Councilwoman Patricia Fairclough-McCormick and National American Miss Florida Teen Crystal Raquel Ruiz partnered to select Homestead’s Redondo Elementary as this year’s recipient of the Crystal Care Packages.
The Crystal Care Packages is a program founded four years ago by Crystal, which provides backpacks with a week’s supply of new clothes and uniforms to underprivileged children in Homestead. The Miss Florida Teen has already distributed 115 backpacks through her program, which is funded by sponsors’ donations.
“Putting a smile on children’s faces, and giving back to my community is something I believe in and enjoy doing,” said Crystal, who has been volunteering since the age of 13 and has completed over 1200 hours of community service. “If a child can feel good about himself, he can concentrate in school, and nothing is more important to me, than helping children receive the education that they deserve.”
On Friday, March 1st, when Crystal distributed the backpacks to students at Redondo Elementary, Franklin Monjarrez, Executive Director of non-profit organization Neat Stuff, which donates school uniforms to Crystal Care Packages, presented Crystal Ruiz with a letter from President Barack Obama. The letter congratulated Crystal on receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award and thanked her for addressing the most pressing needs in the country and in her community.
“Crystal is a young lady who has always been dedicated to her community,” said Councilwoman Fairclough-McCormick. “It was a pleasure working with her to identify a school that could really use the help from her program. Her values and enthusiasm to help others are contagious and I hope she continues to inspire her young peers to give back as well.”