If we ever doubt that bringing people together is the solution to make things happen, look at Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s first-ever Labor of Love Day, held Monday, September 4th at the site of our most recent new build in Washington Park. Future Habitat homeowners, their families, Habitat staff and hundreds of local volunteers joined forces to build a safer, more beautiful community in an area that has long waited for reinvestment.
For six-hours, on what for many was a day of rest from work, volunteers painted houses, laid sod, planted trees and shrubs and participated in general clean up around the Washington Park neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale.
“This is the essence of our mission. We do so much more than build houses. This initiative shows that by bringing hard working, motivated families together with community partners and philanthropists, we can indeed build homes, communities and hope,” said Nancy Robin, Habitat Broward’s CEO & executive director. “It was beyond heartwarming to see our families take ownership of their future neighborhood, and to see their children bonding and building lifelong friendships.”
Perhaps the most powerful and poignant moment came when all the future homeowners’ children, together with other children from the neighborhood, formed a two by two line to march from 9th Court to the local park…a route they must take on the way to school. Led by Commissioner Dale Holness with the assistance of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, more than 50 children adopted the Broward Municipal Services District mantra, that “No child walks alone.” The program, designed to create safer routes and meet up spots for students to walk safely to school, was also accompanied by K-9 Deputy Kel Li and her Jimmy Ryce Foundation Bloodhound Macie, and by our mounted Broward patrol.
Miami Dolphin Defensive Back Andre Branch, who had intended to participate but was called away to football practice, shared an encouraging video with the children and donated autographed pictures and footballs.
Service Providers from health and support agencies were also on hand to share little-known linkages to healthy eating, active living, access to books and other social services.
Labor of Love Day 2017 is the first such neighborhood initiative by Habitat Broward. Together with volunteers and future Habitat homeowners, it will revitalize communities to make them safer, more beautiful and more inviting places for current and future residents.
The event was made possible by underwriting sponsor BBX Capital Foundation, as well as the Broward Health Planning Council, Broward Municipal Services District and other partners.
To view more pictures go to: http://www.downtownphoto.us/Client-Preview/CORPORATE/HABITAT-BROWARD/Washington-Park-9-4-17/