MIAMI — Volunteers from The Continental Group gave an extreme makeover to a group home of the Center for Family and Child Enrichment in Miami where six foster teenagers live.
They completely renovated the home and provided upgrades such as a new kitchen, new air conditioning, painted walls, furniture, landscaping and a basketball court.
A dedication ceremony at the home in Miami’s Liberty City community on Sept. 24 marked the end of the work, with the foster children and members of the Center for Family and Child Enrichment present.
“The change that we have given to the house — they can’t even imagine,” Hector Vargas, vice-president of High-Rise at The Continental Group said in the statement.
“We turned this house into a construction site. It’s really changing the living conditions and making a big difference in their lives,” said Vargas, who was among the volunteers who helped with the makeover.
The rest of the volunteers were excited, as well, and were emotional during the dedication, realizing their labor would make a difference in the lives of the children.
The teenagers, aged 14 to 17, were equally happy, eagerly running into the house to see their new rooms. Everything was familiar, yet extremely different.
Vendors donating services and products included Lukes-Sawgrass Landscape, Capital Painting Restoration Waterproofing, Spectrum Paint, Waste Management, Janis Services, Service America and Platinum Security.
Dolores Dunn, CEO of the Center for Family and Child Enrichment, was grateful for the gesture to create a better environment for the children in the group home.
“We had no idea that the magnitude of their work on the home would be so tremendous,” Dunn said in the statement. “They have definitely made a difference in the lives of these children.”
The center, which has its headquarters in Miami Gardens, has been operating since 1977. Its Web site described the center as “a private, nonprofit, community-based organization that serves children in foster care who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned; children with severe emotional disturbances and in need of mental health care; children in the custody of parents or relatives who are chronic runaways and/or are ungovernable; and children who come to this country without parents or guardians (unaccompanied minors).”
“Our mission is to enrich, strengthen, preserve, restore, and empower children and families in a culturally diverse community,” the Web site says.
The organization runs two group homes in Liberty City and one, for girls, in Miami Gardens, along with a shelter for kids, also in Miami Gardens.
Each year, the center’s services touch the lives of more than 3,000 children and families in Miami-Dade County.
It accepts donations for its work. For more information, call 305-624-7450 or visit http://www.cfceinc.org/.
The Continental Group, founded in 1990, has regional offices in Sarasota, Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Vero Beach, Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Destin. It is the largest manager of condominium and homeowner associations in the state and one of South Florida’s leading private sector employers.
The company, a FirstService Residential Management company, manages and maintains 1,500 associations and more than 310,000 residential units.
Photo: Volunteers from The Continental Group