Award-winning artists Gloria and Emilio Estefan hosted their ninth annual Thanksgiving Feed a Friend event in South Florida, while former Miami Heat champion Alonzo Mourning helped feed families in Miami.

Feed a Friend served Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, Thursday, along with families from Big Brother, Big Sister, Boys & Girls Club and many other foundations. The Estefans hosted the event at Bongos Cuban Café at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, located at 5733 Seminole Way.

Emilio Estefan said the event is for the community. “This is not about politics, it’s not about religion it’s about bringing people together and that’s what I love,” he said.

Gloria Estefan added giving back is special to her. “For us, it’s a wonderful opportunity to share all the many blessings that we’ve received and to celebrate that,” said Gloria.

Daughter Emily Estefan explained why the event is so near to her family’s heart. “I think this is the most important event,” she said. “Every day for me is Thanksgiving, especially in a family like mine. Not only are they great people, but we’re very blessed today to be able to give back.”

This has been a tradition of sorts for the Estefans, added Emily. “My parents have always been grounded and shown that they came from nothing themselves,” she said.

In Overtown, Mourning gave back to families and helped feed those in the Little Haiti community. Mourning’s 16th annual “33 Thanksgiving” event fed over 400 families. “I don’t have to cook for change,” said Emma Randle, one resident receiving a turkey.

“I’m so grateful and thankful,” said Latricia Washington. “This is a blessed Thanksgiving for us.”

Mourning also surprised 10 families by personally delivering a fully cooked turkey to their houses. “I’m extremely excited to be celebrating our 16th annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway with the Mourning Family Foundation,” said Mourning. “Sometimes we get caught up in our own busy, daily lives and not realize that a quarter of our population in South Florida lives under the poverty level.”

For more Florida stories go to wsvn.com.

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