During the busy holiday season, JSA made sure to spread some holiday cheer by giving back to our local community. South Florida based JSA-ers Aileen and Terri searched high and low for a volunteer opportunity that was a good fit for the two events team members. Luckily, they found just the thing…gift wrapping for a wonderful cause!
The Heart Gallery of Broward County hosts a gift wrapping station for the 12 days leading up to Christmas at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Heart Gallery is a traveling photography exhibit of the many foster children of Broward County that are in need of a forever family. The gallery is displayed in public places as an exhibit, with a picture and bio that describes each child’s personality and interests with the goal of encouraging the community to adopt, volunteer or donate money or goods.
- On any given day there are over 80 foster children in Broward County that are up for adoption.
- The average wait time to be adopted out of foster care is 39 months.
- Each year, about 9% of the children in foster care age out when they turn 18, without an adoptive family.
With Christmas quickly approaching the booth was quite busy with husbands and wives having gifts wrapped for their special spouses, grandparents having gifts wrapped for their loving grandchildren, employers having gifts wrapped for their much appreciated employees and so many more. The recommended donation was $5 per box, but almost every person gave a little extra to help support the children of The Heart Gallery. The afternoon was a promising display of kindness and generosity during what sometimes seems to be a retail driven holiday season.