Yulekethia Hankerson: Oakland Park’s Youth Literacy Advocate and Community Organizer

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

Albert Einstein

Ms.Yulekethia Hankerson is a woman who lives every day to help others. As a Media Clerk at Oakland Park Elementary, she promotes childhood literacy by going above and beyond to help the children. She also founded a charitable organization called Talitha Cumi Inc. In 2021, Oakland Park Elementary honored her with Employee of the Year.

Reading the Hearts of Children

Oakland Park Elementary is delighted to have Ms. Hankerson at their school. Every day she goes out of her to make a difference in the students’ lives.  In addition to helping them check out books, she loves finding new ways to inspire and encourage kids to read. Ms. Hankerson gives the kids prizes for reading and writing a short story about what they’ve read. 

The kind media clerk wants children to find love in reading. Students feel comfortable with Ms.Hankerson, and she has fostered the love of reading in many young ones, including those who previously struggled with reading.

"You can always pick up a book and become whoever you want. All you have to do is imagine it".

Ms. Hankerson, Media Clerk, Oakland Park Elementary

The kind media clerk wants children to find love in reading. Students feel comfortable with Ms.Hankerson, and she has fostered the love of reading in many young ones, including those who previously struggled with reading.

Inspiration Behind Talitha Cumi

Besides spreading love and joy at Oakland Park Elementary, Ms. Hankerson wants to give back to the community. As a child, Ms. Hankerson saw her family demonstrate benevolence and compassion to others on a frequent basis. They would donate many of their possessions to help others in need. She learned the joy of living a simple life dedicated to serving the less fortunate.

In 2013 Ms. Hankerson started getting into community work. She started her non-profit organization called Talitha Cumi Inc. Talitha Cumis’s mission is to encourage and empower single-parent families. This non-profit group gives resources, mentoring, and support to single parents and their kids. Through this organization, Ms. Hankerson wants children of single parents to reach their full potential.

Ms. Hankerson was once a struggling single parent herself, raising her two boys all alone. She endured many hardships, including homelessness and recovering from a brain hemorrhage but that was not enough to stop her and Talitha Cumi was born out of her struggle and desire to help others. 

Talitha Cumi helps single parents get back on their feet by providing basics like food, clothing, and shoes. The organization guides single parents to become self-sufficient. They help them find homes, jobs and offer emotional support and mentoring.

Below is a list of the other ways Talitha Cumi Inc. helps the community.

Literacy Program

Talitha Cumi has a free literacy program. Yulekethia is an avid reader and loves advocating literacy among children. Her organization Talitha Cumi has book giveaways to help and inspire young ones in low-income, at-risk communities. Reading helps build self-esteem and is a healthy and wonderful outlet for youth to exercise their imaginations.

Providing Clothing and Food

The Talitha Cumi organization assists single parents who need food or clothing. New and gently used clothing and non-perishable food items help families in need. The organization also gives interview clothing. Proper attire helps single parents find jobs to help provide for their families. Clothing and food come from donations from individuals and businesses.

For a complete and detailed list of current and future programs please visit Talitha Cumi official website

How Can I Help?

These are some ways that you can help Talitha Cumi Inc. There is no donation or action that is too small. Every little bit helps a family in need.

Donate

You can send donations to Talitha Cumi Inc. to help struggling single parents and their households. These are the types of donations accepted: Monetary donations, kitchen appliances, furniture, food, clothing, books, paper products, housing, and more. All donations are tax-deductible. Visit this link to make a donation online.

Items can be dropped off at this address:

2880 W. Oakland Park Blvd Suite 211
Oakland Park, Florida 33311
talithacumi021@gmail.com
Tel: 954-541-2215

Volunteer

Talitha Cumi Inc. is also grateful to accept adult and student volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to directly impact other people’s lives. Interested volunteers are encouraged to apply through the website by clicking on this link.

Shop

Just by doing your regular online shopping, you can help Talitha Cumi Inc. with the click of a button. They have partnered up with Amazon Smile and Walmart. Here’s how you can make your season shopping more meaningful:

Amazon Smile: Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to charity. You can add Talitha Cumi Inc. on Amazon Smile and you can help single-parent families in need. All you have to do is shop and smile in knowing you are helping a great cause.

Walmart: Talitha’s Toys for Tot’s gives gifts to impoverished and disadvantaged children and families. They help our local kids enjoy toys, school supplies, books, and more. Make your shopping meaningful and click the link to help out with the click of a mouse.

Like on Social Media

Be sure to like Talitha Cumi Inc. on Facebook. There you can see the most up-to-date information on how this organization is helping single parents and their children. Spread the word, and help serve your community.

Want to help Ms. Hankerson - just do it!

If you would like to help Ms. Hankerson make a difference just choose a way to do it, and do it! 

An Inspiring Soul

Ms. Hankerson is a living and breathing testament of hope. She had to overcome many hardships in her life and could have just kept going on with her life after conquering them but instead she chose to help others. Ms. Hankerson loves people and helping families and children. We are lucky to have such a kind, selfless and inspiring soul in our Oakland Park community.

Be a part of Oakland Park online!


*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Megan Rebecca

Megan Rebecca

Megan Rebecca is a classical pianist, singer, composer, writer and music promoter. She holds a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Piano Performance. As a performer, Megan has played at many local venues and theaters as both a classical and contemporary performer. She has performed at clubs such as the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables, Jazid in South Beach, and has given recitals at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Megan Rebecca is active in the music community as a performer and arts activist and has published articles on music, education and travel. She has also published a thesis comparing and contrasting the music of Disney and Japanese anime.

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