(Boca Raton, FL) November 27, 2013 – In the spirit of giving, America’s premier health insurance agency iCan Benefit Group recently hosted a food drive for Boca Helping Hands, a local South Florida community-based charity that provides food and emergency assistance to those in need. The drive, which was held from November 1st to November 15th at iCan’s Boca Raton corporate headquarters, yielded a substantial donation wherein 356 pounds of dry and canned goods was raised for families and individuals currently in crisis.
With the holiday season approaching, it’s not only a time for year-end reviews and planning, but also a time to give back to the community and to those less fortunate. From canned food collections to toy drives to monetary donations, there are many ways to turn this hectic time of year into something so much more meaningful. This year, following an incredible presentation from James S. Gavrilos, Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands, a community-based 501© (3) organization that provides help for people in crisis situations including meals, the Tilson PR team jumped at the opportunity in giving back to this group. Every week, the team volunteers at the Boca Helping Hands facility. From working the front desk to warehouse support to bagging groceries, the Tilson team is ready to roll up their sleeves to make a difference.
The 3rd Class of Esperanza Catering had their Advancement Ceremony at Boca Helping Hands on October 18, 2013. The ceremony was held in the food center. James Gavrilos, Executive Director; Peggy Jones, Job Mentoring Director; Shandra Stringer, PBSC Teacher of Phase I-Live Skills; Isabel Karimi, PBSC Business Analyst; and Kerri Powers, Esperanza Catering at Boca Helping Hands Hospitality Supervisor; were all there to congratulate the students. Each student received a certificate of completion, Serve Safe Certification and Alcohol Awareness Certification. These students are on their way to a very bright future. We are very proud of the work they have done! Class 4 is starting Phase III of this course.
Boca Helping Hands Receives a Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator…for the Eighth Consecutive Year!!!
Any team can work hard for a year and win a championship once. Maybe some can do it twice. A precious few will even “three-peat.” But when a team achieves the highest standard for eight consecutive years, it’s time to acknowledge an organization that is committed to excellence. This week, Charity Navigator, an independent auditor of non-profit organizations bestowed its highest rating (Four Stars) on Boca Helping Hands. A “Four Star Rating” means that Boca Helping Hands uses its contributions in an efficient, appropriate and ethical manner. It furthermore acknowledges that Boca Helping Hands adheres to the highest standards of organizational governance, accountability and transparency. In short, it means that a contributor can have complete confidence that his/her donation will be used to help people...and not have the bulk of the donation go to overhead and expenses. Here is a passage from the Announcement Letter from Charity Navigator:
This year our BHH Backpacks will serve 1,400 students with backpacks filled with 6 meals and 2 snacks for the weekend. We will deliver these backpacks to the 8 elementary schools throughout the 2013-2014 school year. With the help of an amazing group of grantors an a team of volunteers from local religious and secular organizations committed to each school, Boca Helping Hands is able to reach more students each year. These are the grantors that support the BHH Backpacks Program: Bank of America-Local Grants- Critical Needs; Batchelor Foundation; Boca Raton Regional Hospital; Cathleen Cox McFarlane Charitable Foundation; Community Foundation of Martin & Palm County; Tzedakah (H.O.T.); VanPelt/Bass Foundation; Walmart
Boca Helping Hands was a recipient of 1,400 backpacks for their BHH Backpacks program. Office Depot donated all 1,400 Backpacks. The Boca Helping Hands team of James Gavrilos, Executive Director; Karen Swedenborg, Development Manager; and Natalie Warren, Resource Center Manager, braved the weather on Monday, Sept. 16th to pick up the remaining 1,000 backpacks for the 1,400 elementary students in seven schools in BHH Backpacks Program for the 2013-2014 school year. The team arrived at the warehouse and Chris Valega, Receiving Clerk, proceeded to load up the Boca Helping Hands truck with the 1,000 backpacks.
Ernst & Young, along with FAU: Beta Alpha PSI Honor Society for Accounting Majors, spent Monday afternoon, September 09, 2013, at Boca Helping Hands making sandwiches and helping in the warehouse.
Check out this PDF of Boca Helping Hands’ 7th Annual Bowling for Bread Event and Food Drive's presentation shown at Strikes@Boca during our event Sunday, August 25th. Please show your support to those who donated.
