Children and families showed up in record breaking numbers at this summer’s recently concluded Family Expo events, hosted by The Children's Trust. The events combined a celebration of summer fun with preparations for the upcoming school year while also giving families critical insight into the services, resources and programming available to help their kids grow and develop with the promise of a brighter future.
The Family Expo events provided a perfect avenue for families to come together for a day filled with joy, entertainment, and preparation. Held over three consecutive Saturdays, these events became a beacon of excitement, offering a unique blend of amusement and practicality. Children laughed and played, parents smiled, and a sense of camaraderie permeated the air as attendees flocked to each location.
To make sure families were as comfortable as possible, each event had exhibitors and activities in air-conditioned gyms to go along with outdoor games and performances offering a great mix of comfort and sun-filled Saturdays. The heart of the events lay in the opportunity for families to secure essential school supplies ahead of the new academic term. The Children's Trust knows the financial strain that the back-to-school period often entails and as it does every year, it took it upon itself to help alleviate this burden. Over 2200 backpacks brimming with supplies, ranging from pencils and markers to lunchboxes and pencil pouches, were handed out.
However, the Family Expo events were not merely about supplies and backpacks; they were an opportunity to access a world of possibilities. Dozens of Trust-funded providers and other organizations dedicated to serving children and families congregated at the events, eager to share their services, resources and information. The exhibit booths overflowed with materials and giveaways, showcasing the expansive network of support available to the community. Families had the chance to connect with these organizations, which offer everything from after-school programming, child care services, family supports, health services and more.
An air of festivity and celebration was present at all events with a stage playing music throughout and giving an opportunity for talented youth, including many who participate in Trust-funded music, dance and arts programming to display their abilities. There was also face painting, balloon artists, arts and crafts and other games available.
The Family Expo events transcended geographical boundaries, spanning across different neighborhoods to ensure accessibility for all. The impact was palpable, breaking attendance records as over 10,000 children and families were present at the three venues – Booker T. Washington Senior High, Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, and Florida Memorial University. Each event brought a melting pot of cultures, dreams, and aspirations, a testament to the diversity that is Miami-Dade County.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the events was the partnership forged with Uber. The Children's Trust, in their relentless pursuit of inclusivity, partnered with the ride-sharing service to offer $15 vouchers for transportation to and from each event. This collaboration enabled hundreds of families to overcome transportation barriers and partake in the festivities, underscoring the lengths to which The Children's Trust would go to ensure every child and family felt valued and embraced.
Amidst the festivities, the Family Expo events also recognized the importance of health. Mobile pediatric units were on-site, offering essential vaccines and health check-ups to children, ensuring they were well-prepared for the upcoming school year in every possible way.
The Family Expo events, orchestrated by The Children's Trust, embodied the spirit of togetherness, community, and empowerment. As the sun set on the final event at Florida Memorial University, The Children’s Trust remains committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of those they served.
For photos of the Family Expo events, click here.