Boca Raton, FL—Twin eleven-year-old boys who volunteer at Boca Helping Hands received the surprise of their young lives on March 12 at Boca Helping Hands in Boca Raton.
Starting when they were eight years old, the twin brothers, Jett and Luke Justin, organized a cereal drive for Boca Helping Hands at Calusa Elementary School, and the boys have since expanded the program, now called the Boca Raton Cereal Drive Alliance, to six more elementary schools in the area. The class at each school that collects the most cereal wins a cereal party.
After three years of writing letters to General Mills about the cereal drive, the third time was the charm. This year, the twins’ compelling letter caught the attention of the General Mills cereal team. General Mills surprised Jett and Luke with a major donation to their cereal drive–six pallets of cereal–more than 2,500 boxes.
The boys thought they were coming to Boca Helping Hands to have their picture taken with the several thousand boxes of cereal the Boca Raton Cereal Alliance had donated, but they were incredibly surprised when a truck pulled away to reveal six pallets of cereal from General Mills containing 2500 boxes of cereal. The pallets were so large they could only be lifted by a forklift.
Other participating schools had student representatives in attendance who either helped organize a cereal drive as part of Jett and Luke’s Boca Raton Cereal Drive Alliance or made major cereal donations towards the drive. Other schools that participated in the cereal drive are Addison Mizner, Boca Raton Elementary, Del Prado, Sandpiper Shores, Sunrise Park and Verde Elementary. Jett and Luke have spoken at some of these schools about how they came up with the idea for the cereal drive and why it’s needed.
Educators who have been supportive of the boy’s efforts include Calusa Elementary principal, Dianne Rivelli-Schreiber and student government teachers, Melanie Siegel and Dana Griffith.
Jett and Luke volunteer regularly at Boca Helping Hands, along with their father, Eric Justin, filling pantry bags with food for the underserved. During the cereal drive, Jett and Luke go with the Boca Helping Hands vans to pick up the donated cereal from each school participating in the drive to personally thank the students at each school who led the cereal drive.
About Boca Helping Hands
Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a community-based non-profit located at the Remillard Family Resource Center, 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton 33432. They feed those in need, provide job training, job mentoring, distribute medical and dental vouchers and provide limited financial assistance to qualified Boca Raton residents in crisis.
The Food Center serves a hot meal six days a week with a family night dinner on Thursdays. Meals are also delivered to homebound disabled and elderly individuals. Boca Helping Hands opened its Resource Center in April 2002 with an emphasis on providing help for Boca Raton residents in crisis situations (e.g., eviction, utility cancellation).
With an increased focus on client self-sufficiency, Boca Helping Hands continues to promote and highlight its job training program, which offers free classes in Hospitality, Home Health Aide, CDL (Commercial Truck Driving), Customer Service Representative and IT Help Desk Technician.
The Job Training Programs and Job Mentoring Program provide skills, coaching and guidance designed to help individuals who are seeking employment opportunities. These services compliment the Boca Helping Hands food and resource programs in a continuing effort to help its clients become self-sufficient.
Boca Helping Hands has partnered with Genesis Community Health to open a medical office in December, 2015 and also a dental office in December, 2016 to provide services to the local community. Medical and dental vouchers are available to qualifying, uninsured individuals for first time visits.
Charity Navigator awarded Boca Helping Hands a Four Star Charity for the 12th Consecutive Year.
Boca Helping Hands is located at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, FL 33432, and can be reached at 561-417-0913. For more information, please visit bocahelpinghands.org.