A Clean Space
Is a Safe Space
Boca Buckets was originally founded by Matthew Goodman in 2017 after Hurricane Irma. Initially, Boca Buckets' aimed to help expedite the clean up process following a natural disaster. Founder Matthew Goodman drew upon his personal experience when his house was damaged by Hurricane Irma. Buckets, filled with cleaning supplies such as towels, gloves, and wipes, were distributed to families living in impoverished neighborhoods which were devastated by Irma. With a change of leadership in 2021, from Matthew Goodman to his younger sister Katherine Goodman, came a change in objective. After Katherine Goodman took a Human Geography course, which focuses on global patterns and environments, she came to understand that people do not only need cleaning supplies after natural disasters, but instead many people need them to improve their everyday lives. The conditions in which people are living determine their ability to be successful and lead happy lives. To live a successful life, one must live in a safe, clean environment which allows them to do so. This is why Boca Buckets aims to help people preserve the cleanliness of their environments and eliminate the financial burden of buying cleaning supplies.
I understand how difficult it is to preserve the cleanliness of one's home. At the onset of the pandemic, my family and I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to keep our environment clean. As our home became progressively messier throughout the times of isolation, it contributed to a looming sense of helplessness and despair. My family and I were lucky as we had the ability to purchase cleaning supplies. Unfortunately, many people do not have the ability to readily purchase cleaning supplies; this in turn imprisons people in a permanent state of chaos and distress.
My freshman spring was eye opening. In my freshman year, I had the opportunity to take a Human Geography course, focusing on social, political, and economic patterns and their connection to one's environment. This class contextualized the amount of people who struggle to improve their living conditions. By taking this course, I was inspired to continue the work of Boca Buckets and refine its initiative. By distributing buckets with cleaning supplies in them, we hope to make it so the financial burden of preserving one's space is removed from the picture.
Some of my first work with Boca Buckets was at home dedication to the Michel Family. Included with the Michel’s home, built by Habitat for Humanity, were five Boca Buckets. It was truly inspiring to hear the Michel’s family story and how they persevered even when they faced adversity. The Michel's story emphasized how important it is to live in an environment that allows you to succeed. The ability to flourish is determined by one's living conditions; this is why Boca Buckets believes that the first step of improving one's life starts with their home environment.
Each bucket contains items that are critically important for clean-up after a natural disaster:
Fabuloso Multipurpose Cleaner
Boca Buckets Partners with City House Delray, July 2022
Women disproportionately suffer from poverty in the United States. With the lack of supportive work-family policies, which would allow women to obtain jobs and take care of children, many single women with children live in financial scarcity. Specifically, 1 in 4 unmarried women with children live in abject poverty (American Progress). City House, a nonprofit organization, aims to provide hope, renewal, and housing for single mothers and their children in Palm Beach County, Florida. City House allows young mothers to reestablish themselves without having to worry about the price of housing. The residential program of City House serves 12 mothers and 21 children. 14 Boca Buckets were brought to City House in order to help develop healthy lifestyles for both the mothers and their children. A healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy home.
Habitat for Humanity for the South Palm Beaches Home Dedication to the Michel Family, May 2022
Getting a new home is overwhelming. Preserving the cleanliness of it is an even more stressful task. This is why Boca Buckets finds it of utmost importance to give buckets to new homeowners. Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity makes it easy for us to reach out and gift buckets to new homeowners, like Suzie Michel. With the aid of Habitat for Humanity, whose goal is to build and improve homes, Suzie obtained a home for the first time in her life. At Suzie’s home dedication ceremony, her smile was contagious. Homeownership allows people to flourish and gain a sense of autonomy over their future and destiny. What also makes people feel better about themselves and their circumstances is their environment. A study conducted by The Clorox Company revealed that by simply being in a clean environment 80% of people are more relaxed, 72% more productive, and 60% less stressed. Furthermore, in a clean home environment 77% of people can focus better and 72% can sleep better. These statistics confirm what Boca Buckets already knows: that being in a clean home means everything for one's mental and physical well being.
Thanksgiving Covid Kit Buckets, November 2021
The pandemic has been a time of turmoil and strife for everyone. Furthermore, the pandemic has put both individuals and families at an increased risk of falling into economic insecurity. With unemployment rates and prices for common goods soaring, it raises the question, how can people purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) ? This is the question that led to the creation of the covid kit buckets. The covid kits contain wipes, masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, dial soap, and informational pamphlets about Covid-19. 100 covid kits were assembled and given to Boca Helping Hands, a local nonprofit that provides financial assistance to those in need, for distribution. These kits were distributed before Thanksgiving with the hope of preventing the spread of Covid-19 when people would be meeting with family and congregating in large groups. Sickness can further entrap people in impoverishment, so it is imperative that the spread of Covid-19 be mitigated. With sickness comes unpredictability, which then contributes to mental distress and financial disarray. If we want to stop the spread of Covid-19, we must work together!
Boca Buckets Makes Crossing To The Bahamas after Dorian, September 2019
Just days after Hurricane Dorian's devastating strike on the Bahamas, a boat containing Boca Buckets and other critical supplies left South Florida for West End, Grand Bahamas.
