Miami Herald Wish Book Program Gives Joy to BGCBC Families

For more than 30 years, the Miami Herald Wish Book Program has spotlighted the needs of less fortunate individuals in South Florida. This program offers readers an opportunity to make a difference in a neighbor’s life, especially during the holidays. The Miami Herald readers, together with Spanish-language readers of El Nuevo Herald have contributed several million dollars to assist some of the neediest people in our community with a variety wishes ranging from food, clothes, and maybe some toys for the holidays - to more desperately needed items such as medical services, wheelchairs, lifts, housing and home repairs, beds and dental work.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County was fortunate to be part of this wonderful program this year as three BGCBC families were selected to receive a generous donation from the Miami Wish Book Program.

One of those families who received the Wish Book support was the Dahl family. Carla and her twin 11-year-old daughters, Kenda and Khloe, have been living in a hotel since September 2017 when Hurricane Irma caused major damage to their home. As a single mom, Carla has been working multiple jobs to provide for her girls and this set-back really hurt. When Club staff spoke to Carla shortly after the storm passed, they learned that she and the girls had been living in a hotel for just over a week and eating prepared and fast food meals daily. She was paying for the hotel and food out of her own pocket and she was running short on funds which would enable them to continue living in the hotel.

The Club staff brought the family’s story to the attention of Executive Management and the team jumped into action. Carla was not only able to secure the support needed to secure a safe place to stay in a hotel and to feed her children; she was also given assistance with through FEMA. Although the family still lives in a hotel and eats prepared foods daily, they are thankful for all of the help, love and support they have received from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County staff and other local agencies.

During a recent birthday, Kenda and Khloe asked their mom not to waste any money buying them gifts because they know how hard she is working to save up money and help them move back into their home. They have not complained once about living in a hotel, living without their personal items or eating prepared foods. Fortunately both girls also were able to eat snacks and hot meals when they attend the Florence DeGeorge Club.

When the Miami Herald’s annual Wish Book program began accepting applications for 2017 nominees, our Boys & Girls Club staff jumped at the chance to nominate the Dahl family in the hopes of providing them with some cheer over the holiday season.

President/CEO, Brian Quail, and staff just before Christmas were able to present the Dahl family and two other BGCBC families with over $800 each in gift cards. In addition, these families were part of BGCBC’s Adopt-A-Family program for Christmas. As the presentations were made, the room filled with tears of joy and gratitude from the families and staff.

We are grateful for the support of the Miami Herald Wish Book and their readers for helping to make the holidays a little brighter for our member’s families.