Marquis Emerging Leaders

Thomas Woodrow Rice Sr.

Title: Executive Director

Company: MLFL, Inc. (Mirakal’s Love for Lives)

Education: Associate Degree in Automotive Mechanics Technology, Bertie Senior High (1975)

Career History: Executive Director, MLFL, Inc. (Mirakal’s Love for Lives) (2015-Present)

Thomas Woodrow Rice Sr., Executive Director at MLFL, Inc. (Mirakal’s Love for Lives), has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of nonprofit services.

Since 2015, Mr. Rice has dedicated himself to helping the homeless population, especially veterans, through the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, MLFL INC, Mirakal’s Love For Lives, of which he is the founder and executive director. The program is based on working with individuals one-on-one to help foster a sense of self-sufficiency, in addition to providing job training and placement—as well as food and basic supplies. In the last few years, the mission of the nonprofit has been to raise funds for building the Restoration of Hope Village, an area consisting of tiny houses to serve as shelters for those in need; a site plan is in place as well as approval through the planning department with the city council.

Sociable, versatile in his skill sets, and determined to treat others well, Mr. Rice has also prioritized helping former inmates who are transitioning from prisons back into the community by offering education, training, and job preparation. He began his career initially interested in automotive mechanics technology and later developed a passion for construction, which encompassed mechanical work, electrical work, and plumbing work. However, he ultimately faced a period of incarceration himself that lasted 14 years. During his time in prison, he stayed focused and acquired numerous certifications. It was later, in 2015, while recovering from extensive heart surgery that he realized his calling. In a conversation with God, he felt urged to help the homeless and be an advocate for human rights. With the establishment of his organization, he has found redemption for himself and others in desperate situations—whom he believes deserve a second chance to turn their lives around.

Looking toward the future, Mr. Rice eagerly anticipates advancing the design of the village, developing his organization into a prominent and esteemed destination, and utilizing their land to build a community garden. Here, the goal would be to involve homeless individuals, homeless veterans, and community volunteers in cultivating their own food and providing sustenance for all. He lives his life by the motto, “Shoot for the moon…even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

Married to his wife, Donna, since 2018, Mr. Rice has three sons, nine daughters, 32 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Contact Thomas Woodrow Rice Sr.

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