As Touching Miami with Love (TML) celebrates twenty-five years of faithful work in 2020, it’s a great time to celebrate our impact while also taking a glance forward towards the future. Since 2005, Jason and Angel Pittman have served in leadership at TML through the support of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Working alongside each other, they have brought their unique gifts and educational backgrounds to allow TML’s growth to serve more children and youth in more impactful ways for fifteen years.
No matter what role Angel has held at TML, her motivation has always been to support students holistically. From her first years at TML serving as Overtown’s Children’s Director to moving towards fundraising and organizational leadership, it has always about helping students get the support they need. Her passion for students is what has made her so skilled at developing new programs and projects for TML and made her an effective fundraiser. Whether in a personal conversation, a written story, or a grant application, it’s not hard to miss Angel’s love for the students at TML. Angel has also worked hard to shape the culture of TML from building a strong sense of family within the staff to the students at TML. Both staff members and TML participants have both created fond memories over meals and games in the Pittman’s home in Overtown for many years. Through her efforts, Angel has supported TML’s strategic plan by helping the organization grow exponentially, and her impact has gotten her notice. She was named a “Miami Leader” class of 2017-2018 by the Miami Foundation, a “Woman to Watch” by Global Women, profiled by Baptist Women in Ministry in “This Is What a Minister Looks Like” and named AXA Advisors 2013 Businesswoman of the Year, in the Non-Profit category.
Angel will be transitioning out of her role at Touching Miami with Love and is excited to continue her eighteen years of service with CBF as she begins to advocate for students more broadly as an Educational Advocate. This multi-faceted role will include supporting students in Miami, building capacity for local advocacy efforts, and working on behalf of public-school children on a state level all to reduce educational inequities. She will also have the opportunity to use her experience at TML to support CBF’s national educational programming efforts.
While her departure is undoubtedly a loss for TML, she’s excited to step aside to allow Trina Harris to become Touching Miami with Love’s next Vice President. Trina brings her eleven years of leadership at TML, along with a fantastic set of skills, gifts, and passion for our communities, to this new role. While her duties will be different from Angel, her work will be vital for the continued growth of TML’s impact. Angel begins several months of transition from July to September to ensure a smooth and successful conversion. You can learn more about Angel’s new work HERE.
In just a few days, I will have completed 90 days at Touching Miami With Love. However, I feel like I’ve been here forever since it all seems so familiar; from sharing God’s love and heart to empower people to working with leaders on building a legacy in our community. For the most part, “Impact Stories” make their way to my desk for review, but this time I thought I’d write my own.
Over the holiday break, the office was quiet as students weren’t around. One of the highlights of it being slow around the office was the opportunity to connect with a few of the coordinators that were also working. I got to see how they prepared lesson plans, bulletin boards, and cleaned so the instructors and students could come back to tidy class rooms. The air was filled with hope for the future and new beginnings as we neared New Years Eve.
I missed seeing the students, but I realized how much work goes on “behind the scenes” to prepare for them and their success in and out of our program. This time without Children and Youth Program running was necessary, even God rested on the 7th day right?
On December 31st, 2019, I walked into work and found a note on my desk that read “You’re amazing and valued! Feel like I’ve known you forever!” I smiled and held back thankful tears as I thought to myself “It’s too early to cry”. At that moment that feeling of being at TML forever made sense. Yes, the faces and experiences at TML were new, but it was the same God behind them all. I realized that even in the quiet restful moments, He’s also doing “behind the scenes” work to set us up for success. I am blessed to work for an organization where people and their ideas are valued. I am eager to celebrate TML’s 25th anniversary this year and seeing the positive impact in the community grow. If you’re reading this, here’s your reminder that you are also amazing and valued!
-Vanessa Urrego, Fundraising Coordinator
A new decade is around the corner and if you are wanting to make some resolutions for your business in 2020 – how about adding “giving back” as one of them? In 2019, MIAM Café raised $1,034.50 one dollar at a time for Touching Miami with Love.
How did they do it? Miam Café partnered with us in creating a “Drink of the Month” project and pledged to donate $1 for every purchase made. In turn, we promoted their partnership online and in our social media. Does your business have an item or service that you could designate a portion of the sale to be donated to Touching Miami with Love?
Need more ideas? Here are other ways to support TML while you determine your New Year goals.
Be a Guest Speaker
Do you or a co-worker have an inspirational and empowering message? Would you like to inspire our students? Then, we’d love to have you. Sharing your story can be vital as it could help young people in ways you never knew possible. Empower and forge connections with our middle and high school students through your story.
Come Out and Play with Us
In 2020, TML celebrates our 25th Anniversary with a series of tournament events. Kickball, Top Golf, or Bowling—what’s your game of choice? Find out how you can create comradarie while supporting a great organization. See all tournament events online on our 25th Anniversary page.
Denim Days at Work
Do your employees dress up for work? Consider supporting Touching Miami with Love in exchange for giving employees the option to wear jeans on a particular day of the week. You can even ask to make it a regular Friday event and pledge your support for a year. Need help pitching the idea? Invite your team to one of our monthly TML impact tours, and we’ll do a “show and tell’ for you!
Touching Miami With Love has many opportunities for you to volunteer as an individual or with a group. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary year, there are various events where your company’s helping hands and willing heart would be appreciated. Head to our website and complete our Volunteer Inquiry form, and we will schedule a follow-up phone call to see which program or event you’d like to volunteer.
Donate an Item or Service
Does your business have items or a service you provide that could be donated to TML? In 2020, TML is hosting several tournament events and an online auction. We will gladly receive your item(s) for use in our events and provide you a tax receipt for the value of your donation.
Be a Guest Chef
Have someone in the office that loves to cook or even an employee with take-out ordering skills? Have representatives from your company serve as Guest Chefs for our Youth Evening Program. Each Wednesday evening in Overtown and Thursday evening in West Homestead we serve dinner to our youth before programming. We encourage our “guest chefs” to eat with the youth as a great time to get to know our students over a delicious meal. Past companies serving as Guest Chefs have shared how much they loved the experience bonding with our students and each other.
Now that you have some ideas for smashing your resolution on giving back, let us know which one best suits you. Ask to receive our 25th Anniversary sponsorship packet for more information on how you can celebrate with us in 2020!