Shirley Erazo, president/CEO of the housing authority, and Rose Clay, housing specialist, show donated backpacks with GoSection8.com representatives (l-r in back) Elizabeth Wrenn, Jennifer McMahon and Michael Lazdowsky. Photo provided
By Amy Woods
An annual initiative called Book Bag Bash recently took place to benefit children from low- and moderate-income families living within the Delray Beach Housing Authority’s jurisdiction.
The initiative, in partnership with GoSection8.com President Richard Cupelli, provided more than 600 backpacks filled with school supplies, hand sanitizer, face masks and snacks to local students.
“By providing our children brand new backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies, we can ensure that our children will have some sense of normality during this pandemic,” said Shirley Erazo, president and CEO of the authority.
“Whether in person or virtually, they will have the supplies needed to start the new school year on the same level as their peers and excited to learn.”
For more information, call 561-272-6766 or visit www.dbha.org.
Quantum gives $2.7 million to provide food, health care
Hit with an especially large demand because of COVID-19, an organization whose mission is to fund initiatives that improve the health of Palm Beach County residents approved 17 grants totaling $2.7 million.
Quantum Foundation’s board of trustees OK’d the allocations, which include $1.25 million to Feeding South Florida.
“This grant means everything to our organization,” said Paco Vélez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida. “It is critical to have such an investment from an organization like Quantum Foundation. Both of our missions align as we look to break the cycle of hunger and poverty, and the first step is providing access to the programs that we can provide thanks to this grant.”
The pandemic has been catastrophic for families, Vélez said, noting that since March 2020, his organization has doubled its output of food — to 120 million pounds compared with 62 million pounds — in one year.
“A little boy came through our drive-thru distribution recently and asked if we knew of any jobs for his family so they will not turn off the lights,” Vélez said. “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for better long-term solutions for families.”
Other grants include $300,000 to Genesis Community Health, $250,000 to the Community Health Center of West Palm Beach and $200,000 to CROS Ministries.
“Your zip code is more of a marker to health than your genetic code,” foundation President Eric Kelly said. “Health equity is our way forward, and these vulnerable communities need their basic needs met now more than ever.”
For more information, call 561-832-7497 or visit www.quantumfnd.org.
Adopt-A-Family earns award, $200,000 grant
Bank of America has named a local nonprofit as a 2020 Neighborhood Builders recipient for its work in preventing homelessness.
Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches — one of two charities selected in Palm Beach County among 142 across the country — also was awarded a $200,000 grant and one year of leadership training.
“It is a tremendous honor for Adopt-A-Family to be recognized as a 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders awardee,” CEO Matthew Constantine said. “This award will allow us to continue our efforts in providing one of the most fundamental and basic needs — stable housing.”
Added Fabiola Brumley, Bank of America’s Palm Beach County market president, “Nonprofits are the backbone of our community, and now more than ever they need our support to ensure that those they serve have the tools and resources to meet their evolving needs.”
For more information, call 561-253-1361 or visit www.adoptafamilypbc.org.
Malvern Foundation awards grants to local nonprofits
The charitable arm of Malvern Bank has awarded 16 grants, totaling $100,000, to charitable groups in its local markets. Among the recipients are two Palm Beach County-based organizations: Quantum House and Vita Nova.
“These organizations provide vital services each year to hundreds of people in Palm Beach County,” said Anthony Weagley, president of Malvern Federal Charitable Foundation.
“Our grants are intended to assist these organizations in fulfilling their missions of helping our neighbors.”
Trio appointed to board of Mounts’ Friends group
William Bittner, Mary-Therese Delate and Karen Marcus have joined the Friends of Mounts Botanical Garden as board members supporting Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest public garden.
Paton White, incoming president of the Friends, announced the new positions, noting that Bittner is an insurance broker, Delate is a 30-plus-year Gold Coast resident, and Marcus is a former county commissioner.
“All three of these extraordinary, talented, insightful community-service professionals will be invaluable assets for Mounts Botanical Garden as we continue to grow and attract new visitors,” White said.
For more information, call 561-233-1757 or visit www.mounts.org.
Three named to board governing Spady Museum
Kim Ardila-Morgan, Elizabeth Burrows and Christopher Redding have joined the board of Expanding and Preserving Our Cultural Heritage, which governs operations at the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum.
Ardila-Morgan is a retired director of the Center for Applied Ethics at Palm Beach State College. Burrows has spent most of her career working in Delray Beach’s public and nonprofit sectors. Redding owns and operates a small business called Let’s Talk Innovation, which offers resources and funding to small businesses.
“Each of our new members brings a wealth of experience from different sectors to our board,” President Bill Whigham said. “We have a cross-section of skill sets from education, government, nonprofit and small business represented by Kim, Elizabeth and Christopher, which I believe will benefit museum operations in meaningful ways.”
For more information, call 561-279-8883 or visit www.spadymuseum.com.
Lighthouse for the Blind announces fresh start
The nonprofit that has served blind and visually impaired people in South Florida since 1946 is separating from Gulfstream Goodwill Industries and transitioning to a new location.
Plans include moving to offices adjacent to the JFK Medical Center North Campus in West Palm Beach.
“We are appreciative of the support and guidance GGI provided over the years, However, it’s time that the organization does as we encourage each of our clients to do, and that’s to develop our capabilities to the fullest and return to being a fully independent organization once again,” said Donté Mickens, board chairman of Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches.
Mary Allen, longtime director of vision services, will remain at the helm of the organization as interim executive director.
Meantime, it is unveiling a fresh corporate logo and tagline focused on its 75th anniversary. The marquee event of the celebration is the Eye Ball on April 15.
“These changes are an exciting new chapter in our 75-year legacy,” Mickens said. “These changes, however, will not deter from our mission, as Lighthouse will always remain focused on providing essential services for those with visual impairments.”
For more information, call 561-586-5600 or visit www.lhpb.org.