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Neighbors 4 Neighbors Celebrates 25 Years of Helping South Florida

25 Years

For the past 25 years, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has used the power of television to connect those in need with those who can help. In celebration of this milestone of community philanthropy, Neighbors 4 Neighbors will present an hour-long anniversary special on Sunday, August 27, at 12:30 p.m. on CBS 4, highlighting the history of the nonprofit organization, the people behind it and those stories that touched our hearts and lives.

The 25th anniversary special will be broadcast on location from the History Miami Museum that is hosting a one-of-a-kind exhibit, “Hurricane Andrew – 25 Years Later.”  The exhibition explores the storm through eyewitness, first-person storytelling, historical footage, documentary photography, artifacts and Hurricane Andrew-inspired artwork.

From its humble beginnings in the ruinous wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has evolved into South Florida’s most extensive people-to-people assistance network that, today, supports over 300 nonprofit organizations.

Neighbors 4 Neighbors has created its own signature programs and has facilitated and delivered more than $20 million in aid to South Florida residents in need. And, that number keeps growing, every day. Last year, alone, Neighbors 4 Neighbors delivered more than $818,660 in goods, services and volunteer time.

Anniversary Special to Air on Sunday, August 27, at 12:30 p.m. on CBS 4

Viewers who tune-in to Neighbors 4 Neighbors’ 25th Anniversary Special can share in the human connection and charitable spirit that our community was built on.

The program will revisit and catch-up with some of the following heartwarming stories:

Yiamara Pinero – A former recipient of N4N’s Adopt A Family Program, Pinero now works at the agency who helped her family many years ago enjoy a happy holiday. She still struggles, works full-time, has two children (one with severe special needs who needs constant care), but never loses her smile. She is an ideal example of why the Adopt A Family for the Holidays program is still going strong, 25 years later.

Kim Coseno – A simple request for three computers to home school her triplet girls, all with brain tumors, turned into an outpouring of support including thousands of dollars to help with medical bills. The overwhelming response gave them hope for the future.

Michael Brewer – In 2009, the heartbreaking story of a teen who had been attacked by fellow students, doused with alcohol and set on fire made national news. Neighbors 4 Neighbors was there to support him and his family during their time of need and raised tens of thousands of dollars to help cover the costs of his painful medical treatments and procedures.

Lynne Cameron

Lynne Cameron, executive director of Neighbors 4 Neighbors, shared that there are thousands more stories just like these and she’s grateful for every well wish and outstretched hand to help.

“We’d like thank each sponsor and donor who joined us in caring about their fellow community members through Neighbors 4 Neighbors. Every single dollar has made an impact to the tune of millions in resources, goods and services,” said Cameron.  “You don’t have to be rich to help, though. Neighbors 4 Neighbors is about time, commitment, kindness and hope. We want the community to know that we are here and we can make a difference, together.”

(Photos: Sam Calderon/Michael Murphy Photography)

This past Thursday, August 24, Neighbors 4 Neighbors held a private screening of the Anniversary Special for friends and supporters at the Gables Cinema.

Guests began the evening by walking the Red Carpet leading to the theater entrance before posing for photos in front of the N4N Step and Repeat.

 

 

 

 

Inside, was a glorious reception with drinks and food catered by Susan Bleemer.

 

 

 

After the screening, guests went home with gift bags with specially branded N4N chocolates created by Hoffman’s Chocolates.

 

 

 

Lynne Cameron and Nelly Rubio

Highlights included recognition of board members who started with Neighbors 25 years ago, a special tribute to Neighbors creator, Nelly Rubio and a presentation to Lynne Cameron.

“Your support and leadership inspires me to continue exploring ways Neighbors 4 Neighbors can help even more people.  Thank you for walking beside me and our amazing staff.  We are a family, and I am very proud and grateful for each of you,” Cameron told the audience.

Scroll down for more photos from the event

In addition to individual stories, Neighbors 4 Neighbors is proud to be a part of the following signature programs and initiatives which can also be accessed through helpingfeelsgood.org:

Connections for Cancer, a multimedia campaign sponsored by Sylvester Cancer Center, educates the public about many cancer support organizations throughout South Florida. This important resource can help cancer patients, survivors and their families navigate through a cancer diagnosis and the aftermath.

Faces of Homelessness, in its second year, sponsored by Wells Fargo, educates and empowers the community to become a part of the fight to end homelessness.  Data shows the fastest growing segment of homeless is families with young children, and youth between 12 and 24.

Biscayne National Park Campaign, funded by the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, which is a 24-yer Neighbors 4 Neighbors supporter, focuses on the diversity, science and impact of the largest Marine based park in the National Park system and the scientists working to protect educate and engage our neighbors to ensure the health of this national treasure.

Summer Safety with CSC Broward is a kid-focused program offering swim lessons, water safety, safe sleeping, look before you lock, free summer lunch programs and more.

Back-to-school with CSC Broward and Miami Dade Public Schools Project Impact distributes backpacks, supplies, uniforms, shoes and books to more than 6,000 kids each year.

Adopt A Bear was created by former CBS investigative reporter, Michelle Gillen, and Neighbors 4 Neighbors is proud to be its fiscal agent. Bears are purchased and given to Family Court Judges, Fire and Police, for children who have been traumatized in Miami-Dade and Broward.  Recent grants from Palm Beach Sherriff’s office, have taken the program to Palm Beach.

Operation Candy Corn

Operation Candy Corn, now in its 4th year, collects gently worn Halloween costumes, and distributes them to non-profit partners serving children in need.  A total of 5,848 costumes have put smiles on faces of kids.  Many donors are schools whose students donate gently worn costumes giving the kids a chance to experience the joy of giving without financial strain on parents.

 

Adopt a Family for the Holidays

Adopt A Family 4 The Holidays & Operation Elf is the most popular program each year. Last year’s sponsors Publix and Baptist Health allowed Neighbors 4 Neighbors to match hundreds of families in need with caring “adopters.” It also serves families not eligible for the one-on-one experience with gift cards and toy drives. In 2016, 7,529 people received gifts, food and friendship.

 

Marcia Mendez-Vento, Exec. Asst.; Lynne Cameron Exec. Dir.; Katy Meagher, Producer ©James Woodley

“We’ve had an incredible 25 years of accomplishments and are looking forward to another quarter decade of feel good connections,” said Cameron. “But, most importantly, we have showcased a strong, caring and resilient community that has become a symbol of strength and a model for others around the world.”

 

 

For more information, to donate or to read about success stories that inspire action and create change for neighbors in need, visit www.Neighbors4Neighbors.org.

All photos provided by:
Sam Calderon/Michael Murphy Photography

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