MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For the past 25 years, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has used the power of television to connect those in need with those who can help.
From its humble beginnings in the ruinous wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has evolved into South Florida’s most extensive people-to-people assistance network. From a small auxiliary bank of 18 Broward-based phone lines set-up when then WCIX-TV, Channel 6’s tower was overturned during the devastating storm, Neighbors 4 Neighbors now supports over 300 nonprofit organizations, has created its own signature programs and has facilitated and delivered more than $20 million in aid to South Florida residents in need. And, that number keeps growing, every day. Last year, alone, Neighbors 4 Neighbors delivered more than $818,660 in goods, services and volunteer time.
“We’d like thank each sponsor and donor who joined us in caring about their fellow community members through Neighbors 4 Neighbors,” said Lynne Cameron, executive director of Neighbors 4 Neighbors. “Every single dollar has made an impact to the tune of millions in resources, goods and services. You don’t have to be rich to help, though. Neighbors 4 Neighbors is about time, commitment, kindness and hope. We want the community to know that we are here and we can make a difference, together.”
With the advent of technology, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has grown exponentially, refined its outreach network and now hosts helpingfeelsgood.org, an award-winning volunteer matching website with nearly 1,000 active volunteers who search for and respond to projects needing their talents and special skills. The website is a venue to share stories, inspire action and ultimately create change for our neighbors in need. Its vision is to empower every person in South Florida with the knowledge that they have something of value to share with a neighbor in need.
In addition to individual stories, Neighbors 4 Neighbors is proud to be a part of the following signature programs and initiatives which can also be accessed through helpingfeelsgood.org:
Connections for Cancer, a multimedia campaign sponsored by Sylvester Cancer Center, educates the public about many cancer support organizations throughout South Florida. This important resource can help cancer patients, survivors and their families navigate through a cancer diagnosis and the aftermath.
Faces of Homelessness, in its second year, sponsored by Wells Fargo, educates and empowers the community to become a part of the fight to end homelessness. Data shows the fastest growing segment of homeless is families with young children, and youth between 12 and 24.
Biscayne National Park Campaign, funded by the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation which is a 24-yer Neighbors 4 Neighbors supporter, focuses on the diversity, science and impact of the largest Marine based park in the National Park system and the scientists working to protect educate and engage our neighbors to ensure the health of this national treasure.
Summer Safety with CSC Broward is a kid-focused program offering swim lessons, water safety, safe sleeping, look before you lock, free summer lunch programs and more.
Back-to-school with CSC Broward and Miami Dade Public Schools Project Impact distributes backpacks, supplies, uniforms, shoes and books to more than 6,000 kids each year.
Adopt A Bear was created by former CBS investigative reporter, Michelle Gillen, and Neighbors 4 Neighbors is proud to be its fiscal agent. Bears are purchased and given to Family Court Judges, Fire and Police, for children who have been traumatized, in Miami-Dade and Broward. Recent grants from Palm Beach Sherriff’s office, have taken the program to Palm Beach.
Operation Candy Corn, now in its 4th year, collects gently worn Halloween costumes, and distributes them to our nonprofit partners serving children in need. A total of 5,848 costumes have put smiles on faces of kids. Many donors are schools whose students donate gently worn costumes giving the kids a chance to experience the joy of giving without financial strain on parents.
Adopt A Family 4 The Holidays & Operation Elf is the most popular program each year. Last year’s sponsors Publix and Baptist Health allowed Neighbors 4 Neighbors to match hundreds of families in need with caring “adopters.” It also serves families not eligible for the one-on-one experience with gift cards and toy drives. In 2016, 7,529 people received gifts, food and friendship.
“We’ve had an incredible 25 years of accomplishments and are looking forward to another quarter decade of feel good connections,” said Cameron. “But, most importantly, we have showcased a strong, caring and resilient community that has become a symbol of strength and a model for others around the world.”
For more information, to donate or to read about success stories that inspire action and create change for our neighbors in need, please visit www.Neighbors4Neighbors.org.