CORAL SPRINGS, FL – For the small Coral Springs school for children with special needs, the timing of the donation could not have been better.
Like so many other schools, Abi’s Place needed to transition from classroom learning to online learning to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, but the school lacked the budget to purchase laptops for families and teachers, said Nikki Javier, the school manager.
And then, last week, a check for $3,000 arrived from the Rotary Club of Coconut Creek and its foundation, and the school immediately used it to purchase six large-screen laptop computers – four for students and two for staff members.
“We were overwhelmed with gratitude. You have no idea,” Javier said.
The computers are already in use as the school started online learning this week for many of its 13 students, she said. The computers are also used for therapy by the school’s occupational and physical therapists who are doing sessions online.
Once the coronavirus outbreak ends, the school on University Drive will use the computers in their regular classrooms and allow students to take them home when needed if they are ill or can’t attend class.
“It feels absolutely great to support them,” said Sal Golfo, a member of Rotary Club of Coconut Creek, which is in the process of shutting down due to a lack of members. He’s also a member of the Rotary Club of Coral Springs.
The Coconut Creek group also given a $3,000 donation to Jacob’s Shoes, a local children’s shoe charity as well as sent other dollars to the Rotary International foundation, Golfo said.
Golfo said his rotary group has long supported Abi’s Place and Jacob’s Shoes, not just through donations but also in volunteering at events.
For Abi’s Place, the rotary group helped organize bowling events whose proceeds went to buying special electronic learning devices for the school’s special needs children. And for Jacob’s Shoes, the group volunteered at a shoe giveaway event for disadvantaged children, and they purchased a commercial washing machine.
“We’ve supported these groups in the past and now that we’re shutting down, it made a lot of sense to support them again,” Golfo said.
Golfo said rotary members raise a lot of money for local, state and international charity efforts, including most recently helping hurricane victims in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys.
“We do a lot and we fly under the radar with our community work,” Golfo said. “We do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
At Abi’s Place, Javier said she’s always grateful for the assistance from the rotary group, but right now the group came through with much-needed support at a critical time.
“This really helped us out. We, again, are so grateful,” she said.