PARKLAND, FL- Valentine's Day is typically a day to express love and appreciation for those close to us. For veterans and families that are experiencing homelessness, it can also be a reminder of their current situation. For the Parkland community, February 14 is a painful reminder of the lives tragically lost nearly three years ago.

2020 North Broward Prep graduate Charlie Khalil created the project "Boxes of Love" to give back to the homeless veterans and families in honor of the Stoneman Douglas victims and to honor his friend Luke, who lost his life in the shooting. 

Shoe boxes will be wrapped like a Valentine's Day box and filled with both practical and fun items. The boxes will be given to homeless vets and homeless families with children.  The boxes will vary by age. The boxes will be distributed by Hope South Florida and the Broward County Taskforce for Ending Homelessness.

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Last year close to 500 Boxes of Love were made and distributed to homeless veterans and families. The community's help is needed filling that need. Each box typically cost $20 to fill and is approved for 2 service hours if service hours are needed. Boxes are due no later than February 6, 2021.

"Homeless people often feel isolated and invisible. You can show them that they are not forgotten and loved," added parent organizer Heather Khalil. 

Boxes of Love donations that are needed:

  • Homeless veterans: pack of socks, band aids, full size toiletries, shoe laces, gum, tissue packs, bag of beef jerky, granola bars, mask, hand sanitizer and a note of encouragement.  Place an index card on top of your wrapped box with gender and age or size and tape it on the lid.
  • Homeless teen or single mom: toiletries, nail polish, a book, snack, something that would appeal to a teen that is gender appropriate, fun socks, foot cream, mask and hand sanitizer. Place an index card on top of your wrapped box with gender and age or size and tape it on the lid. 
  • Young child: basic toiletries, a pair of pajamas, clothing, coloring book and crayons, a book or stuffed animal, cars, snack, game, play dough. Place an index card on top of your wrapped box with gender and age or size and tape it on the lid. 

 

For more information on the Boxes of Love project, to donate or to serve, please contact Heather Khalil at HeatherKhalil@gmail.com or join the Facebook group Heather's Volunteer Opportunities.

 

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