Miami Jewish Health Collects Supplies for Neighborhood School

August 20th, 2018 By Sallie James
Dana Kulvin, vice president of legal and compliance for Miami Jewish Health, organized an employee-based school supply drive for Toussaint Louverture Elementary School in Little Haiti, just blocks from the Miami Jewish Health campus.

MIAMI – Earbuds, backpacks and books are just a few of the supplies Miami Jewish Health is donating to a local school to make learning easier.

Miami Jewish Health is partnering with Toussaint Louverture Elementary as part of a county-wide program that pairs local businesses with area schools. Nearly 400 students attend the school at 120 NE 59th Street in Miami, where 97 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunch, according to Principal Lilia Dobao.

“Anything we get is really going to be used for the kids,” Ms. Dobao said. “Headphones or earbuds and the backpacks are a big thing.”

The school adopted the use of clear backpacks as a safety measure after the February 14th mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland but many of the families can’t buy them because the backpacks are mostly sold online. Many of the school’s families don’t have wifi at home and can’t order products online, Dobao explained. That’s why donations help.

“It’s a good way to give back,” said Dana Kulvin, vice president of legal and compliance for Miami Jewish Health and the supply drive organizer. Kulvin wanted to support a local school and chose Toussaint Louverture because she passes it every day on her way to work.

It was a perfect match.

Donations Ease the Burden for Financially-Challenged Families

Donations of books and clothing pile up at Miami Jewish Health. The supplies will be distributed to students in need at Toussaint Louverture Elementary.

According to Dobao, approximately 80 percent of the student population at the school are Haitian or African-American. The remaining 20 percent are Hispanic. The employees at Miami Jewish Health include a mix of both.

“Our students take a lot of pride in their culture and we definitely take pride in it. We also take pride in Little Haiti in being named after a Haitian leader,” Doboa said.

Toussaint Louverture was a leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution. He emancipated the slaves and negotiated for the French colony on Hispaniola, Saint-Domingue (later Haiti), to be governed, briefly, by black former slaves as a French protectorate.

Earbuds and backpacks aren’t the only hot commodity.

Miami Jewish Health is also collecting new or gently used books and coats for students in grades kindergarten through fifth.

“You never know. If the kids stay in the neighborhood they could become our employees in the community,” Kulvin said. “It’s a good way to give back.”

Miami Jewish Health is also donating office chairs that were recently replaced by newer ones.

Giving Back Fuels Community Pride

Kulvin is hoping that students will someday visit Miami Jewish Health to possibly entertain residents and patients with song and conversation.

Dobao is hoping Miami Jewish Health employees will participate in an April 2019 Career Day at the school and possibly also volunteer at the school sometime to read books or help out.

“We have a culture of learning and we take pride in academics and achievement,” Dobao said.

Miami Jewish is collecting the following items for Toussaint Louverture Elementary:

  • Earbuds (Life.Idea 3.5 mm package of 10 or 50 — Amazon)
  • Clear Backpacks (NuFazes clear backpacks in multiple colors — Amazon)
  • New or gently used books
  • Jackets/raincoats

Interested in helping out? Please contact Dana Kulvin at dkulvin@miamijewishhealth.org.

 

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