5th & Wellness

Family Affair

Broward College donates bedding for a fresh start

Broward College teamed up with HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) to host “Fresh Start” Distribution Event sponsored by Valley Forge Fabrics on Saturday, October 3. During the event, 150 Broward County families arrived via drive-through at HANDY’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, where they received Luxury Beds in Bags, which included a sheet set, duvet cover and either a blanket or pillow, plus they received KN95 masks courtesy of Valley Forge Fabrics.

“We are so grateful to our community partners who joined together to make Fresh Start Event such a success,” said Kirk Brown, HANDY CEO. “As a community, we must continue to come together and support our most vulnerable youth and families.”

In addition, families received Dutch Pot Restaurant gift cards courtesy of the Miami Dolphins; oximeters to measure heart rate and oxygen levels; fresh produce from FreshPoint; and personal hygiene products including toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap donated by Shiff Construction. Families also received Broward College/Broward UP drawstring bags, pens, and lanyards, as well as information about opportunities for individuals to upskill with Broward College for rapid re-entry into the job market.

Prior to the start of the event, Kirk Brown, HANDY CEO and HANDY Board Members spoke to community partners and representatives inside the Miami HEAT Learn & Play Center. The LIFE room at HANDY’s Campus was transformed by the Miami HEAT into an interactive area for youth and students to come to and feel safe. Representatives from HANDY, Broward College, Valley Forge Fabrics, and the Miami Dolphins then made their way outside and began the distribution to the families.

Broward College and HANDY believe in the transformational power of education and the service that empowers families. Broward College developed Broward UP, a community-centric business model designed to improve the quality of life for residents in zip codes with little exposure to postsecondary opportunities. Through Broward UP which stands for “unlimited potential,” the College has partnered with more than a dozen community organizations to help residents in Broward County access programs that will lead to meaningful careers.

“The Fresh Start event was one of many ways Broward College and HANDY come together to respond to the needs of our community’s youth. Saturday’s distribution means that 150 youth and their families have fewer things to worry about and can focus on staying on track for this academic year. The event speaks to the collaboration in our community—thanks to one gesture by Valley Forge Fabrics, other partners quickly came together to make this happen,” said Isabel Gonzalez, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Communications and Community Relations at Broward College.

“We very much appreciate our partnership—the Valley Forge relationship with HANDY, Broward College and other local organizations is a great example how working together creates value for the community and great optimism for everyone involved,” said Diana Dobin, CEO of Valley Forge Fabrics.

Featured image above: Justin Shiff, Owner of Shiff Construction; Diana Dobin, CEO of Valley Forge Fabrics; Melissa Shiff, Owner of Shiff Construction; Kirk Brown, CEO of HANDY; Isabel Gonzalez, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Communications and Community Relations of Broward College; and Leslie Nixon, Senior Director of Community Affairs of the Miami Dolphins

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