The City of Miami, The Overtown Neighborhood Enhancement Team (N.E.T.) and Brightline, in coordination with a host of other sponsors, donated more than 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to residents of Overtown on Saturday. Children and adults also took the pledge to stay safe around railroad tracks, which is part of Brightline’s safety initiative as it gets closer to launching new passenger rail service along Florida’s East Coast.
Students of all ages attended the event to receive much-needed supplies as they prepare for the start of a new school year. Backpacks included items such as composition notebooks, rulers, pencils/pens, folders, highlighters and scissors, bringing the total in-kind donation amount to more than $20,000.
“This event is critical to providing students with the resources they need to start the school year off strong,” said Commissioner Keon Hardemon, City of Miami. “It’s simple acts like this that help make a difference in Overtown, and I commend Brightline, the additional sponsors and generous volunteers who contributed their time and efforts to positively impact our community.”
“Brightline teammates enjoy giving back and investing in their new neighborhood,” said Brightline CEO Dave Howard. “We are happy to partner with Commissioner Keon Hardemon and Overtown N.E.T. to provide students with the resources they need to excel academically, as well as educate them about railroad safety.”
Brightline, the only privately funded intercity, express train service in the U.S., will connect the communities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with extended service to Orlando to follow. MiamiCentral, the 11-acre mobility hub where Brightline begins, is partially located in Overtown and downtown Miami. Construction on 3MiamiCentral, a 2-acre mixed use development in Overtown, is nearing completion and will be Brightline’s future headquarters.
Additional sponsors that participated in the event included Southeast Overtown/Park West Redevelopment Agency, City of Miami Parks and Recreation, City of Miami Police, JFC Miami, Experience Overtown, Capital Rental Agency, Inc., Miami Innovation District, the Richard Hallman Foundation, Fancy Beauty Supply Salon, Nemo’s Lemonade, Marlon Eason Foundation, Atlantic Pacific, Culmer/ Overtown Branch Library, Care Resource, New Day New Way Foundation, the FDF Project and Career Source. The exclusive media partner for the event was WEDR-FM 99 Jamz.