Sometimes a little creativity goes a long way in enhancing the lives of Palm Beach County children and families.
It covers the cost of a refrigerated storage unit in the Glades to help local agencies distribute fresh food; connects critically ill children to their classmates so they don’t lose touch – or hope; funds an innovative film program for teens in Delray Beach; and so much more.
Through its first-time grant opportunity, Children’s Services Council’s Great Ideas Initiative encouraged nonprofits to try something new, address a community need or fuel a pilot project. In all, more than 130 nonprofits – big and small – applied for funding through the new grant. Two dozen nonprofits were chosen to receive up to $25,000 each.
“Through the Great Ideas Initiative, Children’s Services Council has the opportunity to reach beyond our usual funding partners and connect with some wonderful nonprofits helping children in our community,” said Lisa Williams-Taylor, the Council’s CEO. “We’re thrilled to work with these 24 forward-thinking agencies and can’t wait to see the results of their unique projects.”
Any nonprofit doing business for at least two consecutive years was eligible to apply for the grant. Grants were distributed earlier this month as a lump sum and are to be used within the year. Funds were available in the following categories:
- Essential Services
- Community Outreach/Engagement
- Capacity Building
- Capital Improvement (for nonprofits that already contract with Children’s Services Council)
Chosen projects are located across the county and address a wide range of needs. Consider Legal Aid Society’s expansion of its “Know Your Rights” workshops for families of children with disabilities, or Vita Nova’s creation of a Rescue Ride for youth experiencing homelessness.
Then there’s Prime Time Palm Beach County’s plan to bring youth and law enforcement together to build camaraderie and trust, the Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County’s efforts to grow its free Girls Leadership Institute, and The Lord’s Place’s goal of improving mental health services for children facing homelessness.
Great Ideas Initiative grants also will expose more children to the arts, bolster STEM and robotics programs, improve outreach and social services for Creole-speaking families and offer families providing foster care with much-needed clothing and equipment.
“While managing and operating the Clothing Closet is quite a conundrum for Friends of Foster Children, it is also critical to the child welfare system,” said Brenda Oakes, CEO of Friends of Foster Children. The nonprofit received $25,000 from the Great Ideas Initiative for its innovative Clothing Closet project, which will be run by teens in the child welfare system, who will be mentored by local business leaders.
“Access to clothing of all sizes, five days a week, allows foster parents to take children who they are unprepared for,” Oakes said. “It also allows relative caregivers, mostly grandparents, to take and keep their grandchildren. It can save a placement by equipping foster households with needed equipment when an emergency placement turns into a one-year stay.”
For a complete list of Great Ideas Initiative grant recipients, click here.
About Children’s Services Council:
Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County – a special-purpose government established by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014 – provides leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county's children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong. For more information, visit www.cscpbc.org or contact Shana Cooper, Public Information Officer, at 561.374.7570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.