LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For a third year in a row, Shawn Cardin and her organization "I am Loved" came out to Broad Street to feed and minister to those the day after Thanksgiving.
Cardin was in the world of prostitution for 25 years, and uses her story and this organization as a way to help others.
"I have a lot to be thankful for," she said. "..I get to share what God's blessed me to have back in my life with the people that I've loved for 25 years."
Cardin says that those on the streets became her family.
"I survived on these streets with these people for 25 years, they became my family too," she said.
This year Cardin partnered with another organization, "Friend Ships." Volunteer and site support Murray Douglas says helping others is nothing new to him.
"It feels quite normal for me," he said. "This is something we don't just do as a one off, this is very much the essence of what Friend Ships and I am Loved are all about."
Together both organizations helped cook over 900 pieces of chicken, set up music, and a children's area, and prayed with those stopping by.
Stephen Ellender usually works on Friday's but today he was off, so when he received a text inviting him out, he knew he needed to come.
"It's actually my first time doing this, but I really felt a draw when I got that text that I had to be here," he said.
People giving their time to help others is what Cardin believes today is all about.
"Everybody can reach the broken, no matter what area it's in," she said. "We as a society constantly want to say well this church of there is giving food away of this person's doing this, that company's doing that, why not just do it yourself?"
Cardin hopes that by hosting this event today, it will inspire others to do more to give back to those in our community.
"If doing this can help bring attention to what we can do as a person, an individual, one person can make a difference for somebody," she said.
To find out more about "I am Loved" and their upcoming events, click HERE.