The holiday season is a time of giving, and Parkland certainly has been in the spirit of giving, not only during this 2021 holiday season, but all year long. It is no surprise Parklanders give and care for others so much. Most people choose to reside in Parkland due to their love and concern for their loved ones. Most do not move here to be close to the beach or for a trendy downtown lifestyle. They move here for great schools and homes allowing them to care for aging parents or a child with special needs, a large offering of classes & programs for people of all ages, and a beautiful and safe environment to raise and care for their family. Parkland is a lovely place with beautiful communities, manicured landscapes and abundant green spaces. Yet, it’s true beauty comes from the residents living in those communities.
In an attempt to showcase Parkland’s benevolent tradition, each month I will feature an organization and/or person who illustrates Parkland’s caring culture. This month I want to write about the one and only Heather DeBenedictis Khalil. There is no other way to describe Heather other than Parkland’s very own volunteer coordinator. She connects Parklanders with people in need throughout South Florida. Through her passion, dedication, and tireless efforts, she has managed to rally the Parkland community to provide thousands of underprivileged, homeless, and in crisis residents of all ages with food, essentials, and items to make life a little brighter. Additionally, she helps our furry friends who also need support.
I would have to write a multi-page essay to cover all the ways Heather and her “elves” make the world a merrier place for so many, but here is just a short list of her philanthropic initiatives:
1. Ensuring 1,000s of underprivileged children begin school with backpacks filled with school supplies each year.
2. Providing hundreds of foster children and other children in crisis with costumes for Halloween and hosting parties/events to celebrate Halloween.
3. Backpacks with toiletries and other essentials for the homeless all year.
4. Cooking, feeding and serving the homeless throughout the year.
5. Providing food, during the summer months when school is closed, for families who depend on the school’s free breakfast and lunch programs to feed their children.
6. Christmas toy drives for local children centers.
7. Decorating and hosting Christmas parties/events for the children at the SOS Village.
8. The Mother’s Day tote drive. Providing totes filled with essentials, toiletries, and gifts to struggling and homeless moms.
9. Hundreds of Easter baskets filled with necessities and goodies.
10. Boxes of Love for Valentines to be distributed throughout the community of need.
Our roots run deep in this community. Most of my team and I grew up in Broward and all of us have chosen Parkland as the place to work and raise our families. Through our real estate business, The Bill Sohl Luxury Homes Team, we have learned that Parklanders find joy in taking care of and helping others. They jump at the chance to make a difference. This is just who we are and why we live here. This desire is what makes Parkland so special.
To learn more about all the wonderful ways you can help Heather to make the world a Merrier place, please visit her Facebook page “Heather’s volunteer opportunities”.
There you will always find an opportunity to serve.
Happy Holidays and New Year Bill Sohl Luxury Homes Team