On Monday, August 27th the managers from The Capital Grille volunteered at BHH during the lunch. Thank you to The Capital Grille employee and BHH volunteer Katharina. Katharina shared her volunteer experience about Boca Helping Hands with Dan Skweres, The Capital Grille Manager and on his day off Dan and his Manager in training, Imran Khan, brought delicious food and their passion for serving the community to our kitchen! The Capital Grille is one of our Food Recovery Partners. With their help we are able to serve a great lunch to our many guests that come to Boca Helping Hands. We wouldn’t have the quality of food if it were not for our many Food Recovery Partners. Please check out their names on our website
Feed My Community will kick off this Saturday (August 17th) with a special showing of “A Place at the Table” at the F.A.U. University Theater at 6:30 P.M.
Join us this year and Have a Ball at our 7th Annual Bowling for Bread Event on Sunday, August 25, 2013 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at Strikes @ Boca. We would like to see this year’s event filled to the brim with individuals, families and children, enjoying an afternoon of fun, food and bowling! There is a friendly competition where the best bowlers are recognized with trophies. We are encouraging bowlers, friends and corporations to bring food to our Bowling for Bread Food Drive. Think about having your own food drive and bring the items to our Bowling for Bread
Last year, we surpassed One Million Pounds of food for the year for the first time on BRRH Food Drive October 18th. This year, Boca Helping Hands is doing even better. Today (July 19th), at 11:00 A.M., we received our One Millionth Pound of food for the year, courtesy of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Employee Food
Our Executive Director, James S. Gavrilos was arrested today, May 23, 2013 for having a Big Heart!!! Mr. Gavrilos wanted to be arrested among friends so he chose the noon hour at Boca Helping Hands where they serve lunches for 175 to 200 people a day six days a week. Everyone laughed and cheered as the Boca Raton Police officer "arrested him". The Boca Raton Police Officer put on the handcuffs and led Mr. Gavrilos out to a waiting police car. Being a good sport he even smilied for the camera! Cafe Esperanza at Boca Helping Hands may visit him with a cake an a file!
At 4:00pm Boca Helping Hands was bustling along with over 65 volunteers who were gearing up for the first truck of canned goods to come from the Stamp Out Hunger Drive sponsored through the US Post Office. Boca Helping Hands was thrilled to receive the donations from the Tamiami Post Office in addition to the Boca Rio Station. With BHH distributing over 5,000 bags of groceries each month we are very thankful for this opportunity to take part in the Stamp Out Hunger Drive. We want to thank our amazing community partners: Junior League of Boca Raton, Bloomingdales of Boca, Leadership Boca Class of 2013, Rotary Club of Boca Raton, Rotaract of Palm Beach State College and Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Boca Helping Hands held its 7th Annual MONOPOLY Event & Casino Night on April 6, 2013 at the beautiful Via Mizner Golf and Country Club located at 6200 Boca Del Mar Drive in Boca Raton (viamiznergcc.com). Fun was had by all with the fast paced tournament style Monopoly, classics Casino Gaming including, Roulette, and Black Jack (Casino Party Nights Florida Inc.). This year a DJ was added with lots of dancing! An amazing silent and live auction took place. Some items from the Live Auction were: VIP treatment at a Boston Red Sox Game; Sheriff for a day; and a stay at Captiva Island!
On Thursday Night, Boca Helping Hands served the usual Thursday Night Family Dinner from 4:30 to 6:00. But this week (March 21st) dinner will take on a special significance. It has been one year since the passing of our beloved Marilyn Frontera. We will honor Marilyn’s memory in a manner consistent with her own courageous fight against cancer.
This event consists of employees donating money, canned goods and volunteer time. We are recipients of all of these from our local Boca Raton Bloomingdales. James S. Gavrilos, Executive Director, Nate Cousineau, Resource Center Manager met Paul Eismen, Senior Executive Loss Prevention Manager and Mary Ann who helped place 491lbs of donated food into the Boca Helping Hands van. We appreciate the continued support from our community partners such as Bloomingdales of Boca Raton.
Boca Raton's newest catering service made its debut Tuesday with a signature dessert — strawberries stuffed with cheesecake — and a way of satisfying a human hunger beyond an empty stomach.