The Generosity of Donors and Volunteers Made This Season So Wonderful for Many People in Need
Tis the season for giving! As part of our annual Yuletide festivities, United Way of Broward County spread holiday cheer and blessings across our community through several Adopt A Family events in early December.
For many of the ALICE families in Broward County — the thousands of households working but struggling to make ends meet —the holidays can be extremely stressful. When expenses related to food, rent and household necessities are a stretch, there’s probably not much left in the budget for holiday presents.
This is where Adopt A Family helps — providing a wealth of support to hundreds of children and adults experiencing extraordinary hardships.
Thanks to the widespread generosity of individuals and businesses, our United Way was again able to help every single family which signed up to receive gifts. This month, participating donors shopped for gifts by visiting our United Way’s online Adopt-A-Family Wish List on Amazon Smile, and our volunteers and staff then delivered the gifts to hundreds of parents and children who live at several mobile home parks across Broward.
Collaborating with several communities, our Adopt A Family program provides special care to families by bringing an abundance of food, household necessities and holiday gifts. Adopt A Family is part of United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention’s Latino Initiative, which works year-round with several mobile home communities to improve residents’ Health, Education and Financial Prosperity.
“In the weeks before our Adopt A Family events, we ask the children in each community what they want, and we make a wish list for each child. It is such a rewarding and fulfilling experience to watch the children become so excited when they get exactly what they asked for,” says Ruth Stennett, MFT, Prevention Specialist at United Way of Broward County.
“For our staff and volunteers, it always is a powerful experience because we are bringing much-needed help and joy to so many people. Our families have fallen on such hard times this year, and it really does warm my heart when I see their faces light up as they receive the gift, treats, photo op and resources. Our United Way is building trust with people and creating a sense of community. Every one of these events is a unique celebration, the parents have so much gratitude, and the kids are always very excited to be here. They know that our community cares.”
Check out this video of volunteers who talk about the impact of Adopt A Family and what it means to them personally and for our community.
“United Way of Broward County has brought a lot of changes to our community. Initially they brought learning sessions that were aimed at teenagers and the problems they often face — for example, issues related to drug addiction or violence. Then we had events for younger children that included activities for playing and drawing, and all of what United Way has done for us has been positive, “says Zulma Gonzalez, a resident at El Rancho 7.
“Because of United Way, we have a better sense of community. We have become better neighbors, and we take care of each other and our children. And for this event today, we have so much gratitude because the children are happy with the gifts they have received.”
Plus click here to see photos from one of our Adopt A Family events.
Huge thanks go to all of the generous individuals and businesses, partner agencies and volunteers who made this year’s Adopt A Family events so wonderful. Your thoughtful, kind generosity and care improved the lives of hundreds of families in Broward County.
You still can help our United Way bring hope, joy and cheer to many families this holiday season AND make a difference every day throughout the entire year. Make your donation today and help create a better Broward County for every person who lives here.