Tebow, 33, in mid-October visited the St. Vincent de Paul resource center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing food, clothes, and housing. The Christian benefactor told staffers that he wanted to support their service users, both resident and homeless, and he made time to stop and chat with many attendees.
“If you ask me, or many of our guests, Tim has gone from professional athlete to superhero in just a few years,” Steve Zabilski, St. Vincent de Paul’s CEO, told ABC 15 Arizona. “His actions off the field are as impressive as any last-minute touchdown pass, or game-winning home run. I think we all can agree on that.”
Upon leaving the center, Tebow noticed that there were more people in attendance than he had pairs of new shoes. Not only did he make a list of the people in need and send extras to the center, but he also removed the shoes from his own feet and gave them away.
Back in March, Zabilski had a conversation with Mike Broomhead of OMNY FM radio about the “brand-new set of stress” the center faced during the pandemic.
“Our model … has really been built on embracing people,” Zabilski explained. Before social distancing was enacted, the St. Vincent de Paul kitchen housed upward of 40 volunteers at a time, and the dining room served hundreds. “Obviously we’ve had to change all of that,” said the CEO.
Access to showers, haircuts, dentistry, counselling, and other of the resource center’s services were maintained but massively scaled back. Shifting focus, the center started a mutually beneficial partnership with local restaurants to help feed thousands of people across Arizona every single day.
Seven months on, St. Vincent de Paul’s efforts continue.
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