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Choosing Love Everyday with Gabby

Her Campus (HC): Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your ministry?

Gabby (G): My name is Gabby, and I am the co-founder of Choose Love. This is an organization that chooses love every day. We service the unsheltered population, and our ministry is actually on the street, not a shelter. In the past couple of years, I’ve seen more unsheltered people in the suburbs. Typically, these populations are seen more in cities (not exclusively but more often). With this organization, friends and families in the suburbs can learn more about the issues that are present in their own community that affect them. Thus, Choose Love becomes a vessel for those in my ministry. At first, it was just a group of people that would go out on the street and bring love to those who are unsheltered. We don’t refer to them as “homeless” because they are our unhoused neighbors. As people of faith, we feel this is what God is calling us to do. The more time we spend with our unhoused neighbors, the more we love them. This does not define who they are; it is just their housing situation. Although our unsheltered neighbors are hungry, this is really about spending time with them and asking how things are going.

HC: How long have you been doing this?

G: Honestly, the years blend together. A couple of years ago, I met a man who was doing a publicity campaign about the homeless. He told me that if our unsheltered neighbors stay under the shadows, so do their stories. Before, I had this whole mentality of keeping my head down and being lowkey and under the radar. This mentally has been engraved in me. However, this man convinced me and others to work with those who are unsheltered or unhoused. He made a lot of sense, and eventually, we became more organized and official. Our name, “Choose Love” actually came from a bumper sticker. Today, that man from the publicity campaign is the founder of Choose Love. As a team, we choose love on a daily basis.

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HC: What motivated you to volunteer in this way?

G: The love of Christ. I absolutely love Christ and being out on the streets with the poor, I feel like the Gospel comes alive. I am a person of faith and I believe that God is really present out there. We make time for those people that are important to us. I question how do we worship a homeless man on Sundays that hung around outcasts while we ignore a homeless man on Monday? It is the epitome of hypocrisy. Yet, I am drawn to Jesus and his people. Time is the commodity of love, so give them your love. In a nutshell, choose love. There is only one race, and it is the human race.

HC: Is there a particular favorite moment that you recall from this ministry?

G: There have been so many moments both good and bad. The Love Truck has been rolling on Tuesday nights for about 14 years. On the truck, there is food getting prepared and clothes and toiletries in bags. Our unsheltered neighbors are very simple people and they are very real. They keep us very humble. For me, there is nothing like putting an actual pair of shoes on a man. It is life-changing. 

HC: What advice do you have for people who want to get involved?

G: Check out our website and social media @chooselovefoundation. The most important thing we can all do is if there is an unhoused person we see on a daily basis, make eye contact with them and say hi to them. Instead of buying them coffee, sit down and have coffee with them. Befriend someone and get to know them as a human being. There is a sense of power by knowing someone’s name. It is truly special, and you realize that you’re not invisible.

A huge thank you to Gabby for allowing me to interview her and sharing her organization and ministry with all Her Campus FSU readers. We appreciate her active role in the community, and we hope to choose love every day.

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Hi everyone! My name is Sofia Cabrera, and I am majoring in English and double minoring in education and hospitality management at Florida State University. As someone who is passionate for writing, I hope to use this platform as a way to share my experiences and have others learn about things that interest me and have influenced my life.
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