Volunteer Spotlight: Team All for One: Aaliyah & Aldith

Processed with VSCO with  presetOur February 2018 Volunteer Spotlight goes to our Project Leaders, Aaliyah Shaw and Aldith Perry. Their journey began with us in March 2017 when Aaliyah was looking to get her graduation requirement for school; she wanted to exceed the expectation of 40 hours and garner 250 hour to qualify for the Silver Cord for graduation. Her mom Aldith, initially started by being only her daughter’s transportation to and from the volunteer events, then she was only an observer and eventually became a fully committed volunteer team with her daughter; Team All for One.

Initially, Aaliyah was recluse at the idea of volunteering, “I had no problem with the aspect of helping out in my community, but I’m a shy person and I was hesitant about going to different places and having to talk to people all the time,” she recalls. She soon found that it wasn’t as unnerving as she thought it to be. Aldith was along for the ride. She soon found the projects interesting and encouraged her daughter to do more.

Aaliyah and Aldith have worked on many projects including: Afterschool Recreation Program at Greater Horizons Academy, Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep with Kids Ecology Corps, Sticker & Pizza Party, Hurricane Preparedness Blowout, Electronics Recycling at ARC Broward, Back to School Community Extravaganza, Merrill Lynch Bull Run and many others. They enjoyed volunteering with us so much that they became Project Leaders.

Aldith saw it fit for both to become Project Leaders, “I wanted to be more involved and I needed to get my daughter more involved… to develop some leadership skills and be more responsible.” Since then, Aaliyah has broken out of her shell and is more open with others. They have been reliable and dependable Project Leaders; always willing to rise up and give a helping hand whenever they can.

When asked about recommending others to become Project Leaders Aaliyah and Aldith make high praise of how this role teaches great responsibility and leadership skills. They both encourage new volunteers to, “give whatever you can give and even if it is only your time; this is so enriching” Aldith mentions that, “[volunteering] helps you feel better about yourself and when you go to these events it makes you realize that there is something out there that is much bigger than yourself, there are needs out there far greater than you can imagine, and it makes me feel good to be of service to the greater community.”

They leave us with the quote:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” — Martin Luther King, Jr.








Volunteer Spotlight: “Team Verde” Lisa, Bella and Christian Verde

Our January 2018 volunteer spotlight goeVerdess to to the dream-work “Team Verde” Lisa, Bella and Christian Verde. They have been volunteering with us since 2015 and are passionate fans of our monthly DIY Volunteer Projects. Lisa, mom of Bella and Christian, found out about HandsOn Broward through Christian’s school, “We were referred to the HandsOn Broward website when my son Christian joined the Honors Society in middle school. It was listed as a service hour resource in the paperwork he was given.”

So far they have constantly volunteered and are passionate about the time they give to serve. “The organization has been instrumental in allowing us to find the majority of our service hour projects. The website is the perfect comprehensive list for any type of volunteering that an individual or organization is looking for. All of the staff are great to work with,” are their words after volunteering with us for since 2015. They have volunteered at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep with the Kids Ecology Corps, Markham Park Butterfly Garden Project, Family Volunteer Day, Miramar Community Garden Volunteer Workday, Lakeside Sand Pine Preserve Clean Up and a number of Do-It-Yourself Projects.

Lisa shared with us how she first got involved with volunteering, “Honestly, I have been involved with community service hour projects my whole life. My elementary school regularly involved us in community clean ups in the nearby vacant lots, so I was exposed at a very young age. When my son got accepted into the Honor Society, it was a good opportunity to introduce my kids to volunteering outside of the Scouting organizations that they were already participating in.” Her kids have since followed in her foot steps and are actively passionate about service. This can be seen in their care when creating their DIY donations to help low-income families, the homeless, children with disabilities, the elderly and families in distress.

