On Thursday, November 16th, Housing and Development Software held their annual HDS Thanksgiving Potluck at the Bonaventure Town Center Club in Weston. Employees each brought a dish and were asked that it be something that represented their culture. Cuba, Spain, Israel, and other countries were all present with their culinary confections. There was an array of main dishes, side dishes, and desserts, but HDS would never forget to include the American traditional turkey and pumpkin pie. A fun time was had by all, and bellies left the event full to the brim.

Though Cristina Gilson, CEO of HDS, could not be with the group in person, she was definitely there in spirit. She charitably gave all HDS employees a beautiful note about Thanksgiving along with a thoughtful and generous gift. Paloma Miranda, VP of Services and Program Management for eHousing, helped kick off the event, talking about what we should be thankful for. Abdul Mondol, President of HDS, also spoke on a personal level of what Thanksgiving means to him. Newer employees were then encouraged to stand at the front and introduce themselves to the rest of the staff. Many co-workers went from being only a small picture on a Skype screen into a real, live person.

Carla Otiniano, Program Manager of the HDS Foundation, had a chance to speak with the group about this 501c3 non-profit organization. For more than 10 years, the HDS Foundation has provided mentoring services and opportunities to teens and young adult who have autism related disabilities. In January, the HDS Foundation will be participating in the 2018 Dan Marino Foundation Walkabout Autism at Hard Rock Stadium. Since 2011, over 180 schools and organizations have benefited from the almost 4 million dollars raised by DMF Walkabout Teams and sponsors. Carla went on to explain how each employee could be a part of this fundraising opportunity by either making financial contributions or joining the team, the HDS Contenders, at the event. HDS always finds ways to support Autism programs throughout the community. They proudly accept interns who are on the Autism Spectrum. Nico, a current intern who is affected by Autism Asperger Syndrome, has been interning for HDS since June of this year. He partook in the festivities at the HDS Thanksgiving Potluck, dancing and mingling with the other employees. After all, he is part of the family.

If you would like to support the HDS Contenders at the Walkabout, please go to: http://myhds.co/hdswalkabout There you can join the team or make a monetary contribution. Help support the HDS Foundation. Mentoring. Achieving. Living.