Kids In Distress, May 2019
Boca Buckets is pleased to announce its most recent partnership with Kids In Distress - a nationally accredited agency dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. After delivering buckets, we had the opportunity to tour the Broward County campus and learn more about the important work they are doing to keep children and families safe and strong. The buckets will be given to Kinship (or relative) caregivers when they graduate from a 6-week educational seminar at the Kids in Distress campus. Many of these family members take responsibility of the children with little notice and have limited financial or support services. We are proud to support Kids In Distress’ amazing efforts on behalf of at-risk children in our community. Read more about their critical work at kidinc.org.
Boca Buckets kicks off its 2019 donor season at American Airlines Arena
On March 31, 2019, NFP Structured Settlements and Boca Buckets joined the March Madness and took to the court of the American Airlines Arena to support Habitat for Humanity of the South Palm Beaches. The Miami Heat and Glen Rice stepped up and joined the team for a fun day of competition along with 50 participants. Rice applauded Boca Bucket's efforts to reach community members in need and remarked about the event's hashtag, "It says it right here on your t-shirts; today is about #Gettin Buckets and giving back." The highlight of the event was a knockout competition in which the final three contestants got to play in a shoot off with Rice. Ultimately, the three-time NBA All Star wowed the crowd with his impressive skills, but the runners-up walked away with cool Heat memorabilia. The money raised from the event will go toward building buckets of house supplies which will be delivered to Habitat for Humanity Join our team and help fill more buckets today.
Boca Buckets visits the Children of the Rainbow in Peru, March 2018
My family and I decided to visit Machu Picchu and hike part of the Incan Trail. Our trek to the mystical ruins of this lost city included a journey to philanthropy as well. We visited the Children of the Rainbow - a school founded in 2001 to help serve the medical and educational needs of the impoverished children of the Sacred Valley. Our tour began in the dining hall where students’ artwork graved the walls and fresh flowers adorned the tables. The director explained that the children come from terrible family circumstances, so that one of its missions is to make sure they are surrounded by beauty at school.
One of the biggest issues is teaching basic personal hygiene such as hand washing and teeth brushing. Therefore, the director was delighted when we presented her with our mini Boca Buckets filled with soap, washcloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
The Children of the Rainbow was founded on the belief that “every child has the right to be loved, to dream, to play, to hope, to be part of a family, to learn and to be.” I was happy to make a small contribution to help make this goal a reality.
On Sunday, March 11, 2018, Boca Buckets hosted its first annual fundraiser at the Miami Heat American Airlines Arena raising enough money to assemble another 200 buckets. Over 80 participants took to the floor of the arena, played in a shoot-around, posed for photos with the NBA Championship Trophies and competed in a double elimination tournament. With exclusive private access to the court, it was a rare opportunity one will never forget. With the generous support of the participants, Boca Buckets will be able to provide further aid and support to our community. I was really pleased by how much fun all my friends were having while raising awareness for my disaster relief efforts. While my friends and I competed against each other, we bonded over a singular mission – an enthusiasm for community service.
Gettin' Buckets, March 2018
Spreading the Love, February 2018
On February 14, 2018, Boca Buckets delivered another25 buckets to Habitat for Humanity of the South Palm Beaches. Homeowner Services Coordinator, Kesley Mesalien, was thrilled for the replenishment. He said their residents absolutely loved when they received them at the December holiday party and had been asking him for more. It was the perfect way to spread some love on Valentine’s Day!
The statistics surrounding Hurricane Harvey are staggering: “More than 19 trillion gallons of rainwater fell, and nearly 80,000 homes had at least 18 inches of floodwater. Twenty-three thousand of those properties saw more than five feet.” (CBS News 1/11/18). As thousands of Texans continue to recover and repair, Boca Buckets kicked off the new year by answering the call and providing aid. Boca Buckets reached out to Houston Boy Scout Troop 11 and coordinated a shipment of buckets and supplies. Troop 11 – which had spent countless hours in the wake of Hurricane Harvey demolishing sheetrock in hurricane-wrecked homes – assembled the buckets and delivered them to the Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center. Representatives of the centers were so thankful and appreciative commenting that their supplies were running low citing “relief fatigue.” In the first two months after a natural disaster, there are tons of people offering aid and support, but after that, it’s less and less and less. Boca Buckets is committed to help empower families affected by natural disaster to take control of their lives once again and have hope for the future.
Hope After Harvey, January 2018
Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. In fact, in one survey, nearly 90% of responders said that owning a home constitutes a dream come true. So why does homeownership matter? Well, studies have shown a correlation between homeownership and a higher sense of self-worth and control. Furthermore, did you know that children of homeowners perform better in school with higher test scores and lower anti-social behaviors? (Forbes). Since 1990, Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County has helped hundreds of deserving, willing families achieve their dreams of safe, affordable housing. On December 2nd, I had the opportunity to partner with them after reaching out to one of their administrators. I introduced her to Boca Buckets, and she invited me to donate them to their annual resident holiday party at the Shirley and Barton Weisman Delray Community Center in Delray Beach. “Once we announced that there were Boca Buckets available to pick up at the door, they flew,” said Kesley Mesalien, Homeowner Services Coordinator. The household supplies contained in Boca Buckets will help Habitat for Humanity’s homeowners take pride in their investment and protect its value. And that’s just another “drop in the bucket” toward helping our community.