Miami non-profit housing children in need seeks volunteers

MIAMI (WSVN) - Lots of organizations step up and help the less fortunate during the holidays, but one center in Miami has been doing that every day since the 1920s. Now the Children’s Home Society wants the community to know they need help year round.

“They’re here at their darkest hour, and that’s why we’re here,” said Philanthropy Director Ryon Coote.

The organization is here to provide holiday help to some of the most vulnerable children in South Florida. The employees and volunteers at Children’s Home Society made Christmas magical for hundreds of kids who have been separated from their parents.

Coote said missions like this motivate him. “That drives me,” he said. “You know, when I see a kid write something down that he wants this, and I can go to a donor and say, ‘Hey, I got a kid here, he’s doing really great in school and all he wants is this,’ and I can make that happen for that kid — that’s priceless.”

Volunteers and companies dropped off toys by the truckload this holiday season. Like employees from Halley Engineering, who couldn’t say no when the list kept growing. “We got a wish list, and we originally started with two bikes,” said Maria Heleni Campos, a volunteer, “and we got the wish list from the center, and there were 14 bikes, diaper bags and diapers and wipes, so we filled it all up.”

The center does so much more than just help around the holidays. They care for these kids every hour of every day, and they’ve been doing it for decades.

In fact, it’s the only center to care for newborns to 11-year-olds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, despite the dedicated staff, they also rely on volunteers like Campos, who gives up her time to help with anything from singing, to babies, to playing with older kids.

“Sometimes we have so much, and we don’t know what to do,” said Campos. “Here’s a place people can come and give a lot. We have a lot to do here.”

The Children’s Home Society is a private non-profit that has 7,000 clients in Miami-Dade County.

If you’d like to donate or volunteer, go to www.chsfl.org.

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