Sklar Furnishings is dedicated to being an excellent corporate neighbor by supporting the community that has given us so much and being good stewards toward the environment.
2017 is Sklar’s 15th anniversary, and we’re celebrating by giving back to the community. For every month of the year, our team has chosen one local charity that we’ll be supporting through donations, fundraising and boosting awareness of their great work. These organizations create opportunities, lend a hand to people in hardship and help make Boca Raton an even better place to live.
Likewise, we are proud to serve our planet by initiating ethical, sustainable practices in our store and by carrying sustainable furniture and brands that benefit the local environment and the planet as a whole.
Boca Helping Hands
The mission of Boca Helping Hands is as follows: to provide food and emergency assistance to meet basic human needs and long term solutions to break the cycle of dependence. BHH is a community based 501(c)(3) organization that was formed in 1998 by a group of local religious congregations. They started by serving nutritious hot lunches three days a week and giving out bags of groceries to families.
The Food Program has expanded to six days a week with a Family dinner on Thursday nights. Meals are also delivered to housebound disabled and elderly individuals. In April of 2002 a Resource Center was added to help with crisis life situations. Lastly a Job Mentoring Center that provides coaching, guidance and classes was added in 2014 to complement the services that instill dignity and break the cycle of dependence.
At Sklar we have been involved with Boca Helping Hands since we opened the store in 2002. Our first community partnership in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce was with Boca Helping Hands. Every year our Holiday card gives a $100 coupon to anyone who brings in 3 pieces of non-perishable food. At the end of the food drive Sklar matches this to ensure that we have a lot of food! We run this program well into February so that we can replenish the shelves that seasonally seem to be bare in the months following the generosity of people at the Holidays.
BHH is a well-respected and much needed service in Boca Raton and we are pleased to be a partner with them in helping meet the needs of a growing community.
Since Sklar Furnishings opened their doors in November 2002, we have established a strong partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat provides “simple, decent, and affordable” housing for low income families. They bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. All worthy recipients of a home are required to be working full time, contribute 500 work hours towards the building of the house and assume a mortgage. Sklar Furnishings does our part by donating thousands of dollars in merchandise to the organization that in turn is sold in their ReStores; these proceeds go right back into Habitat for Humanity’s philanthropic endeavors. As well our staff have taken part in several builds and last May right around Mother’s Day we participated in the Woman’s Build. This is a home built in a week totally with women. Many of our women had secret talents – saws, staple guns and drills – who knew??
Our owner has been on the Board for 10 years and in 2016-2017 will fill the role of Chairman of the Board. Our company is thrilled to have donated two homes in the past three years and we do have plans to continue to do this. Habitat for Humanity in our area has also started a “Brush with Kindness” program that has young people putting a fresh coat of paint on homes adjacent to the new Habitat Homes. You can just feel the pride when you drive in these neighborhoods.
Please keep Habitat in your thoughts whenever you have furniture or home goods that you no longer need or can use – they will be happy to pick it up and you can feel good that you were able to contribute to a new home. Think also about volunteering for a build or Brush with Kindness day – your life will be changed. Guaranteed!
This is probably one of our most favorite projects that we are involved with at Sklar. About 8 or 9 years ago we heard about a family in Florida who had four relatives currently in Iraq and three or four others who had already done one or more tours. We were awestruck by this one family’s commitment to their country and asked if there was anything we could do.
This was when we heard about sending care packages to the military – either someone specific or to a Chaplain who would distribute them to soldiers – men and women who just never seemed to receive mail or boxes. We were in! Since that day many years ago we routinely send anywhere from 4-10 boxes every month to wherever the need is greatest. The US Post office makes it easy with boxes designed for just this reason – fill it to the top, no weight restriction and it is a fixed rate.
Some of the things we put in the boxes are items that you would expect – toothpaste, toothbrushes, snack food like nuts and granola bars, mac and cheese, books, batteries, magazines and more. All of these are relatively inexpensive and a run to Costco has it pretty much covered. However on one occasion we asked what they would really like – blue sky if you will. The list will break your heart – new pillowcases because they cannot get theirs clean and they smell badly; bounce sheets for the same reason – they put the sheets in their boots, their helmets and in their pillows so they have a fresh smell; new socks because theirs have holes in them and new tee shirts. Lastly they ask for letters – several of our staff have young children and they have them write letters to these brave men and women and I understand these are cherished possessions.
This is a new project that the whole Sklar team is very excited about! The owners of Sklar recently learned of a family with four relatives serving in Iraq and were moved to show their appreciation for America’s soldiers. Every month, Sklar’s employees fill four APO mailing boxes to the brim with food, snacks, coffee, tea, movies, books, magazines, playing cards, you name it! These boxes are shipped overseas to deployed troops serving in the Armed Forces. From what we hear, Easy Mac is a big hit!
This is a project that we will continue until the last of our troops are back home – I know it is a labor of love for all of us here at Sklar Furnishings.
All we had to hear at Sklar about Florence Fuller Child Development Center was their mission “to make a difference through education for economically challenged children and families to build a positive future in our community” and we were hooked. A visit to the facility and a look at those happy smiling faces and we knew we were in for the long haul.
More than 40 years ago two women decided that they wanted to give children living in poverty the same educational opportunities as their more affluent peers. They rightly believed that education was the door out of poverty and started with 22 children – today that number has reached over 700 children served every year in 2 campuses.
Amid the affluence of Palm Beach County, more than 25% of families with young children are living in poverty. More than 90% of the children served by FFCDC are living at or below the Federal Poverty Level, and 65% are from single-parent homes. More often than not, the parents are the working poor, employed in minimum-wage jobs, disabled, enrolled in career training programs, still in high school, or working their way through college. They want a better life for their children away from the daily struggles of poverty, and FFCDC works to ensure that they receive the best possible start in life by establishing a solid foundation of knowledge, trust, understanding and tolerance in every child.
Exceptional preschool programs, enhanced with a structured after-school program for grade – school children, fill an important niche for economically struggling parents who have limited options for making the most of their child’s learning potential. The success statistics are mind-boggling – 99.9% of the Early Start children never repeat a grade in Elementary school.
Sklar’s support of FFCDC is a bit selfish – probably the best day at the store all year – bar none – is our annual Christmas party with one of the classes we adopt every December. Our staff buy and wrap special gifts for each child chosen from their “wish list” – Santa comes, there are drinks and snacks and songs, it does not get any better than that. This year we started a yearly fund raising event to raise enough money to send 25 children to summer camp.
The legacy that started with two women is going strong and Boca Raton is lucky indeed to have this facility and all the dedicated staff and Board members who make it work so well.
Tri-County Animal Rescue is a no-kill nonprofit animal shelter working to prevent the killing of over 170,000 unwanted pets in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties each year. Sklar Furnishings has been involved with this group for several years—many of our staff have rescue dogs and many of our business associates and friends are committed to animal care as are we personally.
Since inception in July of 2001 (they took over an existing animal shelter) Tri-County Animal Rescue have been responsible for thousands of adoptions. As well they meet the needs of the animals with the best possible vet care and nutrition and due to their large volunteer base the dogs and cats receive lots of love and affection until they are adopted.
They manage to do this by ongoing fund raisers and Sklar Furnishings was thrilled to have the first Animal Bed Design contest this year. As you can see from the pictures it was a fun event that had everyone from Design students to jewelry designers to local architects getting involved. The beds were on display at the store—there were awards for all different categories and finally the beds were auctioned off as a final ay to raise more money. We plan to make this a yearly event and remain committed to helping this most worthy organization continue to succeed.