One of the best things about volunteering,Team Verde notes, is that, “It gives [us] a sense of fulfillment and allows [us] to spend some quality time [together]”

When asked why other volunteers should get involved with HandsOn Broward, Team Verde replied, “…HandsOn Broward is a respected and well known organization in the service hour community. You can feel safe dealing with their affiliate organizations.” Their advice to new volunteers is, “sometimes it is scary to drive and participate in something new. Or, it is hard to get up early on a weekend to be at a cleanup at 7am, but, if you will just try it, I think you will find the satisfaction that you receive from doing it, more than makes up for the fear you might feel. You meet a lot of new and interesting people that you would have not normally met in your usual daily activities, which to me, is priceless within itself.”

HandsOn Broward Welcomes Board Member, Justin Nepola  



December 8, 2017- (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)– HandsOn Broward today announced that Justin Nepola was appointed to the organization’s board of directors.  Nepola, a founding partner at Nepola Attorneys at Law, provides legal services for real estate and estate planning clients. He has practice in Real Estate since 1997 with work in every aspect of the industry from commercial land lord tenant work to national title insurance underwriters.

“HandsOn Broward is honored to welcome to our board an individual with a spirit of service and a strong commitment to effecting positive change in our community,” said Dale Mandell, CEO of HandsOn Broward.

A long-time HandsOn Broward volunteer and community advocate, Nepola is also owner of Kaizen Beauty Academy.  Previously, he served as Vice President for AmTrust Financial Services, Account Manager for Old Republic National Title Insurance Underwriter and Property Manager for TN Property Management and Southern Management and Development.

“I am honored to be joining the HandsOn Broward Board of Directors.  From the first time I volunteered for a project I was hooked,” Nepola said.  “I love knowing that every project I work on has a lasting impact and no two projects are ever the same. Making the experience even more incredible is the fact that I can work side by side with my family.  I know of no other organization that creates so many opportunities for every member of the family, regardless of age, to get involved.”

Nepola earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Miami as well as a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California. He currently sits on multiple boards, including the Chairing Broward County Human Rights Board, Miramar Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Franklin Academy Excellence in Education Advisory Board, Charter Schools of Excellence Board of Directors and the City of Pembroke Pines Social Media Committee.

In addition to Nepola, HandsOn Broward’s Board of Directors consists of Ismael Martinez, Director of Family Success Administration in Broward County;  Dan Schevis, Community Advocate; Laura Johnson, Special Projects Coordinator of Florida Department of Children & Families; Matt Anthony, Community Advocate; Lisette Egues, Assistant Vice President of Baptist Health Outpatient Services; Arianne Glassman, President of rAv Communications; Brian Meister, President & CEO of Image360; Dawn Stagliano, Director of Government Affairs for Comcast; Noel Mauro, Vice President, Corporate Banking of City National Bank.

About HandsOn Broward: HandsOn Broward inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action to positively affect change in Broward County. To learn more about HandsOn Broward’s upcoming service opportunities or to schedule a volunteer orientation at your organization or place of business, please call 954.233.1300 or visit us online at www.HandsOnBroward.org.

December Volunteer Spotlight: Antoine Bacchus


AntoineOur December 2017 volunteer spotlight goes to the avid volunteer, Antoine Bacchus. He has been volunteering with us since August 2017 and is an Urban Farming enthusiast of sorts. We first met Antoine when his sister Christina introduced us to him and his interest in volunteering. Antoine recalled, “I heard about HandsOn Broward [through] my sister when she was researching places where I could do community service”. HandsOn Broward was one of the top websites in her research results and they decided to check us out.

“My first opportunity that I attended during the summer of 2017 was kind of nerve wracking because I did not know what to expect or how the people would behave towards me,” expressed Antoine. He was shy in the beginning but after volunteering more regularly, it became natural for him to show up and exude a can-do attitude, “Now after doing several opportunities I consider myself as a semi-pro because I know what to expect when I attend an opportunity and I know the staff is more than willing to help me out if I have any questions,” said Antoine. Since August, he has been a regular volunteer at Urban Farming and Gardening at Dania Beach Patch, working on the urban farm by planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. He proudly says that, “My favorite experience as a volunteer is at the Urban Farming and Gardening at Dania Beach Patch”.

“I enjoy volunteering because it gives me a chance to meet new people and to get out of my comfort zone,” Antoine said, “Initially what motivated me to get involved in the community [was] because I had to complete community service hours, but now I see [it as] opportunities that help other people and/or the nature.”

