Save the Date!

Giving Thanks Together
Virtual Community Dinner

Saturday, November 7, 2020
Message from the CEO
Lessons learned through hard times
Dear Friends,

The pandemic has brought to light some hard truths about our society, and tough lessons about building a compassionate community that benefits everyone.

But good lessons aren't hard to find here at the Fuller Center! Every day we find inspiration in our fabulous children, our hardworking families, our caring and diligent staff, and our kindhearted supporters. For me, the silver linings are in witnessing the dedication and creativity I see at work here every day as we evolve to continue this mission through hard times.
We learned that there's a glaring disparity in health care access that runs along demographic lines - mostly affecting the populations we serve.

In response to this, we provided resource information and counseling by our Family Support Team to ensure no child or family slips through the cracks at this time when health care access is so very important.
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We learned how damaging long-term isolation can be, and how desperate the need for family and community connections can become.

In response to this, we organized a unique community event - the first Giving Thanks Together virtual family dinner. This event is an opportunity for friends and families to re-discover the healing, strengthening tradition of the family dinner, and join together from the comfort and safety of their own homes and share a meal as we engage in meaningful conversation.
We learned that widespread emergency and crisis worsens food insecurity for those already in need. Children miss out on daily school meals, and struggling families must squeeze their budgets even further on inflated grocery expenses - if they can afford additional meals at all.

In response to this, our team worked with individual families to provide the resources they needed so they wouldn't go hungry, and worked closely with community organizations and volunteer initiatives to provide for the nutrition of our children and families.
We learned that technology and internet access are absolute necessities for children attending school virtually, as well as to maintain our teachers' and Family Support Team's connection with children and families to ensure their well-being. Unfortunately, the population we serve are least likely to own such equipment or have such reliable internet service.

In response to this, we put all our electronic resources to work and created the School Away from School program, connecting 175 children to their individual online classrooms from the Center, and providing the guidance they need to continue their education and social skills development despite the circumstances.

And we're not the only ones who learned valuable lessons!
All around the country, we learned how much we truly owe to the essential workers who kept our communities safe and supplied through the shutdowns.

We learned how crucial child care is to them - to the 90% of hardworking parents of Fuller Center children who ARE essential and front-line workers - who were there for us when we needed it most.

We confirmed what we already knew - how essential the Fuller Center services are to this community - especially during crisis, and especially as we recover economically.
Click below to hear from CEO Ellyn Okrent, Board member Peg Anderson, and Fuller Center parents on what the Fuller Center means to them today.

This is why we do this work!
The Fuller Center is committed to its mission in good times and in bad. We will continue to embrace our children and families to ensure that their opportunity to build happy, healthy, and successful futures is not lost.

Please never forget that YOU are a vital part of this important work. None of this happens without the kind hearts of caring and responsible individuals like yourself! When these children grow up to break the cycle of poverty despite everything that stood to hold them back, they'll have you to thank for believing and investing in them. Thank you.
Heartfelt,
Ellyn Okrent, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer
Fuller Center featured on The Today Show!
Center nationally recognized for school safety during pandemic
The Fuller Center was featured on The Today Show as part of a segment on returning to school safely! We're honored to be recognized at the national level as the model for how schools should look in the time of COVID-19.

As we prepared to reopen, we began strictly enforcing CDC guidelines: keeping group sizes small, wearing masks, social distancing, maintaining the highest level of personal hygiene and campus sanitation, etc. We also hired at least eight additional staff members on each campus to carry out the additional required responsibilities.
Giving Thanks Together
A New and Unique Event to Celebrate Family, Community, Gratitude, and Gathering Together - Virtually!
We need rituals like the family dinner now more than ever! Regular and dependable rituals can help families remain resilient during difficult times. The world needs to come together right now, and with families spending more time with one another during the COVID-19 crisis, we saw an opportunity to revisit the importance of the family dinner and harness the power of friendship and community. We may not be able to gather together physically, but we can gather in small groups in our homes and in our hearts as we Give Thanks Together over a delicious meal!

JOIN US AS WE GIVE THANKS TOGETHER
Saturday, November 7th at 7:00 PM

EVENT CHAIRS
TARA & MATT PAWLOWSKI
KATHERINE & SCOTT VAN WYNGARDEN


Event Updates

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the following event dates have been updated. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding as we do our best to keep our community safe by social distancing.

RESCHEDULED

19th Annual Men with Caring Hearts Awards Luncheon
Friday, April 16th, 2021

15th Annual Wee Dream Ball
Friday, December 3rd, 2021


Click Here to email Special Events Manager Alana Lagerström for more information on Fuller Center events and community events benefiting the Fuller Center.
Thank You to our Grant Partners
The following grantmaking organizations have recently awarded grants to support the programs that strengthen our community and help change the lives of local children and families in need.
Stay Safe and Protect Others!

Please visit our website for updates regarding COVID-19 and family resources. 
How You Can Help
Monthly Giving: Become a Champion for the Children

Just $10 a month can provide two children with school supplies all year. Monthly Giving is safe, easy, and incredibly impactful, ESPECIALLY now!

Spread the Word: Open Enrollment for 2020-2021

If you or anyone you know in South Palm Beach County is in need of affordable child care, CLICK HERE to learn more about enrolling at the Fuller Center, the most affordable NAEYC-accredited child development center in Boca Raton.
Adopt-a-Class

Some classes are still looking for an Adopt-a-Class Sponsor! For a donation of $1,500, you can provide resources for an entire classroom of children, investing in their futures and changing their lives! Will you, your family, or your corporate team be the special friends our children need this school year?

Contact Adopt-a-Class liaison Emily at (561) 391-7274, ext. 130 or email to learn more!
Chromebook Fund:
Closing the Digital Divide

Children growing up in poverty risk not learning the skills needed for the careers of tomorrow! Now in the time of physically distanced virtual learning, access to these resources is critical. You can help prepare our children to be tech-literate for a fast-paced, digital future.

Click Here to donate toward the Chromebook Fund!
Did You Know?

Studies link regular family dinners with lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression in young adults, higher grade-point averages and self-esteem among children, and greater vocabulary retention in young children.

Click Here to take part in the Fuller Center's first virtual family dinner!
Leave a Legacy

Click Here to email Director of Advancement Mary Coleman to learn more about how you can make a lasting difference for decades through Planned Giving!

Your legacy is every life you've touched. ~ Maya Angelou
Back to School Campaign

The children are back at school, and they need your support more than ever before to have a successful school year! Will you make the difference?

Click Here to contribute to the Fuller Center Back to School campaign!
Community Leadership Forum

Would you like to help the children with your talent or expertise? Your knowledge could make a big difference!

Thank you for staying updated with the happenings at the Fuller Center, for staying involved in the children's lives, and making their futures brighter every day!