The Community Foundation of Broward is proud to honor 12 representatives of dedicated nonprofits who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Our new Hidden Heroes Awards shine a light on 12 outstanding examples of bold impact by individuals who make life better in our community.
Samantha Kelly is one of the real-life superheroes who are stepping up to help in Broward, just when our community needs them the most.
Samantha’s heroic efforts include accomplishing the daunting task of producing new online programs to help the blind and visually impaired continue to receive critical services during the pandemic.
When Lighthouse of Broward County closed to the public due to the pandemic, Samantha led a team of teachers, therapists, case managers and technology specialists that found innovative ways to keep providing its rehabilitative services uninterrupted. In fact, the building closed on a Friday and by the following Monday, the new online platform was ready.
Under Samantha’s guidance as Vice President of Programs, the Lighthouse of Broward County has maintained 90 percent service levels while pivoting to virtual programming such as classes, group therapy, and social clubs.
In addition, at the onset of the pandemic Samantha coordinated deliveries of food and medicine to those in desperate need. And to further Lighthouse of Broward County’s mission, Samantha created a new mental health unit to respond to skyrocketing needs.
“In addition to providing a way forward, Sam provided vision and leadership,” Lighthouse of Broward County CEO Ellyn Drotzer said. “She inspired our entire team. We all fell in line behind Sam.”
The Community Foundation’s Prize patrol surprised Samantha with a cape and medal, in recognition of her heroic community service. And like our other Hidden Heroes Award winners, Samantha received a prize package that includes $500, restaurant gift certificates and a two-night staycation at the beautiful Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel.
“Together, we are going to get through this,” Samantha said. “It takes people leading in different spots. Where ever you are, doing your best. Pulling all of your efforts forward. Because it’s going to move us all forward together.”
Samantha is just one example of the many nonprofit hidden heroes all across our community whose hard work helps shape a brighter future for Broward. Thanks to support from philanthropists with charitable Funds at the Community Foundation, these hidden heroes can continue to tackle Broward’s big challenges – during this crisis and beyond.
To learn how the Community Foundation can help you fuel heroic, life-changing philanthropy in Broward, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.