November 25 2020 – Quantum Foundation, Palm Beach County’s largest health funder, is celebrating a major milestone with its 10th annual Quantum in the Community (QIC) initiative, funding grassroots organizations in Palm Beach County. Recently, 112 nonprofits received their portion of $1 million in unrestricted funding to go toward such essentials as meals, hygiene products, rent/utility assistance, clothing, transportation and more.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought forward longstanding health inequities in disinvested communities, exposing the impacts of the social determinants of health,” said Eric Kelly, president of Quantum Foundation. “Health equity is our way forward, and these vulnerable communities need their basic needs met, now more than ever. Quantum in the Community funding has helped many of these organizations survive this current crisis.”
In 2011, Quantum Foundation board of directors made a commitment to this annual program when surveys showed local nonprofits were struggling to keep their doors open in the troubled economy. Since then, Quantum Foundation has awarded a total of $7.5 million through this initiative, currently co-chaired by board members Ethel Isaacs Williams and Donna Mulholland, with support from Dr. Gerald O’Connor, board member.
Quantum Foundation’s mission is to fund initiatives that improve the health of Palm Beach County residents. In 1998, Quantum Foundation marked its rookie year as one of Palm Beach County’s newest and largest philanthropic organizations with an impressive $7.6 million granted to more than 40 Palm Beach County projects. Just over 20 years later, with assets of approximately $155 million, the foundation’s focus remains on keeping Palm Beach County healthy. The organization’s awards to date total $145 million and have impacted hundreds of local nonprofit organizations.
Three of this year’s QIC recipients explain what the grants do to help our community and how people can assist those efforts.
From a warm coat to a hot lunch or even a sofa for a single mom, Church of the Harvest serves the people of the Glades area. The pantry provides free food, clothing, furniture, household goods, diapers, ice and water, and anything else clients might need.
Barbara Iderosa and her husband, Pastor Rich Iderosa, started the nonprofit almost 20 years ago. Before the pandemic, Church of the Harvest was serving close to 400 people a week. That number has skyrocketed to nearly 2,000 people a month. An anonymous donor helps with most utilities, fuel and insurance; however, the QIC grant bridges the gaps that are needed to help keep the operation going. Iderosa said her organization serves some of Palm Beach County’s poorest residents.
“We would have a difficult time without being in partnership with Quantum Foundation,” Iderosa said. “It is an especially important grant for us, and we are so grateful for it. There was no centralized pantry in the Glades area when we started back in 2000. Out here, it is an impoverished area where people do not have jobs or even access to jobs, leaving so many households without a way of earning money to live. There is some public transportation, but because there are very few jobs in the Glades, so many people have to take multiple buses into West Palm Beach, Welllington, or Loxahatchee just to get to work every day, and they go all that way for minimum wage jobs. I have always said, ‘We are 30 miles away from the West Palm Beach area, and 30 years behind.’ So we do what we can to fill the need, and find another need.”
The organization’s greatest need is funding, but volunteers, food donations and other contributions are always welcome. To donate, volunteer or learn more, visit www.churchoftheharvestpahokee.com or call 561-924-7776.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s (SVDP) mission is to support and help the poor, restore dignity and spread the love of Christ to everyone. Kate Devine, president of the SVDP District of Palm Beach County, says volunteers meet with each client, prioritize their needs and connect them to other services if they cannot help directly. All funds remain in Palm Beach County, so neighbors are helping neighbors. The Quantum Foundation grant helps financially support clients who come to SVDP needing assistance with rent, utilities or other bills.
“Caroline,” an alias to protect her identity, was living in the park just a few short weeks ago when it started pouring rain. She called Devine and was in a hotel room that night. Caroline has since gotten her own apartment and she credits the SVDP organization for changing her life. “They are my saviors,” Caroline said. “They were there for me without hesitation. They came in my life when I was giving up and they stepped up when I needed it and restored hope. I honestly don’t know where I would be right now if not for Kate.”
Although SVDP focuses primarily on bill pay, the mission goes further. “We are fulfilling the gospel and that is our mission,” Divine said. “We are not just another social agency that pays the bills – we want to make sure our clients are successful.”
Their largest need is funding, but volunteer opportunities are also available. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit www.svdp-palmbeach.org or call 561-401-9585.
Renette Verhaeghe was watching the news one night and learned that many Palm Beach County veterans were homeless, living in their cars or on the beach, and she felt that was unacceptable. That was three years ago when OPERATION120 started, and the organization has exponentially grown since then.
“We help clients with resumés, job placement, budgeting, credit repair and debt consolidation; we teach job and life skills, offer mediation, trauma counseling and brain mapping – all for free,” Verhaeghe said. Once the clients graduate OPERATION120’s 90-day program, the organization helps the women find a place to live, provides assistance with creating a budget and continues to offer mentoring. “We offer a whole health package, meeting all the needs that are more than medical,” Verhaeghe said.
Miracle, an OPERATION120 client, is a disabled veteran who served 15 years in the U.S. Army. “The 90-day program was a good experience,” Miracle said. “OPERATION120 is a good opportunity for any female veteran who wants to better her life, whatever the situation. You could not ask for a better program.”
The agency has a 3,000-square-foot home in Lake Worth Beach, operational since January, and QIC funding is a big part of keeping that building running. “The Quantum Foundation grant is amazing,” Verhaeghe said. “The money helps us pay the rent, which takes care of that necessity, and it’s one less thing we have to worry about.”
