Wednesday, June 22, 2016 / by Kristin & Mark Stampini
How Did Florida Platinum Group – RE/MAX Get Involved?
My heart is warm and fuzzy, being one of the founders at Florida Platinum Group – RE/MAX Services one goal we had for 2016 was to find a local charity that was near and dear to our hearts to be a part of. My husband, Mark and I were looking for a long time, we wanted to make sure we were both passionate about the charity so that we could volunteer and donate part of our commission from each closing to the charity.
Mark and I never had the opportunity to have kids of our own, and we both love, love, love kids, we knew that the charity we were searching for was going to be involved with kids in some way or another.
A few years ago we were both volunteers at Home Safe in both the Boca Raton and Lake Worth locations. Home Safe is a non-profit organization that provides programs trying to prevent new cases of violence, and protects Palm Beach County and South Florida’s victims of child abuse and domestic violence, they provide programs preparing kids and families for a safer and more productive life. For an entire year, every Sunday Mark would go to the Lake Worth location of Home Safe and enjoyed spending his afternoon with teenage boys. Mark and the kids played basketball, worked-out, the boys seem to really appreciate a trusted, consistent and solid male mentor in their life.
Mark’s parents were both teachers in the Midwest, his mom Mary worked with the Learning Disability kids (LD) for many years; she had the patience, passion, and caring personality that these kids really needed and deserved. His dad Don was a teacher and coach his entire career, he made a big impact on all the kids he touched throughout his life. Mark’s dad passed away suddenly at the age of 59 from a heart attack. For his funeral, they closed the entire school that he taught and coached at and bussed over 600 kids to the funeral home. I was standing in the receiving line at the funeral home as kids came through the viewing, I was overwhelmed by the incredible things the kids and parents were saying about Don, he taught and made a difference in so many lives. A couple years later they named a baseball field near Don’s hometown after him.What influential and heartwarming teachers both of Mark’s parents were.
For several years, Mark helped dozens and dozens of underprivileged kids get into junior colleges around the country to play football. Most of the kids he assisted had a tough upbringing and didn’t have the support or help from either one or both of their parents.
Why Best Foot Forward, Boca Raton, FL?
When we found Best Foot Forward we knew it was the perfect non-profit organization for us to be associated with. Best Foot Forward originated in 2010, they just celebrated their 6th year anniversary. BFF mentors over 100 kids in Palm Beach County and South Florida. The kid’s range from kindergarteners through college, they help these kids maximize their potential in school by offering academic programs, support, and guidance.
We are so passionate about this great non-profit organization. As Best Foot Forward states, “Growing up in foster care adds additional stresses to the already traumatic experiences the children have endured. Research shows that the brain of an abused child actually develops differently than that of a thriving child. Commonly, the end result is a failure in school, homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction, to name a few. Best Foot Forward has developed academic programs that minimize these consequences and provide opportunities for foster children that they would not otherwise have. Success is finally an option when they are a part of Best Foot Forward!”
In 2016 our first check we were able to present BFF with was $5,000. This contribution helped BFF with their summer programs for the kids. BFF provides summer SAT/ACT prep sessions, study and organizational skills and technology workshop, a summer book club and an Art program. It’s important to continue the progress of the students in the summertime just as they did throughout the school year.
Our guest speaker at the BASH this year was David Sarris. David has been in the BFF program since his junior year in high school. He received his AA degree from Palm Beach State College and is currently a junior at FAU, working towards his degree in social work. David credits his perseverance in school to the support he receives from BFF. He spoke about wanting to leave school and give up on college, and how the BFF team pushed him to stay the course and work through any and every issue. David will make an incredible Social Worker and we look forward to watching him reach all of his dreams!
Another Student Sent a Note:
Not once in this lifetime did I ever believe that I would receive such love and care. Thank you for making me feel and look like a Princess tonight. Thank you for placing me in a position to meet people I thought I'd never meet, be encouraged in ways I thought was nonexistent and feel loved unconditionally despite my past. Thank you for being the mom and mentor I always needed. I hope you can see that the seeds that the two of you have planted in me has flourished and continues to do successfully. I am a Master's level clinician and a homeowner. Y'all had EVERYTHING to do with it. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! Love you ???
We are truly blessed by our clients and their referrals and repeat business so that we are able to give back to our community. If you would like to find out more about Best Foot Forward please go to http://bestfoot.org/. At Florida Platinum Group – RE/MAX Services, we feel grateful that we are honored with the opportunity to donate and help make a difference in the foster kids of Palm Beach and South Florida’s life. Making a Difference, One Kid at a Time!
6070 N Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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