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JTHS-MIAMI Realtors Collects & Delivers 2,400 Books to Local Children, Adults

JTHS-MIAMI Realtors Collects & Delivers 2,400 Books to Local Children, Adults
JTHS-MIAMI Realtors Collects & Delivers 2,400 Books to Local Children, Adults

MIAMI — The Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound division of the MIAMI Association of Realtors (JTHS-MIAMI) recently collected and delivered a record 2,400 books to local children and adults to boost literacy and help students stay on grade level during the summer. The JTHS-MIAMI annual book drive, led by longtime JTHS-MIAMI leader and Palm Beach County Housing Authority Commissioner Phyllis Choy, has distributed 7,400 total books since 2021.


“We take great pride in boosting local literacy and serving a need in our community,” said Choy, who has been a Realtor for 29+ years and has served on over 100 Realtor committees at the state level. “More than any other profession, Realtors know the needs of the public because we see it every day. Realtors love our communities and we will always be there for them.”


JTHS-MIAMI President Courtney Smitheman, who recently taught a financial literacy class at Dwyer High School, set a goal to collect 2,400 books in the year 2024. The books were donated by MIAMI REALTORS® and their family, friends, clients and colleagues. Local teachers from Suncoast and Dwyer high schools assisted in the efforts.


The books were recently delivered to children and adults at:

  • Thelma B. Pittman Pre-School in Jupiter
  • El Sol Community Resource Center in Jupiter
  • Boys & Girls Clubs in Hobe Sound
  • Boys & Girls Clubs in Riviera Beach
  • Edna Runner Tutorial Center in Jupiter
  • Drexel Senior Public Housing in West Palm Beach


A special thank you to Katie Klause Newitt from A-1 Moving & Storage for providing boxes and the MIAMI REALTORS® leaders, ambassadors and volunteers for packing the boxes.


Realtors Acting to Fill a Need in the Local Community

While visiting public housing sites in the Glades as part of her role as Palm Beach County Housing Authority commissioner in 2021, Choy saw a need in the western corridor of Palm Beach County where distance creates a roadblock for children to get to the library.


Many at-risk children don’t have access to a library. They don’t know the feeling of receiving a new book. Choy is a strong believer in literacy and how it can shape, empower, and improve a young person’s life. Literacy is the gateway for life’s future achievements.


The JTHS-MIAMI book drive collected 1,300 books in 2021; 1,400 in 2022 and 2,000 in 2023.


Choy knows literacy is an area she knew she could make a difference in. Just ask and people will generally say yes to helping local children in underserved areas.


She connected with her sphere of influence including Realtors, family, friends, neighbors and colleagues about her book drive. She contacted her sources through phone calls, in-person meetings, social media, emails and more.


The books that were sent to or dropped off at JTHS-MIAMI coming from Miami to Orlando and so many zip codes in between. In the months before delivery day, Choy and her team gathered all the books and had them piled high in the JTHS-MIAMI auditorium where they boxed them and then they personally delivered them to the children.


Donate Books Today for Next Year’s JTHS-MIAMI Book Drive

JTHS-MIAMI has already begun collecting books for next year’s drive.


If you have books you would like to donate to the community, you can drop them off at the JTHS-MIAMI office at 2151 Alternate A1A South Ste. 1100 in Jupiter, FL 33477 or contact Joanne Werstlein at


About the MIAMI Association of Realtors®

The MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 104 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations: MIAMI RESIDENTIAL, MIAMI COMMERCIAL; BROWARD-MIAMI, a division of MIAMI Realtors; JTHS-MIAMI, a division of MIAMI Realtors in the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound area; MIAMI YPN, our Young Professionals Network Council; and the award-winning MIAMI Global Council. MIAMI REALTORS represents 60,000 total real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S. and has official partnerships with 260 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is



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