OPERATION120 needs monetary donations and volunteers. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.operation120.org or vall 561-463-VETS (8387).
For more information about Quantum Foundation, or to learn about applying for grants, please visit www.quantumfnd.org or call 561-832-7497. Applications for Quantum in the Community grants open in the spring every year and funds are awarded each November. To learn more about the Quantum in the Community initiative, please visit www.quanumfnd.org/quantum-in-the-community.
A full list of the grantees is as follows:
2020 Quantum in the Community Grantees
•Belle Glade/Pahokee/South Bay
oFederation of Families of Florida
oLight House Café Ministries of the Glades, Inc.
oNew Beginning Community Outreach, Inc.
oPahokee Deliverance Christian Center
oChurch of the Harvest
oBalanced Living Mentorship
oGCI Training and Empowerment Center, Inc.
oKings Tutoring and Mentorship Foundation, Inc.
oThe Jacob Zweig Foundation, Inc.
oMercy and Compassion, Inc.
oSpirit of Giving Network
oHosanna Evangelical Alliance Church, Inc.
oChurch of God of Palm Bay, Inc.
oNext Generations of Holocaust Survivors, Inc.
oEglise De Dieu Agape
oGood Samaritan Alliance Church of Boynton Beach, Inc.
oWomen Without Walls Empowerment Center, Inc.
oCityhouse Delray Beach, Inc.
oEat Better Live Better
oEmmaus Alliance Ministries, Inc.
oFamily Promise of South Palm Beach County, Inc.
oSuits for Seniors, Inc.
oWheels from the Heart
oBella’s Angels, Inc.
oBig Heart Brigade
oChasin a Dream Foundation
oClothing by Faith for Children, Inc.
oConnor Moran Children’s Cancer Foundation
oHannah’s Home of South Florida, Inc.
oSt. Vincent De Paul of St. Peter
oVital Flight, Inc.
oClub 100 Charities, Inc.
oHeart of God Missions International
oJoint Mission, Inc.
oShammah Baptist Worship Center, Inc.
oArms of Hope Community, Inc.
oChariots of Love
oDress for Success Palm Beaches, Inc.
oGod’s Army Raising Youth
oHaiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation
oRestoration Bridge International
oSalem Haitian Evangelical Lutheran
oSouth Florida Sanctuary, Inc.
•North Palm Beach/Palm Beach Gardens
oFFA Foundation, Inc.
oHands Together of the Palm Beaches, Inc.
oLittle Smiles, Inc.
oMetropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches
oPalm Beach Children’s Chorus, Inc.
oChildren and Family Charity, Inc.
oChildren’s Outreach, Inc.
oFaith Missionary Temple Corporation
oFour Corners of Faith, Inc.
oThe Giving Closet Project, Inc.
oHoly Ground Shelter for Homeless, Inc.
oLife Center of Palm Beach County, Inc.
oLil Jesus Ministry
oParianna Precious Hands, Inc.
oRiviera Beach Community Outreach, Inc.
oSt. George’s Center, Inc.
•Wellington/Greenacres/Royal Palm Beach
oAngels for Friends Corp.
oBack to Basics, Inc.
oBi-Wi “Because I’m Worth It” International, Inc.
oDezman Fleury Foundation, Inc.
oFamily First Community Outreach Services
oHope 4 Mobility, Inc.
oKids Cancer Foundation
oNational Council of Jewish Women, Palm Beach
oThe Talented Teen Club
oWellington Community Foundation, Inc.
•West Palm Beach
oA&A Workforce, Inc.
oA Barry Safe Place, Inc.
oA Different Shade of Love
oAdiva Cares Foundation, Inc.
oAHOP A Way Community Outreach
oAngel Flight Southeast
oBuccan Provisions Non-profit Corp.
oDo Right Church of Jesus Christ, God & The Holy Ghost
oDonation and Charity Center, Inc.
oEmpoweHer of the Palm Beaches
oExtended Hands Community Outreach
oFamily Promise of North/Central Palm Beach County, Inc.
oFeeding the Hungry, Inc.
oFeed the Hungry Pantry of Palm Beach County
oFlorida A&M University National Alumni Association, Inc.
oHACER Ministry Corp.
oHands of Love Community Development Center, Inc.
oHeart, Health & Healing Ministries, Inc.
oHospitality Helping Hands
oLadies of Futurity, Inc.
oThe Leroy Freeman Evangelistic Association, Inc./More Than Conquerors
oLTTG Fund for the Needy, Inc.
oMy Own Home Project, Inc.
oMartin Luther King Jr. Coordinating Committee
oNorthwest Community Consortium, Inc.
oPalm Beach Harvest, Inc.
oPolice Athletic League of West Palm Beach
oRedemptive Life Urban Initiative Corp.
oThe Sock Drawer
oSojourners with Healing Hearts, Inc.
oSociety of St. Vincent de Paul, Palm Beach District Council
oThe Pink Queen Foundation
oTrinity United Methodist Church of West Palm Beach, Inc.
oTrue Fast Outreach Ministries, Inc.
oWe Care About People, Inc.
oWest Palm Beach Police Foundation
oYouth Empowered to Prosper
•Organizations based outside Palm Beach County with service to its residents
oMiami Diaper Bank, Inc., Miami
oCarebag, Port St. Lucie