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Special needs family receives generous donation from student-led tutoring group

Mentor groups Little Angels Today, Bright Minds Tomorrow and Philanthropy Tank help family in need
Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 24, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A special needs family in West Palm Beach is getting a fresh start after surviving domestic violence.

As a single mother of two and a survivor of domestic violence, Marina Hernandez has been through it all.

She lives with her 13-year-old daughter Jasmine Vasquez and 23-year-old son Brian. Brian is on the autism spectrum and has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and severe epilepsy.

“So, the mom can’t always be there to work and she needs to be there watching her child all the time,” said Adryena Flores, founder of Little Angels Today, Bright Minds Tomorrow.

On Wednesday the family received a hefty donation that included several pieces of furniture, a bunk bed, computer, printer and a refrigerator that Hernandez couldn’t wait to open.

Vasquez said the kind gesture has served as a critical lifeline in her family's time of need.

“I’m thankful for them for giving me these things for me and my family,” she said.

The items donated were made possible with the help of the local student-led tutoring group Little Angels Today, Bright Minds Tomorrow. Flores and her brother Nestor founded the program at American Heritage Highschool in Delray Beach.

“It’s Thanksgiving, so it’s definitely time to give back,” Flores said. “Also, we heard about them through a family friend, and it’s the little things that we don’t think twice about that makes a difference for them.”

The group also received help with funding from Philanthropy Tank, a special organization that inspires students make a difference in their community.

“Raising the funds for people in need is one of things that we hope is the lesson,” said Philanthropy Tank CEO Amy Brand. “That’s learned by being involved through Philanthropy Tank.”

“We’re able to help a family today which is really important,” Brand said.