On February 19th, Councilman Larry Roth invited Sandi Nanni, the executive director and CEO of SOS (Start Off Smart), to help recognize The EDGE Charitable Foundation (Early Development of Global Education) for its significant, ongoing work on behalf of disadvantaged children in the Homestead community. Mercy Hernandez, EDGE founder and president, joined them at the front of the Council Chambers.
Nanni explained that through the organization’s 2019 Christmas event, held at the Homestead Police Athletic League, The EDGE Foundation gave toys to more than 2,000 children. “There are low-income children who had a wonderful time at this incredible event — they do every year,” Nanni said, adding that the EDGE Foundation began this toy drive in 2007. She explained that new toys are collected by EDGE and are donated by corporations. In addition, The EDGE Foundation brings more than 100 volunteers — all high school and college students — to staff the event.
Nanni continued, “Not only do they give away toys, but they set up this amazing Christmas wonderland, [complete with Santa and elves]. All of this is donated and coordinated by EDGE. The EDGE Foundation’s mission is providing humanitarian services for victimized children and they are what their mission says they are.”
Hernandez responded, “Thank you for accepting us in your community. We’re from a little north, in Palmetto Bay. We love Homestead and have for years and years. We couldn’t do what we do without Sandi Nanni and Debbie Lyew. Thank you for welcoming us and always working with us. We love being here and serving your children.”
Councilman Roth then read a special proclamation, on behalf of Mayor Steven D. Losner and the City of Homestead, declaring February 19th as “BEEtheCHANGE Day” in Homestead. BEEtheCHANGE is the EDGE Foundation’s motto.
The proclamation declared: “Since its inception, The EDGE Charitable Foundation has worked with the Homestead Police Department and other Homestead-based not-for-profit organizations in providing more than 2,000 low-income families with more than 25,000 toys during the holiday season, leaving a BEEutiful impact on our city.”
Councilman Roth told Hernandez, “We are very appreciative of you and what you provide to the children in our city. There’s many organizations that reach out, but none as consistently as your organization. We appreciate the caring that you have for our children.”