In 1971, two local volunteers – Dorothy Fleegler and Frances Cohen – saw a need among the low-wage laborers and farmworkers in the area for a safe and affordable place for their children while they worked hard all day to provide for them. This place needed to be special – a place of love and enrichment, where these children could begin to pave their pathway out of the generational cycle of poverty. They envisioned a future where every child, regardless of their background, could rise above and achieve their potential, building a strong and vibrant community for us all.
The vision began to take shape with just 22 preschoolers housed in local faith communities. With the generous support of the City of Boca Raton and James and Florence Fuller, construction began on what would be called the Florence Fuller Child Development Center in East Boca Raton. As word got out, the programs expanded to include older children for afterschool and summer camp, providing families with longevity of service not found anywhere else. Soon enough, the Center branched out to include a second location in west Boca in 1994.
In 2014, the Center formally embraced families by offering Family Support Services right on campus. Now, families have the resources they need to build stable and self-sufficient households, extending the impact of the Center to the home.
On every step of this journey, it was the care of local supporters that ensured the Center would meet the challenge of each day. Their acts of kindness have forever changed tens of thousands of lives, and our entire community.