Week 9 experience

Today was probably the most exciting and adventurous day of Main Street Philanthropy- our class had the opportunity to visit the organizations we chose to donate to.*

*Usually, when we arrived at the place or organization, the organization representatives would introduce themselves and what they do, then we’d take a tour, and finally present the BIG check. (I mean a gigantic check, like the ones used for Publisher’s Clearing House.)

First off, we stopped by the Quantum House (my group, Healing HeARTs). They generously provided us breakfast and we were quickly on our way for a tour around the House. During the tour, our class even got a chance to see an empty room. From what that room looked like, it looks a lot like a hotel room (The Breakers donated some main supplies for the rooms). The class also heard a story from one of the families that was staying at the Quantum House. Haley explained a little about our team and we presented the check ($1017.16) to the Quantum House before we were off again to our next place…

Team OVO (Michael, Ward, and George) chose Palm Beach Troop Support, but instead of stopping at their headquarters, we stopped by Lake Park to a Vietnam Veteran’s house that they were rebuilding for him. We learned a little about what they do, and toured two of the buildings on the property. It’s awesome what the organization is doing for veterans to help them after what they’ve done to serve our country. After Team OVO presented the check, onto organization #3, Scripps.

The Scripps Research Institute was chosen by Team Cure for Life (Fred, Charlotte, and Vincent). I’ve always wanted to visit Scripps since I’ve heard so much about the Florida location opening in 2009. Their facilities= WOW. Very impressive. Not only does Scripps do research on-site, but they also do internships and it’s a graduate research school. So they’re also preparing the scientists of the future while researching today. We toured a little of the chemistry building, and then Team Cure for Life presented them with the check. Off again to the next organization, Palm Beach County Food Bank.

Team Hungry to Help (Alexandra, Tova, Connor, Sam, and David) chose the county’s food bank, Palm Beach County Food Bank in Lantana. The class saw a short video the organization made to spread the word about hunger, and then we were taken on a tour. We started in the administrative wing, and then went through the fridge and freezer (chilly!). The fridge had many bags of potatoes (it’s harvesting season) and a wide variety of foods.Before and after the tour, I had noticed how much distributing was going on around us. Trucks and vans were completely full of perishable goods that were going to be distributed at churches and smaller organizations. I do have to applaude on the hunger team for donating the largest amount, almost $2,000!

Four down, one to go…

Our last stop was Peggy Adams Rescue League, which is right across from Oxbridge! It was chosen by Team Cause for Paws (Nick, Tahira, and Evan). As soon as we walked into the doors, we saw numerous kittens by the window!  Sooo cute!  Then, onto the tour. We started with the cats, to the large dogs, and then to the small dogs. I noticed from the papers they had on the dog cages that some had been staying for almost six months, while others have for a few weeks, but fortunately Peggy Adams is a no-kill shelter. At the end, we received some goodie bags, which was really sweet of them to do. Then Team Cause for Paws presented the check and we arrived back at school.


Overall, an extremely productive day.

In conclusion, I think all five teams chose the perfect non-profit organizations to donate to- they are all great at what they do.

Week 8 experience & Interview special

I’ll start off with this week’s post by reviewing the “Pampered Chef” fundraiser Healing HeARTs had last weekend (May 3rd). Haley and I arrived at the Quantum House on Sunday Morning with Ms. Denison, Ms. Asplundh-Smith, and Ms. Sims (our Philanthropy teachers and the Pampered Chef representative respectively). Our fundraiser mainly involved us preparing and cooking the food with Pampered Chef tools for the Quantum House residents; while also promoting the products to sell since we’d get a portion for our group. The dishes we prepared were: barbecue meatballs, strawberry almond/feta salad, extra crispy grilled cheese sandwiches (yum!), Herbs de Provence chicken, pineapple angel food cake, and chocolate lava cake. 🙂 We had a great time, and I really enjoyed cooking for the Quantum House. With this fundraiser, we have met our >$300 goal. Yay!

Onto another assignment:

This week’s homework was to interview a family member, mentor or friend. I decided to interview my dad. Through my entire life, I have constantly heard stories about his upbringing from his siblings and himself. He has written a few stories about his experiences, so I’ve learned just about almost everything, but I still find myself learning more about him all the time.

My dad grew up in Hue, Vietnam during the Cold War. He left Vietnam a few days before the Fall of Saigon (April 30th, 1975). As a child, he grew up in a lower class household with a single mother and multiple siblings. His mom always emphasized the importance of an education, especially a college one, something she never had the chance of attaining. After arriving in the United States, my dad started his bachelor’s degree from scratch (he was in the middle of his degree while in Vietnam) and completed it four years later.

When it comes to charitable organizations, we as a family usually give our old clothes or furniture to Faith Farms or any similar organization.

That concludes my “special” post. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post when the Oxbridge Philanthropy Groups deliver the checks to our chosen organizations! 🙂

Week 7 experience

We’re at the second to last week of the Main Street Philanthropy Course. 🙁 Which means we only have a few weeks to collect the donations for our Quantum House fundraiser.

Thankfully, we will be having a garage sale at Sarah’s sometime in the following weeks; along with a “Pampered Chef” show at the Quantum House on Sunday, May 4th at 1pm. We will be cooking for the Quantum House guests, and everyone and anyone is invited to attend our fundraiser and maybe buy some things for the Quantum House kitchen and for themselves. 🙂 The lady selling the items will give a portion of her sales to our group’s cause.

During class this week, we Skype called Stanford-Burnham, a medical research institute with a location in Orlando. Stanford-Burnham’s Orlando location focuses mainly on Diabetes and Cancer (Breast and Prostate) research. They talked about their organization as a whole and their funding, including a $275 million gift from an individual, the largest single donation in San Diego County (Stanford-Burnham’s HQ is in La Jolla, CA).


Next week is our last week, and then we will drive to our chosen organizations to donate the money we’ve raised. 🙂 Can’t wait!



Week 6 experience

This week, the tables and chairs of the classroom were rearranged for a “Board Member Panel Discussion” with the non-profit organizations we had chosen for the Main Street Philanthropy course. We were visited by the heads of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and Quantum House (my group’s chosen non-profit); along with members from the Palm Beach County Food Bank and Scripps.

First, the panel started by individually introducing their organizations while including some interesting information about how the organization is doing financially. I learned from the non-profit panel that our groups chose some very good organizations to distribute our funds to. We also got to talk later with Roberta Jurney, the Executive Director for the Quantum House that had come for the Board Member Panel Discussion.

So far, our fundraising activity has been going really well. We had the PDQ fundraiser I wrote about in the previous blog post, and two more fundraisers in the following weeks.

Week 5 experience and PDQ

To start off the week 5  post, we hadn’t had our philanthropy course for almost a month, so we had some extreme catching up to do. Our groups discussed how well the organizations we chose were doing financially by their IRS 990 forms. Luckily, the organization we chose (Quantum House) is stable financially and donates a large majority of the money they receive for their cause.

Yesterday, Monday the 14th, was Healing HeARTs fundraiser at PDQ on Okeechobee Blvd.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.46.45 AM L to R: (Jenna, Haley, Sarah, and me)

For everyone who mentioned “Oxbridge” during the 2 hour period of the night, our group received 10% of the amount raised. Many people came from Oxbridge, along with some other people that we spread the message to about our fundraiser. The fundraiser was for the Quantum House on behalf of our Healing HeARTs group. It was a great night, and we also held two raffles; a gift card raffle and a 50/50 cash raffle too.