WEST PALM BEACH — On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Quantum Foundation hosted a celebratory breakfast event at the Gaines Park Community Center to award grants totaling $750,000 to 66 small, grassroots organizations in Palm Beach County. The annual Quantum in the Community initiative provides funds for operating support in amounts ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 to qualifying nonprofits that help meet the basic needs—like food, clothing and transportation—of the county’s most vulnerable residents. The 66 grantee organizations represented all four corners of the county, from Tequesta to Boca Raton and from Belle Glade to Riviera Beach.
“We’re a health-focused foundation,” said Quantum Foundation President Eric M. Kelly. “We want to make a real impact on the health of the county. Our goals are for people to manage their own health, have access to resources for health and to strengthen the connections between organizations in the health system. But we understand that it’s impossible to live a healthy life if your basic needs aren’t being met. Good nutrition, adequate clothing, secure housing, transportation to help you get to work – these are some of the building blocks of good health and a healthy community. We are humbled by what these organizations do, often on a shoestring budget. We’re so grateful to be able to continue supporting them.”
This year, four of the 66 organizations receiving grants are:
Church of the Harvest, Pahokee: This project provides food to local people in need – 400 to 600 bags of food every single week! The food pantry is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A satellite site, which provides an additional 150 bags of food, is open every other Thursday in South Bay. Those needing to make use of the pantry or anyone who would like to support this worthwhile endeavor should contact Barbara Iderosa at firstname.lastname@example.org, 561-924-7776.
Wheels from the Heart, Boca Raton: This wonderful organization was founded in response to a desperate need in the community – low-income single mothers who need dependable transportation in order to work and support themselves and their children. Since it officially started operating in January 2014, the organization has given away 15 cars to worthy working moms. If you could donate a vehicle that would be wonderful but there are many other ways to help. Contact Steven Muschlitz at email@example.com to learn more or visit wheelsfromtheheart.org 561-445-7444.
Hugs and Kisses, Royal Palm Beach: Hugs and Kisses pays living expenses directly to creditors of cancer patient families to ease the stress and anxiety of a difficult time in their lives. The organization assists with mortgages/rent, utilities, car payments and other urgent bills. In 2014, Hugs & Kisses received 23 applications for support totaling $40,000. If you’d like to ease the struggles of a family coping with cancer, via financial assistance or by volunteering your time and skills, please contact Mavae Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit hugsandkissesinc.org 561-819-9471.
BASIC NEEDS FOR FOSTER YOUTH
My Own Home Project, West Palm Beach: This organization provides young adults exiting foster care in Palm Beach County with the basic household items needed to begin independent lives. The project provides these young people with a bed, microwave, toaster, pots & pans, towels, bedding, tool kit, etc. so they can begin their lives like any fortunate teenager heading off into the world. Since operations started in 2012, My Own Home Project has given away $50,000 worth of goods to foster children aging out of the system. There are many ways you can help, directly and indirectly. If you could help warm the heart of a foster child, please contact Erin Udell at email@example.com. Visit myownhomeproject.org, or call 772-807-2235
Applications for Quantum in the Community grants open in the fall every year and funds are awarded each November. To qualify, applicant organizations must be based in Palm Beach County and have annual cash expenses of less than $500,000. The board of Quantum Foundation approved the Quantum in the Community initiative in 2011 when economic surveys showed local nonprofits were to struggling to keep their doors open in the troubled economy. Since then, the foundation has awarded a total of $2.5 million to these projects in addition to the approximately 6.5 million it invests each year in other major health-related initiatives.
To learn more about the Quantum in the Community initiative, please visit the organization’s website at: www.quantumfnd.org/quantum-in-the-community