Kay’s Ministry, named after Charlie McGowan’s mother, began in 2009. Inspired by his mother’s loving example, McGowan loaded up his car with bologna sandwiches, picked up his Bible and headed to the streets of downtown Tampa.

Kay’s Ministry is a unique organization run by Apollo Beach resident Charlie McGowan. In 2009, McGowan, inspired by his mother, loaded his car with sandwiches and went to Tampa to help homeless individuals. About seven years ago, he added stops in Wimauma to help those in need.

McGowan brings his helping hand to Wimauma on the last Saturday of each month. You can find him at around 3:30 p.m. in the heart of Wimauma (off of State Road 674 and Railroad Street). McGowan rents a U-Haul, sets up a table and distributes toiletries, clothes, sneakers, backpacks and other items. If he has them, he will also give out cookies, rice and candy. The individuals who are helped are mostly made up of migrant workers and their families. McGowan helps 20-25 families on each visit to Wimauma.

At Christmas time, he gives out 300-350 wrapped shoeboxes filled with items for men, women, boys and girls. Each August, Kay’s Ministry holds a backpack drive and collects school supplies for students in need.

On Sundays, McGowan also goes to Tampa to help the homeless there, where he gives out sandwiches, bus passes and helps pay co-pays for prescriptions.

McGowan said, “There is a big difference between Wimauma and Tampa and what the people we help need. In Wimauma, the people are poor but have a roof over their head. In Tampa, they are homeless.”

“God gave us the ability to work hard. We are expected to help others. If we can do something for others, it makes you feel better,” McGowan said, and he added, “Christianity is a big part of who I am. I am not looking for thanks. It is just something we need to do.”

McGowan lost his son two years ago to the fentanyl crisis. This fact motivates McGowan to do what he does.

McGowan said, “Love is the universal language.”

McGowan cannot do what he does without the help of others. Volunteers are welcome to help distribute items. You can also donate items and money. Whatever you donate goes directly to the mission of Kay’s Ministry.

For more information, please visit www.kaysministry.org.

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