The Broward Partnership is an organization whose mission is to assist in reducing homelessness. They accomplish this by promoting independence and self-worth. With programs and comprehensive services focused on advocacy and housing, they have been able to assist more than 23, 400 individuals to date. On November 28, 2018, employees of HDS Companies volunteered at the Broward Partnership during their holiday event. A group from HDS met at the offices of the partnership in Fort Lauderdale and actively assisted in decorating the facility in preparation for the holidays, preparing lunch, and serving meals. Here are what some of the HDS employees had to say about this event:

Carla Otiniano, Program Manager, HDS Foundation – “We were asked to decorate the main areas for the holidays. We hung wreaths, bows, lights, and we decorated trees. While some employees were busy decorating, other employees served lunch to people currently residing at the Broward Partnership. I walked around taking pictures of the event, where I saw families with children in the line for food. Though I was sad that this is other people’s realities, I was gratified knowing that I could do something to help make them happier and help put them in the holiday spirit. This opportunity to interact with the Broward Partnership staff and to see all the wonderful things they do to help the homeless community makes me want to do more, to make sure I continue to teach my children to be grateful, and to pay it forward.”

Terri Scharnow, Program Administration Support, eHousingPlus – “Thank you for allowing me to participate in giving back to the community today. It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me, as I had never before been to a homeless shelter. I was in awe of the residents there. They were grateful, appreciative, and even our putting up decorations put a smile on their faces. My next thought was their story…how did they end up homeless? Then I realized what I have and often take for granted or worry about and this experience made me realize I shouldn’t do this. I am very appreciative for the opportunity to be involved in such a wonderful experience with such an amazing organization.”

Lorena Hernandez, Business Associate, Housing and Development Services and Shanna March, Supervisor of Program Administration, eHousingPlus – “Seeing the smiles on each person’s face when assisting serving in the kitchen was a very fulfilling experience to both of us. Everyone seemed genuinely appreciative of everything that was done to assist them. It was a bit disheartening to see so many displaced families, especially those with small children. But this experience made us feel even more thankful for what we have, and glad to have had this opportunity to give back.”

HDS is proud to have so many dedicated employees who assisted the Broward Partnership this year, and we look forward to donating more time and services in the future. If you would like to help the Broward Partnership, you can donate on their webpage at or you can donate items from their wish list. These wish list items, such as unexpired canned and dry foods, personal hygiene products, and clothing, can be dropped off at 920 NW 7th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Call the Broward Partnership at 954.779.3990 or email [email protected] for more information on how you can assist this wonderful group.