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12/14/2012 9:09 AM ET

Miami Marlins Day of Civic Engagement and Philanthropy featured school visits, donations and shopping sprees for youth aging out of foster care


MIAMI, FL – For the second year in a row, Marlins Ayudan hosted a Day of Civic Engagement and Philanthropy. Fourteen Marlins Ayudan teams, comprised of nearly 150 front-office employees, spread holiday cheer at various spots throughout our community. Marlins Ayudan engaged with students at our partner schools*, committed random acts of kindness, honored veterans, and funded a shopping spree for youth aging out of the foster care system. The Day of Civic Engagement and Philanthropy is a day to honor Miami and our commitment to Corporate and Social Responsibility.

Marlins Ayudan teams engaged in a scavenger hunt with the students at their respective school and developed a game plan to address their schools’ area of greatest need.  *Marlins Ayudan Partner Schools: Ben Sheppard Elementary School, Bent Tree Elementary School, Bunche Park Elementary School, Citrus Grove Elementary School, Citrus Grove Middle School, Miami Edison Middle School, Miami Senior High School, and Terra Environmental Research Institute (T.E.R.R.A.).

In honor of the fallen heroes on December 7, 1941, in Pearl Harbor, the Marlins joined members of the South Florida Council of Fire Fighters for a wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Memorial in Bayfront Park.  A contingent of over 80 Marlins Ayudan members and firefighters took part in the Moment of Remembrance.

Finally, Marlins Ayudan teams donated funds for youth who are currently in the foster care system in a program called the Transitioning Youth Project (TYP).  The Transitioning Youth Project (TYP) is designed to assist and prepare young adults as they age out of the foster care system. These young men and women are on their own—they were never legally adopted nor reunited with their family.  Each child received a $500 shopping spree at Target to fulfill their holiday wish list.  

Marlins Ayudan (Spanish for “help”) is our front-office volunteer program.  The purpose of Marlins Ayudan is to provide a sustainable corps of volunteers willing and ready to effectuate positive change in our community.  The goal of Marlins Ayudan is to leave a lasting legacy as a result of Marlins Ayudan activities; to engage our front office in volunteer work as well as act as a conduit to help each employee find a cause they are passionate about; and finally, to be recognized by our community as a corporate leader in volunteerism that fulfills an integral role within the community.  The three-tier program consists of organizational Days of Service, team events and individual volunteer opportunities. 

About Voices for Children and the Transitioning Youth Project

Miami Dade County currently has 3,042 children in the dependency system, and currently 59% of these children have a Guardian ad Litem. Voices For Children Foundation raises funds to support the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program in their efforts to provide abused, abandoned and neglected children in Miami Dade with a voice in dependency court and achieve 100% representation. Additionally, the Foundation raises funds to ensure that financial assistance and other resources are available to meet the children’s educational, health, and social needs.

The Transitioning Youth Project began in July 2004 and expands GAL representation to foster youth 15 years and over who are under the supervision of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Our Kids of Miami Dade/Monroe, Inc. These youth are preparing to transition to self-sufficiency as legally mandated at 18 years of age. The goal of this project is to ensure that foster youth who are leaving the system have the adult relationships, education, housing, job and life skills they need to become successful on their own. Advocacy for these youth ensures that planning for successful independence begins several years before they leave State care. The Transitioning Youth Project seeks to ensure that these young adults have access to additional health and human services necessary to meet their individual needs so that they may successfully transition into adulthood and develop into healthy, productive adults.


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