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News & Press: Community Relations

FIBA and Miami Lighthouse for the Blind: A holiday partnership in support of children in need

Thursday, January 4, 2018  
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Powerful things can happen when you bring together a group of generous women leaders, a top-rated charity organization and the holiday spirit. And that’s exactly what took place when the FIBA Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC) teamed up, for the second straight year, with the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, to celebrate the holidays in a very special way—by impacting the lives of local children in need.

The toy drive organized by the WLC raised about $2,000 from FIBA members. This money was used to buy specialized toys for all the 144 visually impaired children served by the charitable institution through different programs. The joint effort identified the wish list and the age distribution of the children, and then partnered with a specialized toy store selected by the Miami Lighthouse.

“Our team of volunteers was really interested in learning more about the unique needs of these children, so that they could carefully select the toys they really wanted and bring them some additional joy during this Holiday Season,” said Rosse Barrantes, SVP at TotalBank, who leads the charitable efforts of the WLC.

“The Lighthouse for the Blind provides an outstanding opportunity for FIBA to give back in the holiday spirit through sharing toys and joy with the children of the organization.  We look forward to the continued partnership and collaboration,” commented FIBA Director Teresa P. Foxx, Director & General Manager, Barclays – Miami Branch.

Led by CEO Virginia Jacko, the Miami Lighthouse is one of Miami’s oldest charitable organizations serving the visually impaired and was named the "Best of Miami Charity 2017” by the Miami New Times. Founded in 1931, the institution is a rehabilitation organization serving the blind and visually impaired. It serves nearly 15,000 people each year and reaches an additional 3,300 through community education and outreach programs. Most recently, the Miami Lighthouse launched an innovative Pre-Kindergarten program that is Florida's first and may be the only one of its kind in the nation. This new program provides an inclusive setting for visually impaired students.

“The FIBA toy drive provided our students in the Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children with toys to take home and continue their learning in the home environment. They were selected by Miami Lighthouse staff for appropriateness relating to each child. The toy drive reinforces the home/school connection and they are grateful for the generosity of all those who donated,” commented Cameron Ehren Sisser, Vice President for External Relations for the Miami Lighthouse.

“One of the pillars of the FIBA Women’s Leadership Committee is to give back to our community through outreach and charitable initiatives,” said the WLC’s Chair, Pamela Kohl, EVP at Banco do Brasil Americas. "The committee is comprised of great professional women, who are leaders in their organizations but also work together to organize charitable events that bring hope, love and joy to the charities we support."

View photos from this year's event on FIBA's Facebook page.