By Amy Woods
The overwhelming need for food as a result of the pandemic and its economic toll has prompted Boca Helping Hands to expand its presence in Boynton Beach.
The organization that has served Boca Raton’s neediest residents for decades now will offer Boynton Beach residents emergency financial assistance to help pay for rent, utilities and child care through the Boca Helping Hands Resource Center, previously limited to Boca residents.
Boca Helping Hands also has expanded food distribution in Boynton Beach to five days a week, up from four. The additional drive-thru distribution takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays at St. John Missionary Baptist Church.
Boca Helping Hands already distributes 1,500 pantry bags of food each month at First Baptist Church of Boynton Beach, where hours are 10 a.m. to noon the other four weekdays.
For more information, call 561-417-0913 or visit www.bocahelpinghands.org.
Grants aid Palm Beach County children in need
Local children’s charities received $280,000 in grants from the Children’s Foundation of Palm Beach County through its “Partnership” initiative.
Specifically, five charities received $50,000 grants, and an additional six charities received grants of $5,000.
“The program will provide thousands of children and families with meals, therapy, computers, school supplies, education and a bed on which to sleep,” said Pamela Weinroth, the foundation’s executive director.
The “Partnership” initiative is an annual program that invites philanthropists and organizations to purchase “shares” for $500. Each share represents one vote. Established earlier this year, the foundation is an affiliate of Boca West Children’s Foundation, which has granted more than $11.5 million to nonprofits in its 11-year history.
For more information, call 561-488-6980 or visit https://childrensfoundationpbc.org.
Y receives funding for swimming lessons
The USA Swimming Foundation selected the YMCA of South Palm Beach County as a grant recipient this year.
Funding will go toward the Y’s Drowning Prevention Program, with its mission to provide free or reduced-cost swimming lessons to youths.
“While we cannot change our environment, we can remove its biggest threat,” said Libby Moon, the Drowning Prevention Program coordinator, noting that drowning is the No. 1 cause of death for children ages 5 and younger countywide. “We are so happy to have been given the opportunity to teach more children about water safety as well as their families how to be safe around water.”
For more information, call 561-237-0950 or visit www.ymcaspbc.org.
Food Bank fills two key leadership positions
Jamie Kendall is the new CEO at the Palm Beach County Food Bank, and Ellen Vaughan is the new director of development and philanthropy.
The two assume their roles at a time of exciting activity — the organization’s recent move to a warehouse and distribution facility in Lake Worth.
“Thanks to experienced and committed interim leadership, the Palm Beach County Food Bank is well-poised to continue to meet the unprecedented food-insecurity needs that COVID-19 has created in our community,” board Chairwoman Marti LaTour said. “With the addition of Jamie and Ellen, we add great depth of knowledge to our leadership team.”
For more information, call 561-670-2518 or visit www.pbcfoodbank.org.
FoundCare’s board welcomes 3 new trustees
FoundCare, a local nonprofit federally qualified health center, has added three members to its board of trustees.
Stephanie Carden, Miron Ebanks and Marcia Howard have varied backgrounds that bring new talents to their roles.
“My favorite part of my job was representing and advocating for individuals with HIV/AIDS, so FoundCare was a natural fit for me as they pioneered HIV/AIDS services with the Comprehensive AIDS Program,” said Carden, who previously worked as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.
“No one should feel that they cannot afford to go to the doctor or get medical treatment, and I do not think there should be barriers to health care.”
Added Ebanks, CEO of Merricare Community Integrated Services, “I am passionate about providing services to underserved communities that are impacted by mental health crises, substance abuse and developmental disabilities.
“I am excited about serving on FoundCare’s board to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in our community and bring leadership through compassion and care.”
Howard is assistant controller at Palm Beach Atlantic University and was FoundCare’s chief financial officer from 2006 to 2014.
“The organization delivers services with care and compassion, and that aligns with my values,” she said.
FoundCare is based in Palm Springs but has facilities throughout the county.
For more information, call 561-432-5849 or visit www.foundcare.org.
Housing advocate named to Adopt-A-Family board
The supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County’s Fair Housing Project recently joined the Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches board.
Tequisha Myles, who served on the board from 2006 to 2013 as secretary, vice president and president, brings a knowledge of and commitment to equitable access for affordable housing.
“Tequisha’s role with Legal Aid is one that fits seamlessly with the work we do at Adopt-A-Family,” CEO Matthew Constantine said. “She understands that stable housing is a fundamental and basic need. We are excited to welcome her back to our team, standing up for those in our community who need us most.”
For more information, call 561-253-1361 or visit www.adoptafamilypbc.org.
New head selected for Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County has hired 20-year nonprofit professional Jennifer Thomason as the branch’s new president and CEO.
Thomason will replace Randy Nobles, who is retiring this summer.
“We are confident that her leadership will take our affiliate to new levels and springboard off what has been successfully built under Randy Nobles’ tenure,” board Chairwoman Brittney Kocaj said.
More than 50 applicants were in the running for the job.
For more information, call 561-819-6070 or visit www.habitatsouthpalmbeach.org.
Janis Fontaine contributed to this column.
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