Erin Harvey of Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida Devotes Her Time to Supporting Brevard Families

By  //  April 7, 2020

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'This is just what I need to be doing right now'

Nowhere in Erin Harvey’s job description is picking up day-old sandwiches at WaWa to feed hungry children, or sourcing peanut butter. “This is just what I need to be doing right now,” says Erin. (Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida image)

Every day at 10 a.m., she meets Brevard Public Schools Board member Matt Susin and other volunteers at the Temple Terrace public housing community in Melbourne, to distribute breakfasts and lunches provided by Brevard Public Schools.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Nowhere in Erin Harvey’s job description is picking up day-old sandwiches at WaWa to feed hungry children or sourcing peanut butter.

As Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Development Officer for Brevard County, Harvey typically spends her days raising funds to support Club operations, and planning donor stewardship outreach and events.

But the COVID-19 Crisis has had a way of changing things, including people’s daily schedules.

“This is just what I need to be doing right now,” said Harvey.

Every day at 10 a.m., she meets Brevard Public Schools Board member Matt Susin and other volunteers at the Temple Terrace public housing community in Melbourne, to distribute breakfasts and lunches provided by Brevard Public Schools.

“It took us a while – some were hesitant to come out of their houses at first,” said Harvey.

SPACE COAST DAILY TV COVID-19 UPDATE: Space Coast Daily’s Juan Rodriguez is at Sherwood Elementary School in Melbourne with Brevard Public Schools Board member Matt Susin as Brevard Public Schools begin distribution of free food at 13 Space Coast area schools in response to coronavirus.

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For residents who feel safer staying indoors, Harvey and volunteers take a cooler from door to door to make sure everyone has something to eat.

Realizing that there are few food sources for families and over the long weekends, Harvey has also scrambled to piece together donations from various sources to assemble food bags for weekend meals.

These bags have bread and pastries donated by Melbourne homeless shelter The Daily Bread; eggs, bread, lettuce, tomatoes, cookies and sandwiches are donated by the local WaWa; and healthy snack packs are donated from the Children’s Hunger Project.

“We’re still looking for peanut butter and jelly though,” said Harvey.

Working with Cocoa Club staff RaQuel Hinton and Anwar Hunt, Harvey has been distributing the boxes of grocery staples from the Cocoa parking lot Thursday and Friday to help families get through the weekend.

As a line of cars assembles outside the Club at 4 p.m. sharp, Erin and team swing into action, placing the boxes into the trunks and backseats of cars so families don’t have to get out, and exchanging happy greetings with the Club members they’ve missed seeing. (Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida image)

As a line of cars assembles outside the Club at 4 p.m. sharp, Erin and team swing into action, placing the boxes into the trunks and backseats of cars so families don’t have to get out, and exchanging happy greetings with the Club members they’ve missed seeing.

Frank Scott, who has two children in the Club, rolled down his window and said, “This is a huge help for my family. My wife and I have both been off work for 14 days with no paycheck. I get to go back next week, but only at 2/3 pay.”

Another recipient, Audrey Daniels, is similarly grateful.

“I appreciate all the love, kindness and joy that this Club brings into the community, even when the doors are closed,” said Daniels.

One family, unaware that it’s Harvey’s 42nd birthday, but wishing to show their gratitude, hand out a bouquet of roses in exchange for the food.

Since the early days of the pandemic, “We’re all in this together” has become a rallying cry.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brevard County – where businesses, volunteers, and public servants, under the skillful and determined coordination of Erin Harvey—are pooling their resources to offer hope and sustenance to those who need it most.

BREVARD COVID-19 UPDATE: BPS Announces No Meal Distribution Friday Due to Student–Teacher HolidayRelated Story:
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