Giving Back To The Community For The Holidays

Holiday Charitable Giving

For many, the holidays are the happiest, most wonderful time of the year. Families are busy shopping for toys and presents, special groceries for holiday feasts, decorating their homes, and more! For others, the holidays can be a lonely, stressful, and difficult time. Not all families can afford to buy gifts, some people do not have families and many people do not have homes to celebrate in. To brighten the holiday season for all, think of ways to give back to the community. The holidays are the perfect time for giving, and you can make a difference today! 

Giving Back to Your Community

Volunteer in the Protective Medical Mask and Hand Gloves Putting Food in Donation Box.

It is nice to know that giving back to your community can put a smile on someone’s face, especially someone who needs cheering up. Whether you are looking to participate in holiday charitable giving through volunteering or making donations, every little bit helps! Let’s say you have children or younger relatives that have grown out of their toys – why not donate them so another child can experience that excitement of unwrapping a present on Christmas morning. If this option is not available to you, try writing letters to people in nursing homes or hospitals. If you want to volunteer, check out local toy, food, and clothing drives in your area. These acts of kindness are all bound to brighten someone’s day! 

A Time of Giving for Those in Need

Another way to give back to the community is being a conscious shopper. When you are out buying food or gifts over the holidays, think of who these things are going to benefit. Would your dollar better serve at a local business or a business that participates in holiday charitable giving, rather than a large corporation? By investing in small, local businesses, you are helping to create jobs in your community and improve your local economy. Another idea for giving back is checking to see which charitable organizations are on the receiving end, and shopping somewhere that donates to organizations you especially care about! By being mindful in this time of giving and throughout the year, you are helping others get what they need while also doing the same for your family. 

Benefits of Giving Back to Your Community 

While giving back to the community year-round and holiday charitable giving directly and positively affects others, giving back to your community benefits you, too! Did you know that volunteering has mental, physical, and emotional benefits? Studies have shown that volunteers are happier, healthier, and have higher self-esteem than individuals who do not volunteer. Giving back to the community through volunteering additionally releases endorphins, which elevates both your mood and self-esteem. 

Ideas for Giving Back as a Family

People With Gifts Wearing Facemasks During Coronavirus and Flu Outbreak on Christmas.

We know that volunteering has many benefits for others as much as ourselves, but giving back to the community as a family, especially through holiday charitable giving, can strengthen your familiar bond. Whether you and your family are looking to help out and try something new or start traditions, it helps to come together and brainstorm ways to give back to the community that everyone can participate in. Allow all family members to give their input on what charitable organizations or activities they are interested in, would like to focus on, and how you can donate. Whether you choose to donate time, goods, or money or participate in an event or fundraiser, you can use this time volunteering to bring everyone closer together. 

Here are some ideas for giving back to your community:

  • Invite your children or family members on a shopping trip to the grocery store to buy goods for those in need, and allow them to help with the drop-off process as well. Many charitable organizations list needs and requirements on flyers and websites, which can help you make your shopping list. 
  • For something more hands-on, you can set up a holiday food drive of your own for an organization you want to support! Get your family and neighbors involved in giving back to the community. 
  • For a charitable gift that directly gives to other families, consider donating to organizations like Feeding America, which gives meals to families in need. This is a great way to participate in holiday charitable giving as a way to give thanks for the food on your table and share that goodness with others. 
  • Set up a treasure hunt of sorts for your children to help collect items around your home that can be donated, such as books, clothes, toys, and more. This will make giving back to your community feel more personal. 
  • Put out a donation jar for holiday charitable giving in your kitchen, inviting your children and loved ones to contribute some allowance money too. When the jar is full, you can work together to decide how to donate what you have collected. 
  • Help an elderly neighbor or family member with household tasks, or if you are visiting around the holidays, offer help with putting up holiday decorations or baking a holiday treat to spread the holiday cheer. 
  • Visit a nursing home or hospital to spend time with those in need, especially as the holidays are often difficult for those residing in assisted living settings. During your visit, you can sing songs, read books, share stories, or just keep company. Every person needs and deserves to socialize! 
  • Join a workgroup, which can include projects such as home building and renovations, packing food, wrapping gifts, and more! 
  • Participate in a local fundraiser or charity event. Many of these events take place during the holidays and help to raise money for a good cause. 
  • Volunteer at your local food bank to help those facing hunger. 
  • For a more active way to give back, check out charitable runs and walks taking place in your area. You can do these things solo, but they are even more fun when you get your family, friends, and community involved! 
  • For family members 16 and up, and with adult supervision, donating at a blood drive is another meaningful way to give back to the community. 
  • If it is hard to find time to volunteer in person, you can join in on giving back to your community and beyond by making a difference online. There are so many ways you can help others, such as starting an online fundraiser, or donating to organizations of your choice when prompted during your online shopping experience. 
  • Another great way to volunteer from your home is through writing letters to those living in assisted living facilities, such as nursing homes and/or hospitals. This gives members of all communities a meaningful way to connect! 

