Erika Castroman continues her holiday homeless gifts

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 0 Comments

Erika Castroman continues her holiday homeless gifts
In 2017, Miami Lakes resident Erika Castroman was on her way to a Christmas dinner with her family when she encountered a group of homeless people in downtown Miami.
Seeking to brighten their holiday spirit, Castroman handed them 100 bags containing hygiene products including shampoo, tooth brushes and tooth paste and deodorant, and non-perishable food.
The following year, she handed out 150 bags, and this year, she’s seeking to give out 200 bags during the Christmas holiday.
“Every year the community, friends and family rally behind me for this great cause,” said Castroman, who calls her initiative “Stockings Filled with Love.”
Castroman, who will be attending St. Thomas University in the fall, is an advocate for the homeless. Some of them, she said, lost their jobs and homes due to financial issues and Castroman took on the role of playing Santa Clause during Christmas time.
“A lot of these people have lost their jobs, houses, even families and have no where else to go but the streets,” she said. “Stockings Filled with Love is a mission we will continue to bring a smile and hope to the homeless and let them know that we care for them.”
Castroman said seeing people sleeping in cardboard boxes is heartbreaking especially during the holidays.
Last year, Castroman said she handed a man a bag and he immediately opened it and cleaned his feet with one of the hygiene products. “I was happy for him,” she said.
Castroman is banking on more support to reach her goal of handing out at least 200 bags.
“I want to thank everyone who donated to this cause,” she said. “The community was great and I could not have done it without their generosity. This year, I am aiming to give out 220 bags,” she said. With all of their help and backing I’m certain we can do it and make a difference this Christmas.”
Castroman’s father, Alex, said it’s so rewarding to see people from every walk of life reaching out to his daughter.
“We thank them for all of their support,” he said. “It means so much to Erika.”
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