircuts, clothing, meals, and consultations with doctors, dentists, and optometrists. Legal services and job placement were also available. As a volunteer at the event, I saw the good it was doing. One man leaving the shower area said, “This shower made me feel human again.”
It was beautiful to see the positivity in people who face extreme adversity on a daily basis and to connect to the fact that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. As I sat in the stadium for the He Got Up service, many came with smiles; it was an extraordinary break from the mundane of daily life. The service was a message of hope and care the fulfilled the vision of organizer Tim Johnson. He is the senior pastor at Orlando World Outreach Center and a former defensive lineman in the National Football League, playing for Penn State, the Pittsburg Steelers and the Washington Redskins. Through Pastor Tim’s concept, Clean the World’s mission, and the community coming together, we were able to serve the less fortunate in a meaningful way by providing health, hygiene and confidence to all who visited.