After participating, take the time to gather with those who helped make a difference and collectively reflect on and celebrate your efforts. Ask around. See how people are feeling about their efforts and the success of those efforts.  Aslo, ask about possible ways to make things better next time, and open the floor to more ideas. If some feedback was given from organizations or people you worked with, share those reactions as well! Coming together as a family and giving back to the community makes everyone’s holidays better! 

Your Effort Counts

No matter what you and your family choose to embark on in this time of giving, remember that every effort counts and makes an impact. Encourage multiple members of your immediate family, friends, colleagues, and community members to participate to make an event or drive even more rewarding and impactful. It is always more fun to collaborate on ways to give back to the community. The holidays may go by quickly, but holiday charitable giving has a long-lasting effect. Be part of the change you wish to see in the world, today!

Groundbreaking Marks A Rick Case Habitat Community Surpassing Halfway Milestone in Building 76 Affordable Homes

Thor Barraclough, Habitat for Humanity of Broward, (954) 396-3030, ext. 209,
Trena Brae, Bitner Group, (954) 714-7893,

Note: High-res images can be downloaded,  here


Habitat Broward commemorates the groundbreaking of five new homes in A Rick Case Habitat Community passing the halfway milestone to building the entire community. Attendees at the event include (left to right) Nancy Robin, Shandell Bryan, Shandel Bryan, Raquel Case and Ryan Case.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (August 6, 2021) – Habitat for Humanity of Broward held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for five homes which will surpass the halfway milestone of Building 76 Homes in A Rick Case Habitat Community in Pompano Beach.

Raquel and Ryan Case representing Rick Case Automotive Group joined, Nancy Robin, CEO and Executive Director of Habitat Broward and future homeowners, Shandell and Shandel Bryan at the ceremony to mark the milestone.

“Today we dedicate the ground upon which five new future homeowners will achieve the dream of homeownership, thanks to our amazing supporters and volunteers. This groundbreaking marks a huge milestone in the achievement of the largest affordable single-family home community in Broward’s history,” said Robin.

Rick Case Automotive Group sponsored two of the five homes. Other family home sponsors are Sunbeam Television/WSVN Channel 7, Burdette Beckman, Inc. and the Robert Taylor Family.

The $20 million Rick Case Habitat Community will provide affordable housing to hard-working families living and working in Broward who are unable to obtain conventional financing.

Ed Ansin and Rita and Rick Case of Rick Case Automotive Group provided the initial funding for the project’s infrastructure. The project was also made possible by the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, City of Pompano Beach, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., the Hudson Family Foundation, and others are major contributors. A portion of the infrastructure work was donated by the US Army 766 Engineer Company.

Home construction began in the fall of 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2023.

About Habitat for Humanity of Broward
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Broward brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to families who are unable to qualify for conventional home financing but are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives and achieve the economic empowerment of homeownership. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Broward please call (954) 396-3030 or visit or check us out on Facebook at

Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Housing

Having a proper and safe home where you can grow, develop, and take care of your family’s needs, is one of the most important things in life. Some people take having a sheltered home for granted. However, this is what provides you with security and stability. This way you can move forward and turn your attention to other great challenges that life has to offer. Things such as finding a suitable job, offering your children a good example together with your help whenever they need it. You can’t really focus on your life when affordable housing is a problem. If this is the case, i.e. if you have been struggling with your finances and paying the rent, you might consider affordable housing. If you are not sure what affordable housing is and if you are eligible for it, we will try to provide some explanations here. 

