In 1992, a diverse group of local businessmen, neighbors, firefighters, police officers, and other civil servants came together and formed the Big Heart Brigade, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that feeds people in need.

Today, we’re most known for our annual Thanksgiving Feast which brings together thousands of volunteers from throughout South Florida. Together, we prepare and distribute individually packaged Thanksgiving meals to the less fortunate in our region. A few years ago, the Big Heart Brigade expanded its mission by identifying several locations where "family-style" meals were prepared and served just like being at home with table cloths, proper table setting, family discussions and prayers to those that are in need of a family-friendly and safe environment. We started with 5 locations and now identified 12 locations.

Since our founding, we’ve fed over

1.5 million people.

Service members and first responders put their lives on the line for each of us every day, without hesitation or expectation. We know we can never thank them enough for their sacrafices, but we try to return the favor by remaining active in the community year-round.

The Big Heart Brigade also conducts holiday toy drives, has donated over 750,000 pounds of food and supplies to victims of the earthquake in Haiti, and become actively involved in the Wounded Warriors Project.

It is our honor to come to their rescue.

of all donations go directly
back to the community.

Not one penny of any donation goes into our pockets.

The fact is, we do the right thing for the right reasons.

The mission of Big Heart Brigade is Coming to the Rescue in support of returning wounded U.S. Military, feeding the less fortunate, and assisting incapacitated First Responders within our community, through partnerships with voluntary service-minded, and big-heart individuals, families, companies and faith-based organizations.

We believe no matter where you are in life, you deserve a hot meal and we rely solely on volunteers and donations to make that a reality for so many. Every penny donated goes directly to supplies and food and every hour volunteered is given freely, even by our Board of Directors. We don’t do this for money. We do this to repay those who have given so much.

"The Big Heart Brigade is very special to me. It’s an organization that since inception has had no paid people. And it’s still that way today. Everything is truly a nonprofit. Every penny raised goes right back into what's produced. It’s gratifying to get out there and to help the community in the way that we do."

Pete Bergal

Former Board Member

"I love the Big Heart Brigade! Every year, thousands of people come out and help thousands of people. You've got parents coming out with their kids to help feed parents and kids and that’s what community is all about."

Brian Mast


Meet the people who bring it all together.

The Big Heart Brigade’s Board of Directors and leadership work tirelessly to bring in volunteers and donations.

Ivana Bertuzzelli
Vice President
Chuck Dettman
Secretary / Treasurer
Tom Derita
Dwight Fetterman
Board Member
Richard Ekey
Board Member
Scott Fetterman
Board Member
Deborah Morgan
Board Member
New Email Signup