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MIASF leads in giving back

Last weekend I joined others from my church to paint a house as part of CareFest USA, a community service day that unites businesses, churches and community organizations with hundreds of volunteers to beautify and repair homes and beautify neighborhoods.

The projects are identified and screened through local agencies.

But it reminds me that dealerships and marine trade associations can participate in some form of charity in their community. And while it’s not done for publicity, it can result in a wider recognition by customers and the community at large.

There’s no better example of giving back than the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. Recently, to participate as an organization and connect more fully with the community, the MIASF spearheaded a home-build project with Habitat for Humanity to build the first two-story duplex in Fort Lauderdale that will house two separate families.

First, eight MIASF members stepped up as sponsors of the project including: Maritime Professional Training, National Marine Suppliers, Ward’s Marine Electric, High Seas Yacht Service, Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller, Neptune Boat Lifts, Advanced Mechanical Enterprises and Denison Yacht Sales.

Build days, including two Saturdays this month, were set aside for sponsor volunteers to assist the contractor and homeowners in finishing the home and having it move-in ready.

Habitat rightly requires the family that will receive the new home to participate in the construction and finishing. But there’s much more to the MIASF’s charity efforts.

Habitat of Humanity, founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, envisions everyone having a decent place to live. It offers a hand to families in need of adequate shelter willing to work side by side with volunteers to build simple houses.

This philosophy resonates strongly with MIASF members. So they do even more. They also take advantage of opportunities that support and recognize those who serve our nation’s military men and women. This led MIASF to reach out to Mission United, a pilot program of the United Way of Broward County that supports U.S. military veterans and their families with services that assist in re-acclimating to civilian life, such as employment, education, and housing.

The result is that the MIASF has brought the two organizations together and arranged a partnership that will give the marine industry an opportunity to assist in building permanent housing solutions for military veterans. With Mission United and Habitat working in tandem to identify a veteran and secure a local home site, MIASF members are now looking ahead to building a home for a veteran and combine their patriotism and generosity in one rewarding effort.

Kudos to the MIASF and its members for giving volunteer time and sponsorship funding to make a difference in their community. Giving back can take many forms in any community, so why not check out the possibilities in yours. Or if you and your team are already doing so, let us know what you’re doing. We’d like to recognize you, too.

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