What Is Considered Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is a dwelling that a family or an individual can afford for 30 percent or less of their income. One of the biggest priorities of local governments is to make sure everyone has a decent home to live in. Therefore, housing policy is what these governments have to deal with. This is the reason why apartment owners and developers who agree to offer reduced rental rates to low-income tenants get tax credits. As long as these developers keep the rents for these low-income families affordable, they continue getting the tax credits. 

What Is Considered Affordable Housing

Who Is Eligible for Affordable Housing?

Individuals and families spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing might need affordable housing. Paying high rent it might be difficult for them to afford necessities such as food, clothing, medical care or transport. According to The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it is estimated that there are 12 million households (both renters and homeowners) paying more than 50 percent of their annual income on housing. Thus, a person earning the minimum wage in his/her full-time job cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment. However, this differs from city to city and depends on the Area Median Income (AMI). The AMI is what determines who can afford to rent an apartment based on where they live and on their income. HUD determines the AMI for every region in the country and, for example, a household is considered low-income in case it earns less than 80 percent of the median income of the local area. Nevertheless, even if you or your family spend more than 30 percent of your income on housing, that does not mean you will be able to qualify for affordable housing. In fact, it is considered that if your income is too low, you will not be able to afford the part of the rent cost even when subsidized. This means that if you earn 50 percent or slightly more of the AMI, you might not be able to qualify. 

What Is Affordable Housing Program?

Although the demand for affordable housing is high and some low-income families have been waiting for this type of housing for years, it is more expensive to construct an affordable building than renters can pay. Therefore, it is not that easy to motivate developers to build more affordable units, especially if they can build more luxurious buildings and set high rent rates for these apartments. Thus, the demand for affordable housing exceeds supply not only in urban areas but also in the suburbs. Fortunately, there are programs, such as the affordable housing one, that is trying to deal with this issue using various methods – How does affordable housing work?

  • Rent control limits the frequency and amount the rent raises in order to protect the vulnerable populations from eviction. This is especially important in areas where rents are increasing fast which is very often the case in cities with lots of renters, like New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. States decide how rent control is implemented.
  • Mixed-income buildings offer some units for people making between 30 and 60 percent of the AMI and, thus, are charged less than market rent. In returns for these units, developers are recouped in tax credits, grants, vouchers, etc.
  • Housing vouchers are one of the main methods for housing subsidizing in the United States. Families who get these vouchers can choose the location and type of the apartment they would like to rent and, what is more, will only pay 30 percent of their household income for rent as the voucher covers the rest. However, you should bear in mind that vouchers are limited and some families could be on the waiting list for years before they qualify. 

What Are Public Housing and Section 8?

Public housing is government-owned housing providing affordable and adequate housing to people in need, i.e. low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. It is also considered affordable housing as the government sets the rates of the rental. The rent is based on the family’s annual income. There might be some deductions from the annual income such as certain allowances for all dependents, a person with a disability, an elderly family, and in some cases, medical deductions, as well. 

On the other hand, the Housing Choice Voucher Program or Section 8 helps families afford their rents by using the voucher to pay for all or a part of the rent rates. There are two types of Section 8: 

  1. the tenant-based one where the renters get the voucher directly and, thus, can choose the apartment community and
  2. the project-based one where landlords get the subsidy and they agree to offer some units for the families who qualify for affordable housing. 

What Are Public Housing and Section 8

How to Apply for Affordable Housing?

This depends on the type of affordable housing you would like to get. If you are interested in public housing or Section 8, contact the public housing agency in your state. When it comes to affordable housing, you can look for an apartment complex or developers who offer this. Check the eligibility criteria and contact them directly. 

A lot of people are struggling to pay for a decent home. Some households spend larger parts of their budgets on housing than on anything else. Housing prices are rising faster than wages in many US states, thus making it almost impossible for low-income families, the elderly, youth, and families with children to find good quality and, at the same time, affordable and appropriate housing. However, we should be aware of the fact that those households that are struggling to pay their housing expenses are faced with various other challenges. These usually include not having enough money for health care, education, and healthy meals. In turn, these issues may introduce further problems such as diseases, lower school attendance, and employment opportunities, unmanageable debts, homelessness, and poverty. This is no longer a problem for these families only, it very quickly becomes the problem of the whole community and society. 

