Everyone has seasons of struggles in their life, that is why the Habitat For Humanity is always there with love and care.
What it’s all about
“What I enjoy most is the team I work with. They all are there to help and they want to be there. Everybody is great to each other and helps out, plus they are all passionate about the cause” Recently, Dreamscape had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Grybek, the Marketing Coordinator at the Habitat for Humanity of Collier County. Jessica has been with them for 3 years and is loving every minute of it. She was able to give us some insight on what their organization is all about. This particular location was founded in 1978 and, is actually in a tie for the oldest of Habitat Humanity. Their main focus is to create a world where every person has a decent place to live. Habitat For Humanity offers a home ownership program, along with building homes, renovations, and pairing with families to make sure they have a pathway for affordable housing and home ownership. I would agree with you that this organization is quite wonderful, but how do they pull it off? By not doing it alone, of course! From partnering with donors, to hard working volunteers it takes a whole team to get the job done! Our local location of Collier County builds in Naples and Immokalee. With having such a great team of people behind them they were able to recently celebrate their 2,200th home this year! That is such an incredible win and I can’t believe the impact they’ve made in just this community alone.
Okay, now I’m interested!
Are you someone who is struggling with finding a safe and secure home, or simply just somewhere warm to lay your head at night? Please, don’t be afraid, they can help! We asked what the best way to apply is and she advised for people to go directly to the local office. During the time you’re there, they will do a quick pre-qualification interview. She recommends this because their application is so extensive that they will meet with you first to make sure you will qualify. This part of the process is easy and will typically only take 15-30 minutes. Once you pass the prerequisites, they will continue to help you along to the application process. If you do not qualify… no worries! They will still work with you to them get things in order and be a constant resource for you. I have even included the link to the families and communities prequalifying flyer. Currently they don’t have any events coming up. Their primary focus is on the personal relationships with their volunteers and donors. As a successful nonprofit they are always in need of resources and a helping hand. Right now their biggest need is volunteers to help with the job sites. As for the stores, their biggest sellers are appliances, varying from kitchen items and bedroom sets, to washer and dryers. If you are in need or if you are interested in lending your time, Habitat For Humanity is just one click away.
Have you ever wondered how foster children and families receive help and support? Well, we had the pleasure of speaking with Ann Hughes, the Executive Director of Friends of Foster Children Forever (FFCF), to learn what it truly is all about.
The mission behind it all
The Friends of Foster Children Forever is a local non-profit organization in the Southwest Florida area. They strive to help children all across the area to succeed in life. The organization provides a variety of tools and programs, from supplies to summer camps, but their largest is the Academic Mentoring Program. This is extremely important to them because being prepared academically, will set a child on the right course to success. This mentor program helps the children get excited for school and makes them hopeful for their futures. Aside from the mentorships, they provide after-school programs such as dance, and various sports. They also provide professional tutoring for children who are having a hard time in school or with certain subjects. These tutors will continuously work with them regardless of switching from home to home or school to school.
Behind the scenes
There are a lot of great things provided, but what does it take for this organization to successfully help? Well, the community around them of course! Aside from the wonderful employees, the volunteers are a huge asset. From mentors to running summer camps, FFCF is always looking for help from their local community. On top of providing your time, all donations are welcome and extremely helpful as well. The donations help pay for the professional academic tutors, field trips for the kids, and supplies needed to help. In addition to donations, they hold fundraisers including this years back to school drive, being their most successful one yet! This year, more nonprofits and groups participated than ever before. They were able to distribute 150 backpacks, with 500 still left to give. On top of the backpacks they were able to provide uniforms for children whose school does not supply them. The organization is always prepared by providing an emergency backpack for the children who are taken from a home in an emergency or short notice. These emergency backpacks include, clothes, pajamas, blankets, tooth brush/tooth paste, and a stuffed animal or toy.
Including everything they provide, the FFCF also encourages field trips for the children. They have different trips based on age groups. For the elementary school kids they will take them to Legoland, and for the high school kids they will take them to Busch Gardens. These field trips allow the children to have an outlet by spending time focused on fun and excitement rather than the stress they undergo on a daily basis. Also, during Christmas time, the organization does a gift giving. What this entails is, they will pair the children up with a volunteer and they go to pick out gifts for their family from Walmart. Then later in the year, for the caregivers/guardians they will take them to pick out toys and gifts based on what their child likes. During the holidays they provide wrapping paper, and on December 21st, they will be holding a Holiday Toy Fair.
Hope for the Future
We asked Ann what her favorite part of working for the organization was and this is what she told us. “It gives foster children hope for a better future, they start with kids when they are infants and will follow them into their 20’s in some cases.” This is extremely important for a child as they grow because it provides comfort and stability to have people who will continue to work with them regardless of how much they move around. By providing that stability, the children have a better opportunity in having a wonder and successful future. Anything helps, even if its just your time. So, if you are interested in foster care, volunteering, or donating to the Friend of Foster Children Forever please click on the link below and follow their website.