The Beaches Community Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, has rallied behind the Beaches-area nonprofit community to make nearly $365,000 in grants to address both immediate, COVID-19 related needs and continuing issues. This year’s grantmaking amount is the largest in the Beaches Community Fund’s five-year history, and brings to more than $1 million its total investment in Beaches-area organizations.
“Since we’ve worked closely with the Beaches nonprofit community for five years, we immediately recognized the additional stress the pandemic would place on these agencies and their clients,” said David Loeb, a member of the Beaches Community Fund. “There was no question that the families of the Beaches Community Fund would act quickly to help fortify these organizations so that they could respond to our neighbors and fellow Beaches residents.”
The Beaches Community Fund heard the local nonprofit Beaches organizations as they reported an escalating need for food, financial assistance, food deliveries for isolated seniors, temporary shelter for homeless individuals who need to quarantine, access to books for students, and myriad other needs. In response, the 30+ families who make up the Fund both accelerated their grantmaking and expanded its scope to give these organizations critical resources to put back into the community.
“We understand that these nonprofit organizations need maximum flexibility right now to respond to our community’s immediate needs without jeopardizing their ability to survive,” said Helen Short, also a member of the Beaches Community Fund. “Because we’ve invested in our relationships with them, we can help these agencies respond quickly and in a way that works best for them and their clients.”
Sixteen local Beaches-area nonprofits received this year’s grants to improve the lives of residents living between Mayport and Guana:
- $60,000 to Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) for general operating support to assist Beaches residents during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout the year.
- $50,000 to Feeding Northeast Florida for operational support to serve the Beaches communities to assist Beaches residents during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout the year.
- $37,600 to the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless for their HOPE team at the Beaches, and to provide support for the Sulzbacher Beaches Clinic during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout the year.
- $30,000 to the Greater Jacksonville Area USO to expand the Healthy Military Families Initiative.
- $26,776 to Baptist Health Foundation for the Tipping the Scales mentoring and youth employment program.
- $25,000 to Mission House for general operating support to assist Beaches residents during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout the year.
- $20,000 to St. John’s Catholic Church to provide food distributions ten times monthly, as well as emergency financial assistance, to families in the Mayport Road corridor during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout the year.
- $20,000 to Communities in Schools for the Student Enrichment Program at Mayport Middle School.
- $19,000 to the Nonprofit Center for Northeast Florida to continue the Eleanor Ashby Beaches Leadership Series and provide customized consultative services for Beaches nonprofits.
- $15,000 to First Coast Blessings in a Backpack to provide food for students at Beaches elementary schools during school closures and throughout the coming (2020-2021) school year.
- $14,490 to READ USA to provide books for 1,759 young people at the Beaches during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout the year.
- $10,000 to Beaches Habitat for Humanity to provide academic support and enrichment through its afterschool program during the 2020-2021 school year
- $10,000 to Beaches Habitat for Humanity to assist low-income seniors with home repair and rehabilitation.
- $8,000 to the Florida Housing Coalition to identify best practices and practical opportunities to generate more affordable/workforce housing within the Beaches communities.
- $7,017 to Beaches Council on Aging (Dial-a-Ride) to provide matching funds for a FDOT grant to purchase a new vehicle.
- $5,500 to the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at University of Florida to gather and present data about housing needs at the Beaches.
- $3,000 to Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) to assist clients with transportation needs.
- $3,000 to Mission House to assist clients with transportation needs.
The grants made by the Beaches Community Fund this year reflect what the Fund families have been doing since 2015 – pooling their charitable giving dollars to tackle community issues such as transportation to jobs, food, medical care and essential services; early childhood literacy and development; affordable housing; and helping Beaches nonprofits grow stronger and be more collaborative. To learn more: www.jaxcf.org/learn/beaches-community-fund.