Home is so much more than just a roof and walls, it provides safety, comfort, hope, and opportunities for growth and development of not only the family members living behind that door but also their neighbors and the whole community. All people deserve equal opportunities and should be able to afford a stable and safe home. Let’s together help the families in need by providing them with a chance to lead stable and safe lives.

Parkland Talk: Parkland Vice Mayor Honored at 211 Broward’s 10th Annual Community Care Plan Awards

By Jill Fox of Parkland Talk

Parkland’s own Bob Mayersohn was the recipient of a prestigious award at the 10th Annual Community Care Plan Non-Profit Awards hosted by 211 Broward. More


Save the Date: GENTRI

On Saturday, September 28, 2019 Habitat Broward will welcome GENTRI, short for “The Gentlemen Trio” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts / Amaturo Theater at 7:30 pm. This trio is comprised of three dynamic tenors who are pioneering a signature sound they call “Cinematic Pop.” The music of GENTRI is transfused with lush, epic orchestrations and rich, dynamic three-part harmonies. The evening benefits Habitat for Humanity of Broward.
To date, GENTRI has released two EP’s and three full length albums – all which have reached #1 on various Billboard charts. Their first music video “Dare,” received headlines on news outlets around the world.
GENTRI has shared the stage with world-renowned talent, including Tony Award-winning vocalists Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, and Alfie Boe, as well as legendary rock bands Journey and One Republic.
The trio will be coming off of a European tour when they hit the stage at the Broward Center. Mark your calendars for this soul-lifting, inspirational evening of musical talent. Reserve your seats now!
Make sure to watch the fabulous rendition of “Just The Way You Are,” a Bruno Mars cover!

RENT versus FOOD

Cost of Home Campaign Draws Attention to Crisis 

A safe home. Nutritious food. Health care. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation. Which would you choose?

Habitat Broward has joined over 220 affiliates across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign to move affordable housing to the top of our local, state and national agendas. The Cost of Home campaign is aimed to improve home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years. We will be coordinating local efforts to ensure that hardworking families in Broward have a decent place to live.

One in six U.S. families is forced to make choices about rent VS food every day, often paying more than half of its income on rent or a mortgage. According to the Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment of 2018, in Broward County the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $1,902 per month with more than 30 percent of renters spending more than half their income on rent. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

That’s why we’re committed to mobilizing our partners, volunteers and community members to find solutions and help create policies that will increase access to affordable housing for Broward County residents as part of a new campaign: Cost of Home.

To learn more about what you can do email Marcia Berry-Smith, Director of Program Services and Advocacy.

Habitat Bids Farewell to Longtime Friend Bob Leider


Habitat Broward champion and friend, Bob Leider, passed away on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, just days before he was planning to celebrate the historic home dedication he helped make happen. Bob was a tremendous force in our history—an eternal optimist—passionate about Habitat and eager to take on challenges and ambitious goals.


Bob joined our Board of Directors in 1996. He became its chair in 2001 and was re-elected to serve three consecutive terms. He was then appointed to the Development Committee which he ultimately chaired through June 2017. Bob served as Habitat Broward’s interim Executive Director from February through May of 2016 when the board needed time to search for new leadership. He dealt with everything from construction to fund development. During his tenure as Executive Director, he and his “side-kick” Nancy Daly secured $1.5 million for A Rick Case Habitat Community infrastructure, enabling us to move forward on the project.


Bob has been a faithful personal donor to Habitat for the last 20 years, as well as a volunteer on the job sites. He could be found trussing roofs, nailing fir strips and painting. Bob was always eager to roll his sleeves up and get the job done.


Bob attempted retirement a few years back, only to be recruited back to WSVN Channel 7 as the Executive VP and General Manager before finally retiring last year. Bob was part business manager, part relationship manager, part volunteer, and all humanitarian. We know he was immensely proud of the work being done at Habitat.


We will miss you, Bob. Words cannot express how grateful we are to you for your devotion to Habitat and to these wonderful families.

Check out Bob’s feature on WSVN here, and photos of our beloved friend.


