In Jacob’s Shoes Outreach

This February, we are sharing some EXTRA love for our community. We had the amazing opportunity to not just work with another non-profit in Broward County, but also gift each of our students a pair of shoes! ‘In Jacob’s Shoes’ gathered over 100 pairs of shoes, both new and refurbished. They sorted them by size and name, and packed them up for us. One of the great things about ‘In Jacob’s Shoes’ is that they are also a program funded by The Children’s Services Council of Broward County.

We then took the bags of shoes and socks back to our Orange Park Center. HQ staff, alongside our mentors, separated the bags by center. Over 120 of our students all around Broward County will receive shoes and other gifts (i.e. chocolates, candy hearts, etc.) for our Valentine’s Day delivery. Make sure to check out our YouTube channel on February 14th to see our complete recap video of the deliveries and our work with ‘In Jacob’s Shoes’.


If you would like to visit ‘In Jacob’s Shoes’ website for more info on their organization, go to

Our Friends at CSC Broward

We would like to introduce you to one of the organizations in our Firewall Family today. You may have seen their logo on our website or social media before. “The Children’s Service Council (CSC) funds close to a hundred programs that serve children and families, advocates for policies that protect the interests of future generations and provides leadership that brings the child-serving community together.”

The CSC has helped build many stepping stones in Firewall’s journey recently. Last year they graciously granted us $20,000 for capacity building. This money was utilized for a re-branding and many new assets that have been pivotal in our organization. This year, the CSC is helping us fund 2 centers, and continue to keep them open for FOUR YEARS! Lauderhill 6-12 and Bair Middle will be at a sprint when the school year starts because of the CSC’s help. These grants will not only allow us to serve our students academically but also provide each student with their own Success Coach. The Success Coaches develop relationships with the students and keep them on track in school, while also connecting to their families and making sure that any material or social-emotional needs the family might have are also met. We are very excited to continue working with the CSC to further our vision: to transform students into servant leaders!

February Newsletter 2020

AmeriCorps Training

We are happy that so many college and post college students want to be a part of what we’re doing to help transform students into servant leaders. With that being said, we want our AmeriCorps mentors to be prepared to enter the schools that they will be serving. In January, we had an AmeriCorps training with a special guest from the United Way of Broward, Aisha McDonald. She spoke on mental health and the importance of truly understanding what that means.



Serving the Seniors

An estimated 60% of residents in nursing homes never have a single visitor and spend weekends, birthdays, and even holidays by themselves. How can Firewall make a positive impact on changing this reality? Students who are a part of Firewall had their first opportunity of the new year to serve our local senior community by visiting Artis Senior Living of Davie.



Mentor Recruitment

AmeriCorps Firewall mentors are vital to the work that we do. We currently have 60+ mentors serving at our different centers and will need even more for next year. Recruitment for mentors will begin in the next few months. If you are a college or post college student who has ever had an interest in becoming a Firewall mentor or know someone who might, consider applying this year.

November Newsletter 2019

Mentoring Matters!

Firewall Family, meet Nick. Nick is one of our Americorps mentors and has been working at Plantation High School for over a year. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2018 and is currently applying to Medical School to pursue his dream of becoming a Pediatrician.

One of Nick’s students is Abdullah. Abdullah has been in Firewall for the past five years. He has always been a bright student who has put a lot of effort into his academics. This year we started doing career planning sessions with our high school students and these have made a huge difference for Abdullah in planning for his future career.



November is Philanthropy Month!

This month, Joanne Daudt, Firewall Board member, and an attorney who has worked within the philanthropic community assisting both charities and individual donors shares about how you can give wisely this holiday season.

“One vehicle of giving that is not often utilized in gift consideration is the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rollover at the year’s end. With so many changes in tax policy since the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, it might be of interest to you as a supporter of a 501(c)(3) charity such as Firewall Centers to review how an IRA can be mutually beneficial for both your 2019 legacy efforts and for Firewall”.



Giving Tuesday

Save the date! #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. On Tuesday, December 3rd, take part in a global day of giving by donating online and sharing about Firewall Centers on your social media.

We want to hear from you!

We value all the feedback that our Firewall family is able to give. Fill out the survey and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale. This location features a massive Go-Kart track, bowling lanes, food, and games.

