VERO BEACH – Children’s Home Society of Florida Treasure Coast Division is having its annual Summertime Clean Up at Baines Hall, a group residence for teen girls in foster care. The organizers are looking for volunteers to work along with the girls and come help on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations of cleaning supplies would also be welcomed.
A barbecue lunch will be served to the residents and volunteers. Baines Hall is home to up to 12 teen girls, ages 12 to 18, who are in foster care. It is located on the CHS Vero Beach campus at 650 10th Street just east of US1.
“Every summer, we spruce up the residence and give Baines Hall a fresh face,” said Meredith Vey, volunteer. “It’s a lot of fun and a great cause. I hope volunteers will want to come out and help brighten the lives of the girls who live there.” Baines Hall provides a safe, healthy, structured environment for up to l2 teenage girls who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Previously located in Winter Beach, more than 240 teenage girls from Okeechobee, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties have lived in the group residence since it opened in 1998.
Baines Hall was renamed last year in honor of the late Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Janet Baines for their generous contributions and service to CHS, especially to the young girls who live there. Mrs. Baines recalls, “Elliot and I wanted to see these young women do well in life. They need all the strength, support and encouragement we can give them. The community’s support at events like this is most appreciated.”
Future plans for the Vero Beach site include a Youth Transition Center for former foster care youth ages 18-23 who “age out” of the system and are no longer eligible for most state assistance. A $5 million capital campaign to support this goal has recently reached the $3.2 million mark. The center is designed to help these youth make a positive transition into adulthood and will be a natural extension to all the services CHS provides.
Created in 1902 as a Jacksonville orphanage, Children’s Home Society of Florida is the oldest and largest statewide private not-for-profit provider of services to children and families in Florida. Committed to “Embracing Children. Inspiring Lives,” CHS has dramatically expanded its mission as a statewide multi-service organization, offering a full spectrum of social services, including foster care, adoption, child development, emergency shelters, residential group homes, independent and transitional living for teens and youth ages 18-23, parent education, treatment for developmentally disabled children and counseling, mentoring and Life Coach programs for foster care children and youth. The Treasure Coast Division serves more than 9,000 abused or neglected children each year in Okeechobee, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. CHS is not a government agency and must rely on the generous support of individuals, churches, civic groups and businesses for the funds necessary to give children the chance to be safe, healthy and prepared for life.For more information about Baines Hall and CHS, please contact Dee Benjamin at (772) 489-5601 or visit www.chsfl.org.