Applause nearly lifted the roof of the Gaines Park Community Hall in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, November 17th when local health funder Quantum Foundation handed out checks totaling $750,000 to 95 local nonprofits working to meet the basic needs of Palm Beach County residents.
“We’re a health foundation,” said Quantum Foundation president, Eric M. Kelly. “Our focus is always on health, but you can’t expect people to think about their health when they have no food, or insecure housing situations, or inadequate clothing. Health is about the whole human being and these basic needs must be met first.”
The down-to-earth, feel-good event celebrated some of the hardest working groups in the county and showcased their projects and successes while affording them a networking opportunity to meet other agencies doing similar work in their area. Organizations from all four corners of the county attended.
After breakfast, guests heard from the Faith’s Place musicians on their steel drums and then were given moving testimonials by former clients of three agencies: Family Promise of South Palm Beach County, which helps families experiencing homelessness; Dress for Success of the Palm Beaches, which helps prepare women for employment readiness with a professional work-ready wardrobe; and My Own Home Project which supports and helps to set up first apartments for young people aging out of the foster care system. There were a further 92 organizations represented – each doing wonderful work and each with its own incredible success stories.
“This is our 5th year of working on this initiative,” said Donna Mulholland, Quantum Foundation trustee and co-chair of the Quantum in the Community committee. “Last year we had 66 recipients; this year 95 organizations qualified. The growth of this program demonstrates the need out there and we know that basic needs must be met before you can build a strong and healthy community.”