He has also volunteered at our Electronics Recycling at ARC Broward, Children’s Services Council Back to School Community Extravaganza Prep Day, and Miramar Community Garden Volunteer Workday.

When asked why other volunteers should get involved with HandsOn Broward, Antoine replied, “I think other volunteers should get involved with HandsOn Broward because it’s a new learning experience and when you are done you feel good about yourself that you made a difference in the community, even if it’s small.” His advice for new volunteers is to, “give the opportunities a chance with an open mind.”


November 2017 Volunteer Spotlight: Nilam and Kangana Modi

Our November 2017 volunteer spotlight goes to the mother and daughter duo, Nilam and Kangana Modi. They have been volunteering with us since April 2017 and are rock star volunteers in their own right. Nilam reached out to us because she wanted to get involved in volunteering with her 10-year-old daughter, Kangana. “Initially it was about volunteer hours, but once we started volunteering it changed our view,” are Nilam’s words. They had heard about HandsOn Broward from one of our current volunteers and decided to seek us out.

They found it a little difficult at first to find opportunities that accepted youth volunteers, but after connecting with us, we were able to help point them in the right direction. “We were amazed by the work Hands on Broward carries out,[and] we love to be a part of it!” remarked Nilam, “We feel valued and part of the team.” Since May, they’ve been “regulars” at our Kids Care Club projects – creating Mother’s Day & Father’s Day cards for the residents at Broward Outreach Center, creating dog and cat toys for local animal shelters, as well as participating in our Kids Care Club Disaster Prep Rally.

“We enjoy volunteering because as a mother and daughter, we get to spend time together on very important tasks which are helping our community,” Nilam said, “It has been a great experience for both of us. We learned a lot about the Broward community and how Hands on Broward helps improve the quality of community life.”

They have also volunteered at our Movies, Muffins & Beyond project at the Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Services Council Back to School Community Extravaganza, Keep Port Everglades Shipshape Drum Painting project, and more.

When asked why other volunteers should get involved with HandsOn Broward, Nilam replied, “Other volunteers should get involved with Hands on Broward to help the community, people in need, and the environment. We should give something back to an organization that has helped lots of people.”
Continue reading

Welcome Phillippa & Sam

HandsOn Broward would like to welcome the newest members of our team, Phillippa Paisley and Samantha Weinstein. Phillippa will be our Volunteer Coordinator and Sam our Office Manager.

Phillippa Paisley

pipPhillippa believes in the social responsibility of giving your time and effort toward making impactful changes in the community – a domino effect to change in the world. She comes to us with a background in volunteerism, volunteer management and recruitment, leadership and good governance, policy and research as well outreach and engagement. Throughout her year of service, Phillippa has volunteered with many non-profits in Broward and Miami-Dade and she ready to engage with and mobilize the volunteers of HandsOn Broward. We are happy to have her on board!

Samantha Weinstein

samSamantha is very excited to be joining the HandsOn Broward team. Samantha comes with a strong background in volunteerism and community involvement. Professionally, Samantha has experience with human resources, training and management and community outreach. She has volunteered with many groups on various projects but is particularly invested in children, animals and environmental issues as well as LGBTQ rights. She took part in the legislative process and lobbied for anti-bullying laws to include trans-gendered students which has been passed. She looks forward to effecting change within the community and mobilizing other volunteers. We are happy to have her on board!


