This year Firewall Centers will host their 3rd annual signature Serve-A-Thon event April 30th. Firewall is a faith-based ministry program going into the public schools that provides daily, after-school tutoring and mentoring services designed to help students achieve academic success, build character and transform students into servant leaders. These low income/at risk students are taught about leadership through service and the importance of giving back to others in need. Because our nation is seeing a rapid rise in school dropout rates and poor academic levels, especially in disadvantaged children, Firewall has risen to the occasion to not only help these children survive but to thrive. Statistics have shown that those who have come through the Firewall Center have effective results–improving their grades and showing leadership qualities. Surprisingly, this Gospel-led program is actually being invited into the public schools based on its high success rate in these children. The total of these children who have reaped the benefits of Firewall Center’s service is 400 with the hope of reaching 500+ the next school year with your financial help.
Serve-A-Thon is a hands-on opportunity for Firewall students to give back to their community through service projects. Firewall Centers is now in its fourth year of impacting the community with their students and leaders through their annual Serve-A-Thon. The students learn how to put into practice the act of service and leadership that they learn from their mentors– made up mostly of college students. This year they will be working not only alongside their mentors but also with volunteers from other organizations. Students will feed the homeless with Hope South Florida, renovate the Ann Storck Center campus with Hands on Broward, prepare meals for the hungry with Feeding South Florida, and clean up and beautify Synder Park as part of the Fort Lauderdale Cares Day initiative. Firewall Centers will also partner with Lifework Leadership, an organization that mobilizes Christian business leaders, whose members will serve side by side with the Firewall’s middle and high school students at the event.
Here are what two students had to say about their experience with Firewall and the Serve-A-Thon:
“I used to feel that you only serve others when someone asks for it. Now I think that you need to look for service opportunities rather than having it look for you. Serve because you can, not because you have to,” said Julia Edrnest, a Bair Middle School Center student.
“I will always remember seeing the smiling faces on the children that live at Broward Children’s Center. It made me want to serve others more to see them happy,” said Laila Richardson, a Pompano Beach Middle School Center student.
Serve-A-Thon is not only a great way for these students to give back but it is also a way to generate more funds through sponsorships and donations enabling Firewall Centers to impact more children and the community.
This will be the 3rd year that Serve-A-Thon is presented by Regent Bank. Their sponsorship is an integral part in raising necessary funds for the event, which contributes to the Firewall mission of impacting even more children in the future. At the end of the event the children leave with a feeling that they made a difference in these people’s lives. This is a powerful tool in building up the self-esteem of these kids and gives them a sense of purpose. However, the benefits are not just for the children at Firewall or even for those being served that day. Giselle Bayona, vice president and commercial loan officer of Regent Bank, pointed out, “You go to help, and at the end of the day, they change your heart. You think that you’re doing it for them, but at the end of the day, they are the ones that help you.”
If you are a company, organization or individual looking to further this worthwhile cause, please visit www.FirewallCenters.org for sponsorship packages, donations, and media coverage opportunities.
Chris Alexander is a freelance writer, traveler, and multi-media artist. Visit www.MusicArtLove.com for upcoming events and gallery of her GuitArt. Contact her at Christine@MusicArtLove.com.