Thanksgiving Has Been Served

When you think of Thanksgiving most think of a relaxed, fulfilling time with family and friends. Our biggest problems are usually debating between leftover turkey sandwiches or eating another slice of pumpkin pie. It’s almost too easy to enjoy our time and never stop to think of those who may need help during this Holiday season, yet more than 1 in 5 families across the country and over 260,000 individuals in Broward County are unable to provide themselves with a meal that many of us may end up taking for granted.

These families are not far from home, but are often your neighbors and fellow community members. These are the families of students we serve every day here at Firewall. This Thanksgiving, we strived to meet more of the needs of our students by also serving their families. A partnership between Calvary Chapel Plantation, Harvest Drive Florida and Firewall Centers Donors collaborated to bring over 150 Thanksgiving Day meals to Firewall families all over Broward County.

On behalf of all the families that make up Firewall Centers, we would like to give a BIG thank you to our generous partners for sharing in something special for our community. Calvary Chapel Plantation and Harvest Drive Florida are paving the way in servant leadership and we are humbled to have been a part of serving with you.

We Couldn’t Have Done it Without You!

Giving Tuesday was a great success for Firewall Centers with generous donors offering to match dollar for dollar your end of the year donations. We are thankful for all your support!

With the end of the year approaching quickly, there is still time for you to double your impact by participating in our matching challenge. From now until December 31st, every dollar given to Firewall will be doubled.

Consider donating so Firewall can continue transforming students into servant leaders.

We are so excited to impact more lives with your help!

November is philanthropy month!

As an attorney who has worked within the philanthropic community assisting both charities and individual donors, one vehicle of giving that is not often utilized in gift consideration is the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rollover at the year’s end. With so many changes in tax policy since the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, it might be of interest to you as a supporter of a 501(c)(3) charity such as Firewall Centers to review how an IRA can be mutually beneficial for both your 2019 legacy efforts and for Firewall.


An IRA owner who has reached the age of 70 ½ or older can make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 to an eligible charity, tax-free. This means that amounts directly transferred to the charity from an IRA are counted in determining whether the owner has met the IRA’s required minimum distribution (RMD), but will not be considered a taxable withdrawal. Nice, right? Some restrictions apply including the fact that distributions from employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as SIMPLE IRAs and simplified employee pension (SEP) plans, are not eligible.

Gift Parameters 

If you are at age 70 ½ or older and are the owner of a Traditional IRA (or inherited Traditional IRA) and do not need all or part of your required minimum distribution, you can make tax-free IRA contributions directly to qualified public charities such as Firewall Centers. 

Each age-eligible IRA owner can transfer up to $100,000 tax-free per tax year. 

Your IRA gift must be completed on or before December 31 of the calendar year in which you choose to utilize the IRA Charitable Rollover gift vehicle for tax purposes. Generally, if sent by US mail, the postmark determines the date of a charitable gift.

The check should be made payable directly to Firewall Centers. 

You can only make outright gifts. The IRA Charitable Rollover cannot be used to fund life-income gifts (such as charitable gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts). 


You can count your gift towards your annual required minimum distribution. 

Your distribution is  not recognized as income on your federal income tax return and therefore  not eligible for a federal income tax charitable deduction. 

Under current federal tax laws, keeping your IRA distribution out of your adjusted gross income may save you taxes. 

The transfer process is quick and requires minimal paperwork. 


Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s are generally not eligible for the IRA Charitable Rollover. 

While the IRS permits IRA Charitable Rollover gifts from Roth IRAs, using a Roth IRA eliminates many of the tax advantages of the charitable distribution. If you don’t have a traditional IRA, it may be better to withdraw funds directly from your Roth account, make a gift, and take a charitable deduction. Consult your financial or tax advisor for advice. 

Most (but not all) states exclude IRA Charitable Rollover gifts from income for state and local tax purposes.  The Holiday season allows us the opportunity to reflect on the blessings in our lives and our thoughts can turn to those less fortunate than ourselves. The IRA rollover can be an effective vehicle of legacy planning for those who take advantage of it.

Thank you, and I wish you and your families a safe and blessed Holiday season.

JoAnne Daudt has been a trust and estate planning attorney helping individuals and families plan for the future for over thirty years. 


For questions about supporting Firewall Centers with an IRA Rollover or other appreciated assets, please contact us at 954-530-1871 or