In this series, we connect with a diverse group of small business owners across the country to hear their stories – from overcoming hardship to the achievements that have allowed them to grow. There is no doubt that this past year has been a challenging time for business owners, and through elevating their voices we aim to provide advice, support and inspiration for small businesses everywhere. More resources like our Community Business Directory can be found here.

 

Today we are sharing the story of La’Dreamer & Daisy Helping Hands Foundation Inc., an organization based out of NYC (serving Harlem, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens & Staten Island, with the mission of empowering and providing resources to underprivileged children through educational investments, recreational activities, job skills, student resources, and community engagement.

 

 

A Start Based in Community

 

La’Dreamer & Daisy Helping Hands Foundation Inc. was founded in 2018 by a mother and daughter. Two passionate individuals that enjoy helping and giving back to their community. Founder La’Dreamer Lark (30) and co-founder Dreamer “Daisy” Jones Lark (5) saw the opportunity to help their community thrive and acted immediately. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2017 and suffering a mild stroke in 2018, founder La’Dreamer Lark still managed to care for her community by putting together the companies first public back to school event entitled “DreamBig”. To pull off this event, La’Dreamer enlisted the help of the community. Their friends and family came together to provide 250 pre-assembled backpacks to donate. Each backpack contained pencils, pencil sharpeners, pens, crayons, markers, loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, folders, rulers, glue, and hand sanitizer, donated from La’dreamer’s employer, Northwell Health. Along with distributing the backpacks, DreamBig also provided food for the children in attendance, a raffle for scooters, entertainment, and lots of fun activities.

 

Providing Resources During a Pandemic

 

La’Dreamer & Daisy Helping Hands Foundation Inc. set out with many plans for their nonprofit, like running a program to provide children with extracurricular activities and student resources like homework help, job training and college application assistance. They also dreamed of becoming an advocate for Feeding America, helping families suffering from food insecurity. Once the pandemic started, things began to take a turn for the worse. La’Dreamer found herself stressed thinking that she wouldn’t be able to complete her goals. She and her daughter Daisy put their heads together to solve for how they could continue to help others and came up with a solution to help fight against Covid -19. With their own money they assembled care packages for two local nursing homes, Rebekah Rehab Extended Care Center and Northern Manhattan Nursing. Each care package consisted of hand sanitizer, a re-usable face mask, toothpaste, a toothbrush, lotion and words of encouragement. After word of their good deeds got out, the organization received a large donation of kn95 mask in January 2021. La’Dreamer & Daisy Helping Hands Foundation Inc. then held a mask distribution drive in February, giving away over 25,000 masks to the community and to local small businesses for redistribution. The event drew attention; Assemblyman Al Taylor, US Representative Adriano Espalliat, Borough President Gale Brewer and State Senator Brian Benjamin were all in attendance. 

 

La’Dreamer can attribute support and help from the community to enabling her and her daughter to serve that same community for the last 3 years. Her advice to other organizations, “Be patient. Network and promote yourself as much as possible. There will always be bumps in the road but don’t let that stop you from chasing your dreams. Dream until it becomes reality.”

 

IG: @helpinghandsfoundationinc