• Plan in Advance – If you live in an evacuation zone and an evacuation is ordered, you are required by law to evacuate. Public shelters are a refuge of last resort. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort, and only one shelter accepts pets, although service animals for the disabled are accepted at all shelters.
• Identify a Safe Room – If you plan to stay at home, identify the safest room in your home. This is generally an interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom or closet. Make plans to take shelter in this room in the event of a direct hit.
• Request Assistance if Needed – If you require special assistance in evacuating, or need to stay at a Special Needs shelter, call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608). If a member of your family is elderly, frail or disabled and may become vulnerable in the aftermath of a storm, register them with Broward County’s Vulnerable Population Registry. Visit Broward.org/Hurricane and select RESIDENTS AT RISK, or call 311 or 954-831-4000.
• Stock Your Hurricane Kit – View back for list of supplies including food and water that will sustain your family for three to five days, and a two-week supply of medicines.
• If Evacuating Out of the Area, Leave Early – Plan to leave as early as 48 hours in advance, and no later than the issuance of a Hurricane Watch. Keep in mind that a hurricane’s path is uncertain and you could inadvertently evacuate to an area where the storm may eventually strike. Take along your hurricane kit.
• Document Assets – Make a visual or written record of your assets for insurance purposes. Also, photograph the exterior of your home including landscaping or structures that may not be insurable but impact the value of your property. Take these records with you if you evacuate.
• Protect Important Papers – Photocopy important papers such as insurance policies and store them with a friend or in a safe deposit box outside of the hurricane area. Or, protect important family and financial documents inside a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag. If you evacuate, take these documents with you.
• Secure Your Home – Shutter windows and glass doors, and anchor loose yard objects or bring them inside.
• Prepare a Water Supply – Know who your water service provider is so you will know if a “boil water” order applies to your home. Check your water bill if you are unsure. As the storm approaches, fill pre-sanitized sinks and tubs with clean water for bathing and flushing toilets.
• Set Appliances – Turn refrigerators and freezers to highest settings in anticipation of a power outage.
• Get Cash – Banks and ATMs do not operate without electricity.
• Get Gas – Gas pumps do not work without electricity.
• Charge Phones – Charge your cell phone and wireless phone batteries.
• Check on Neighbors – Check on your neighbors — especially the elderly and those with special needs.
• Notify Others of Your Plans – Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all family members have a single point of contact. Notify this contact and other family members and friends of your plans.
• Plan For Your Pet —Specialized pet shelters, pet-friendly hotels, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster. For a list of pet-friendly hotels and boarding kennels, visit Broward.org/Animal. If you plan to go with your pet to a pet-friendly shelter, space is limited to those living in mobile homes and evacuation areas, and advance, in-person, preregistration is required. Call the Broward County Humane Society at 954-989-3977.


⎫ Drinking Water: At least one gallon per person per day for three to five days, preferably two weeks. Extra water is needed for food preparation and personal hygiene. To store drinking water, use food-grade containers. You can use clean, airtight containers such as two-liter soda jugs, but no milk containers. If you re-use disposable plastic bottles, do not keep them for more than a month.
⎫ Food: At least enough for three to five days, including non-perishable packaged or canned food, canned or shelf milk, cereal, etc.; and snack foods
⎫ A three- to five-day supply of special items for babies such as formula, food, wipes, diapers; special foods for the elderly; toiletries and extra toilet paper
⎫ Manual can opener/bottle opener
⎫ Paper goods such as plates, bowls, napkins, towels, and plastic eating utensils
⎫ Unscented household bleach and medicine dropper
⎫ Extra bedding such as blankets, pillows, sleeping bag, etc. in case you must evacuate
⎫ Clothing, including rain gear and sturdy shoes
⎫ First aid kit
⎫ Medicines/prescription drugs: A two-week supply
⎫ Hand sanitizer
⎫ Flashlight and extra batteries
⎫ Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
⎫ Disposable batteries, car charger or solar charger for your cell phone
⎫ Hardline telephone with jack (not cordless)
⎫ Books and games or toys
⎫ Pet food, cat litter and other pet care items
⎫ Tool kit including cord, rope, hammer, wood nails, saw, hatchet or axe, crowbar, chain saw blades, tarp, duct tape, and heavy work gloves
⎫ Plastic trash bags and ties
⎫ Extra resealable plastic storage bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil and disposable aluminum pans
⎫ Extra charcoal or propane gas for outdoor cooking. Sterno can also be used. Never cook with any of these items inside your house. The smoke and fumes are deadly.
⎫ Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
⎫ Matches in a waterproof container
⎫ Mosquito repellent with DEET, and sunscreen
⎫ Any special equipment or items you may need


The county contacts HandsOn Broward for all the communities’ volunteer needs, through our Volunteer Reception Center.

Contact HandsOn Broward at 954-233-1300