MIAMI — The Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound division of the MIAMI Association of Realtors (JTHS-MIAMI) recently collected and delivered a record 2,000 books to local children to boost literacy and help students stay on grade level during the summer. The JTHS-MIAMI annual book drive, led by longtime JTHS-MIAMI leader and Palm Beach County Housing Authority Commissioner Phyllis Choy, has distributed nearly 5,000 total books since 2021.
“Phyllis and everybody in the Realtor association is so generous, so kind-hearted,” Thelma B. Pitman Jupiter Pre-School Director Diane Danay said. “Literacy is one of our high priorities. The books Phyllis gave our children support what we are trying to do here. These children were so excited to get their hands on these brand new, beautiful books. They were like presents.”
Thelma B. Pitman Jupiter Pre-School was one of five local centers to receive books, which were collected from Realtors, family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Local lawmakers and JTHS-MIAMI and BROWARD-MIAMI leaders personally hand delivered the books in June 2023.
The other schools and/or centers that received books were: The Boys & Girls Club of Belle Glade, The Boys & Girls Club of Riviera Beach, The Boys & Girls Club in Hobe Sound and El Sol Resource Center in Jupiter.
“Realtors are making a difference in our communities,” said Choy, who has been a Realtor for 28+ years and has served on over 100 Realtor committees at the state level. “Realtors have a great handle on the needs of the public and you see it every day. Realtors are volunteering and playing a big role in our communities.”
Realtors Acting to Fill a Need in the Local Community
While visiting public housing sites in the Glades as part of her role as Palm Beach County Housing Authority commissioner in 2021, Choy saw a need in the western corridor of Palm Beach County where distance creates a roadblock for children to get to the library.
Many at-risk children don’t have access to a library. They don’t know the feeling of receiving a new book. Choy is a strong believer in literacy and how it can shape, empower, and improve a young person’s life. Literacy is the gateway for life’s future achievements.
The JTHS-MIAMI book drive collected 1,300 books in 2021; 1,400 in 2022 and now 2,000 in 2023.
Choy knows literacy is an area she knew she could make a difference in. Just ask and people will generally say yes to helping local children in underserved areas.
She connected with her sphere of influence including Realtors, family, friends, neighbors and colleagues about her book drive. She contacted her sources through phone calls, in-person meetings, social media, emails and more.
The books that were sent to or dropped off at JTHS-MIAMI coming from Miami to Orlando and so many zip codes in between. In the months before delivery day, Choy and her team gathered all the books and had them piled high in the JTHS-MIAMI auditorium where they boxed them and then they personally delivered them to the children.
Donate Books Today for Next Year’s JTHS-MIAMI Book Drive
JTHS-MIAMI has already begun collecting books for next year’s drive.
If you have books you would like to donate to the community, you can drop them off at the JTHS-MIAMI office at 2151 Alternate A1A South Ste. 1100 in Jupiter, FL 33477 or contact Joanne Werstlein at [email protected]
About the MIAMI Association of Realtors®
The MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 103 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations: MIAMI RESIDENTIAL, MIAMI COMMERCIAL; BROWARD-MIAMI, a division of MIAMI Realtors; JTHS-MIAMI, a division of MIAMI Realtors in the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound area; MIAMI YPN, our Young Professionals Network Council; and the award-winning MIAMI Global Council. MIAMI REALTORS represents nearly 60,000 total real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S. and has official partnerships with 255 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is www.MiamiRealtors.com