A Local Teen with Compassion for the Poor is Making a Difference
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2016) Nathan Berman, a senior at Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla., is a young man on a mission. He created Teens For Tomorrow, which is a network of teenagers who collect excess inventory from various companies and then distribute these items to various charities. Berman's charity of choice is the South Florida-based nonprofit Food For The Poor.
"I choose Food For The Poor over any other charity because of my middle school experience," he said. "Food For The Poor really opened my eyes to the terrible conditions that people are living in around the world."
Berman says his motivation for change began when he was a student at Saint Andrew's School, after his seventh grade class visited Food For The Poor during a field trip. The walls of the organization's headquarters are covered in images depicting what life is like for the destitute throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
"Never underestimate the impact of a powerful image. Poverty has a face, it's not someone else's problem, but a harsh reality that affects all of us," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "When I hear about how the lives of young people are being impacted by what they witness here at our headquarters it warms my heart. It's comforting to know that the spirit of compassion is being passed along to a future generation of young people, like Nathan."
A few weeks after his class trip, Berman says he began to organize his thoughts in the form of business plans, detailing every aspect of what Teens For Tomorrow would be and how it would operate. By the time he was in eighth grade, he began contacting friends to see if they would help his cause, be bought Web domains and made Facebook pages.
"Teens For Tomorrow made its first donation to Food For The Poor in the summer before my freshman year at Spanish River Community High School," said Berman. "I am now a senior and Teens For Tomorrow has donated over $160,000 of excess inventory to Food For The Poor and has financed a home that was built in Montego Bay, Jamaica."
After raising the funds to build the home in Montego Bay, Berman had the wonderful opportunity to present the keys personally to the family of six in Jamaica last January.
"This was probably the most impactful experience I have ever had in my lifetime. Seeing the beaming smiles of a family who is receiving a place to call home for the first time is a feeling I will never forget. My time in Jamaica really put everything into perspective for me," added Berman.
Fueled by the experience, the high school senior envisions a future for himself that's not only based on his personal needs and wants, but one that's strongly rooted in helping others.
"I hope to bring Teens For Tomorrow to a collegiate level. Next year I plan on attending an out of state, public university with over 30,000 people. This will allow Teens For Tomorrow to get exposure on a level that it has never seen before," said Berman. "In college I look forward to studying business and will implement the business acumen I develop in college into Teens For Tomorrow, making it the most successful it has ever been. I can't wait to continue helping the poor in the future."
Nathan's network of supporters consists of business professionals, friends, competitions and sporting events. He also is involved in The Boca Chamber's Young Entrepreneurs Academy. To support Berman's next home building project visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/teensfortomorrow.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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