South Florida Cares

The National CARES Mentoring Movement envisions a nation in which all Black children are loved, have access to quality, culturally competent education, and are supported by well-resourced families and communities living in harmony and guided by faith. Toward that end, our national affiliate network connects adults to local youth-serving organizations, including our own group-mentoring programs (THE RISING PROGRAM) that focus on the emotional, social and academic development of our children and the wellness of the adults who parent, mentor and educate them.

National CARES was founded in 2005 by Susan L. Taylor, Founder and CEO National CARES Mentoring Movement Editor-in-Chief Emerita, Essence Magazine. South Florida CARES launched in 2011 by Tracey Robertson Carter, Founding Board Chair.

4 Paws for Ability

4 Paws for Ability enriches the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. This provides increased independence for the children, and assistance to their families. And 4 Paws also works with veterans from recent conflicts who’ve lost the use of their limbs or their hearing while in active combat. In all cases, the results speak for themselves. Lives are transformed.

4 Paws was founded in 1998 by Karen Shirk after she tried unsuccessfully for years to obtain a service dog from traditional service dog agencies. At the time, Karen often used a ventilator to breathe and the agencies she applied to found her too disabled to receive a service dog. After obtaining her own dog and finding the training herself, Karen dreamed of a place where applicants for service dogs were not judged based on severity of disability and set out to start her own organization. Her dream became the large, thriving, respected nonprofit organization 4 Paws for Ability is today!

Let's shop