Habitat Broward’s A Rick Case Community Featured on Sunburn – Florida Politics

Source: Sunburn – The morning read on what’s hot in Florida politics | Author: Peter Schorsch | Date published: June 27, 2019


DeSantis signs two bills that USF supporting veterans” via WFSU — At an event at the University of South Florida Office of Veteran Success, DeSantis signed a pair of bills that drew unanimous support from both the House and Senate during this year’s legislative session. House Bill 501 allows the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to contract with a state university or Florida College System institution to provide the following alternative treatment options: accelerated resolution therapy; equine therapy; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; music therapy; and service animal training therapy. The second bill, House Bill 471, designates an Honor and Remembrance flag for the state. The governor said the flag allows people to pay respects to fallen service members.

Governor backs treatment options for veterans” via the News Service of Florida — A series of alternative treatment options could soon be available to U.S. military veterans with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder, under a law signed by DeSantis. The measure, which drew unanimous support from the House and Senate during this year’s Legislative Session, will allow the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to contract with a state university or Florida College System institution to provide the following alternative treatment options: accelerated resolution therapy; equine therapy; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; music therapy; and service animal training therapy. DeSantis, who served in the Navy, said he’s long supported alternative-treatment concepts, such as training dogs to work with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

DeSantis OKs legislative crackdown on human trafficking” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — DeSantis has signed legislation aiming to curb human trafficking in the state by increasing training of law enforcement and hospitality workers, as well as setting up a database of pimps and individuals who solicit prostitutes. “This law sends a powerful message to traffickers and pimps: The State of Florida is CLOSED for business,” said Sen. Lauren Book, who authored the Senate version of the legislation (SB 540). “When we curb the demand for the illegal sale and purchase of sex, we also curb the profitability of human trafficking — and take a stand against the enslavement of men, women and children in communities across our state.”

Ron DeSantis approves statewide expansion of needle exchange program” via Florida Politics —DeSantis has signed into law a measure allowing statewide expansion of a Miami-Dade County needle exchange program. The legislation (SB 366), however, does not mandate the program be expanded. Each county will decide on its own whether to adopt a version of the program similar to the one adopted in Miami-Dade in 2016. Democratic state Sen. Oscar Braynon II filed the bill that was eventually approved by both chambers.

Final bills from 2019 Session go to DeSantis” via the News Service of Florida — The last of the 194 bills approved by the House and Senate this year landed on DeSantis’ desk. While DeSantis has acted quickly on most bills, he has until July 11 to sign, veto or let each of the 21 measures DeSantis received become law without his signature. Among the final bills to reach the Governor were a proposal to require out-of-state health care providers to pay application and renewal fees to provide telehealth services (HB 7067) and a plan to restrict the formation and continuation of community redevelopment agencies (HB 9). As of Wednesday afternoon, DeSantis had signed 162 bills into law and vetoed two.

DeSantis says Florida is working on a plan to remove pythons from the Everglades” via Karl Fortier of Fox 4 — DeSantis isn’t shy about how he feels about the invasive Burmese pythons that are decimating wildlife populations in the Glades. “I hate these pythons,” he said. “We’re spending all this money to revive the Everglades, and we’re just going to let these big pythons eat everything? We don’t want to do that.” Python hunters have had success finding and removing pythons by using radio trackers implanted on male pythons to lead the hunters to breeding females and other males.

Assignment editors — DeSantis will deliver remarks and dedicate the first seven of more than 70 Habitat for Humanity of Broward homes at the A Rick Case Habitat Community, 2 p.m., 1400 NW. 6th Ave., Pompano Beach.

Click here to read the full article online.

Seven Homes for Seven Families

The saying “busy as bees” comes to mind as Phase II in A Rick Case Habitat Community springs to life and families complete the journey to homeownership.  The first seven homes will be ready for all families by the end of June! This means seven incredibly hard-working, committed families who meet their obligations of sweat equity, year-long homeownership classes and home down payments will soon become first-time homeowners.

The following are the seven Family Home Sponsors who have made this momentous occasion possible:

Family Home Sponsors

Burdette Beckmann, Inc

and the Robert Taylor Family

Church United

City Furniture

Rick Case Automotive Group

Robert L. Elmore Estate

Stiles Corporation

WSVN Channel 7

House Foundation Sponsor


Blueprint Sponsors

Bank of America

Josephine S. Leiser Foundation

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Special Recognition

The Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund of the
Community Foundation of Broward


City of Pompano Beach