The Herbert C. Parlato Volunteer Award

In Memory of Herbert C. Parlato

(September 4, 1946 – March 8, 2023)


In August of 2017, Branches decided to launch its first ever Annual Volunteer Award and has dedicated the award in honor and memory of Mr. Herbert C. Parlato (September 4, 1946 – March 8, 2023).

Herb dedicated his life to serving the South Dade community with heart. After retiring in September of 2005, Herb speny several days a week at Branches Florida City, dedicating his time to mentoring and tutoring children and youth from low-income families. Herb grew up in Miami-Dade County and was an active community member. He involved his family in community volunteer projects and always stressed the importance of giving back.

Herb was proud of Miami, having grown up in Coconut Grove, graduated from Miami High, continuing his studies at Miami-Dade Community College, and later the University of Miami. Herb mentored students at South Ridge High School, inmates at the Florida State Prison, and spent his time volunteering with numerous other organizations.

Herb stated in the past that his whole life changed when his dear friend Mary Susan Ward approached him many years ago, saying that she knew of a place where he could spend the rest of his life. That wonderful place was Branches Florida City.

Herb made a life-long impact at Branches Florida City where he served as a role model to the children and youth in need of guidance and support. He them each understand their inherent value and self-worth. Herb helped students with homework each day after school and continuouly challenged their minds. Herb was incredibly patient and kind and believed that every child deserves a chance to succeed. He also believed that even though some youth may make bad choices, everyone deserves another opportunity to try again.

Herb taught Branches’ students manners and important life skills and helped out in every aspect of programming, from purchasing new soccer uniforms, to buying fresh fruit for snacks to taking students out to restaurants to model proper etiquette. The children and youth, as well as the other volunteers and staff adored him.

The Herbert C. Parlato Volunteer Award will recognize and honor someone who is similarly dedicated to serving our community to create positive change in the lives of children and families.

2017 – Mr. Herbert C. Parlato – The Inaugural Award

2018 – Mrs. Patti Morgan
2019 – Ms. Dreena Robinson
2021 – Viventa
2022 – Palmer Trinity School 

2023 – University of Miami School of Nursing and the UM SONHS Sigma Beta Tau Chapter


Award Attributes: The award criteria are derived from Herb’s profound example of service, dedication and love. Future award recipients must fulfill the first attribute and then at least two of the other attributes:

  • Investing in Branches’ mission
  • Being guided by one’s faith
  • Being passionate about serving all God’s children
  • Recognizing that no matter our circumstance in life, we share a common connection
  • Building community by creating opportunities for our neighbors in need to fulfill their potential
  • Encouraging generous philanthropy throughout our community and leading by example
  • Inspiring others to dream big and make a difference

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