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Boca students organize Hearts of Gold events for teens to give back

Some of the vacation playing cards have been multicolored, some had glitter, however Samantha Port’s private favourite have been the playing cards with the hand turkeys.

“It was cute and creative and definitely gave a Thanksgiving feel,” Port mentioned. “It felt more personal, because our messages were going to be sent to people in need.” 

Port and close friend Sasha Kaufman, both juniors at Pine Crest School in Boca Raton, recently organized their second Hearts of Gold Day to benefit children, families, and pets in need.

The two 17-year-olds launched this community service day last March, and that event’s success led to the planning of the second Hearts of Gold Day in October. Each interactive station was also run by students who wanted to get involved with giving back to the community. 

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MORE folks doing good works 

The entire event was sponsored by the Touch a Heart Foundation, a nonprofit charity dedicated to enriching the lives of disadvantaged children in South Florida. Hearts of Gold Day was organized and run by local students and provided many teens a way to safely give back to the peers and adults in their lives.

“Touch a Heart has helped many children and families in the community, but the Hearts of Gold Day is special as it’s organized by teens for teens,” says Jennifer Kaufman, govt director of Touch a Heart. “It’s wonderful to see the younger generation embracing community service.”

Dozens of teenage volunteers gathered to assist with tasks that benefitted youngsters and households in want in South Florida. The members additionally created enjoyable presents for canines residing at an area animal shelter. 

“The highlight was definitely seeing teenagers from many different schools being able to come together and work on the different stations we had set up and just have fun,” Sasha mentioned.

Students make Thanksgiving cards during the Hearts of Gold event in October.

At varied stations, students assisted with: gathering new socks for children and households in shelters; gathering meals for the homeless to be delivered on Thanksgiving; making Thanksgiving playing cards to go along with the meals donations; creating festive Halloween trick-or-treat baggage stuffed with sweet; assembling make-up baggage for teens residing in native foster group houses; and making toys for canines at Tri-County Animal Rescue.

It was a way more festive occasion than the primary Hearts of Gold.

“Our first event was successful, so we decided to come up with another opportunity for teens to support local families after a difficult year,” Port mentioned. “We expanded our reach by adding new charity projects, most of which are related to the upcoming holiday season.”

Hearts of Gold began when the 2 ladies mentioned internet hosting a group service day the place members of the group may have the chance to do providers and give back to these in want. 

“We’ve been great friends for years, and we knew we would make a great team when planning an event like this,” mentioned Port, who additionally lives in Boca Raton.

Once the preliminary concept and theme have been fashioned, they sought assist.

“My mom (Jennifer Kauffman) contacted agencies who wanted to take the products of these stations we came up with,” Sasha mentioned.

Both ladies have been “happily surprised” with the massive turnout.

“Kids of all ages, from elementary to high school attended the event and were able to participate in numerous service events,” Port mentioned. “I was especially happy because it showed that so many people wanted to give back to our community.” 

There was a station that made tug of battle/canine ropes that canines may nibble on or play with. These toys have been made out of previous T-shirts, so it was atmosphere pleasant and a few of the toys even had enjoyable designs.

“The general vibe was certainly heartwarming,” Port mentioned. “Everyone there had a good time and was able to have fun knowing that they were also doing good. They were giving back to their community and those in need in a fun way.” 

Port and Kaufman intend to group up sooner or later to plan a 3rd Hearts of Gold Day and create extra alternatives for volunteers.

“I want to have more Hearts of Gold days throughout the year, maybe even two or three more,” Port mentioned. “I hope we can get even more volunteers next year and maybe even expand on our projects.” 

Touch a Heart Foundation is a non-profit youngsters’s charity serving to much less lucky youngsters in South Florida. The group’s mission is to enrich the lives of deprived youngsters within the tri-county space of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade.

For data on the subsequent Hearts of Gold Day, e mail Port at [email protected] For extra data on Touch a Heart Foundation, go to touchaheartfoundation.org

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