In gratitude of her 25 years of teaching children how to help hungry families, Renee Herman has been named the 2017 recipient of The Jim Moran Foundation Award. She was presented with a bronze sculpture created by South Florida artist George Gadson and an unrestricted $50,000 grant to Harvest Drive, the nonprofit of her choice.
"Renee truly embodies the spirit of philanthropy, and we are grateful for everything she has done to nurture unity, compassion and community service in our next generation of leaders," said Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation.
In the early 1990s, Renee realized there were families in her neighborhood without enough to eat and decided to do something about it. She organized a small food drive along with a local elementary school to provide groceries to 20 struggling families. This effort led to the launch of Harvest Drive.
The all-volunteer organization staffed by students, teachers, school administrators and community members now holds multiple collection efforts, sorts donations and distributes a week's worth of food each year, including a full Thanksgiving meal, to more than 2,400 families throughout Broward County. Families in need of gently-used clothing and household items also receive assistance year-round through the nonprofit's "pop-up" boutique.
With a caring heart and a goal to stamp out hunger, Renee teaches youth from an early age how their contributions can improve the lives of others.
"If each of us gives a little bit, together we can create a significant result," said Renee.
The Jim Moran Foundation established this annual award in 2003 to acknowledge those who have a history of giving back to their community through active service and personal commitment. The individuals must exemplify the characteristics of the mission of The Foundation, reflect proven accomplishments that address real community needs and/or concerns, and inspire others to embrace civic and charitable responsibility in meeting the needs of their community.