Project Broward: DECA Students Hosts Precious Dreams Drive

by Kiera Cerino

Precious Dreams Packaging: Juniors Javier Hurst and Barbara De Leon Marin and seniors Emily Ensel and Ella Terran package items into bags for the Precious Dreams Foundation. This is the first year that DECA has donated to the foundation after one of the students presented the idea. Photo by Kiera Cerino

As blankets, stuffed animals and story books are packaged in drawstring bags to be sent to the Precious Dreams Foundation, DECA students work to get the bags ready for children who are homeless or in foster care. Over 428,000 children are in foster care in the United States, the Precious Dreams foundation works to ensure that every child can feel comfortable.

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 6, DECA collected a number of items that were on the Precious Dreams list. As juniors Arielle Peralte, Samantha Soskin, and Janine Downs decided to bring the event to West Broward for a community service project for their competition, DECA decided to participate and collect items as donations for the project. 

“We decided to do a community service event project and I had heard about the organization through my temple,” said junior event coordinator Samantha Soskin. “The donated items go to children in foster care that may be dealing with anxiety and depression who need comfort.” 

Over 40 percent of those homeless are under 18 and many of those children worry about finding and securing a place to sleep.The Precious Dreams Foundation works to help children find comfort in difficult times in their lives. The Precious Dreams Foundation provides items to give children that could possibly help and ease their situation. . 

“I hope people gain an understanding of the hardships that children in foster care go through and the importance of the Precious Dreams foundation,”said junior event coordinator Arielle Peralte. “The event supplies children in foster care with items that are proven to help them deal with stress in their difficult situation.”

Students who were involved in the packaging of the items donated were able to sort through the donations and put them into drawstring bags provided by the foundation. While some packaged the bags, other students wrote positive notes to help the children feel more positive were included in the bags.  

“This has changed the way I view community service because before I never really thought that it was something you could do yourself but now I see that it is,” said junior DECA member Innocent Wodzisz . “I learned the value of community service and how a group of people can come together and make a difference.”

Participating in this event was a way for students to become more involved with a foundation they might not have been able to work with otherwise. It provided an opportunity for students to learn about the foundation and see how their donations affect the people receiving the bags. 

“In a sense, it has added to my awareness that there are good things around that I can help with,” said junior DECA member Javier Hurst . “I learned that it is really easy to make a difference in anyone’s life. You just have to get involved.”   

As the final blanket, stuffed animal and storybook are packed into a drawstring bag, preparation for the bags to be sent to the Precious Dreams Foundation begins.

“We hope that we are able to donate fully packaged comfort bags to Precious Dreams and possibly a monogram donation from a fundraiser in the near future,” said junior event coordinator Janine Downs. 

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