We at your Foundation hope that you, your family and loved ones are all healthy and safe. What a crazy year it has been! When we completed our very successful 9th annual fundraising series on January 26, 2020, no one knew that our ‘normal’ routines would soon be turned end-over-end. On March 10 we awarded $720,400 in grants to 42 worthy nonprofit organizations within Palm Beach County, and over $3.8 million since inception. By the end of that month, COVID-19 cases had occurred in all 50 U.S. states. Since then facial masks and social distancing have become a way of life. Who could have guessed?
Most of our grant-funded programs have not been adversely impacted by the pandemic but, as Fall approaches, some after-school programs for youth may be affected. Our grants committee is working closely with our recipients to ensure that your dollars are providing maximum benefit in the areas intended. Some past grant recipients, notably the Feed the Hungry Pantry (as an example), are well-positioned to provide needed help during the pandemic because of your generosity. The Pantry was the recipient of our impact grant to fund the purchase of the refrigerated Ballenlsles Food Truck. To quote Dan Shorter, the Director, “Due to the coronavirus robbing tens of thousands of neighbors of their jobs, our pantry has exploded from feeding 3,000+ families a month to 10,000+ a week – and the Ballenlsles Truck is leading the way.”
As part of our Community Service initiative, your Foundation was able to fund and provide volunteers to distribute lunch for nurses and doctors at the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center for six consecutive Mondays in April and May. Further, in June, our thoughtful residents contributed 2 1/2 large truck loads of clothes, furniture, electronics and more to help those in need in Palm Beach County during our Habitat for Humanity Donation Day.
Thank you for the privilege and opportunity you have given those of us within the Ballenlsles Charities Foundation to be your conduit for Making a Difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. As a 100% volunteer organization, the dollars you donate go to promote vetted programs rather than for infrastructure. In the year to come – our 10th anniversary year – there will come uncertainties and challenges the like we have not seen in our lifetimes. We rely on your generosity more than ever to support the Foundation’s quest to Make a Difference in our local community.
So, as you look over our Annual Report, please feel in your heart the good that your generosity has put in motion. We are grateful. Our grant recipients are grateful. And especially those whose lives are made a little bit easier, whose struggles are lessoned or whose opp01tunities are broadened as a result- they are grateful too!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and all of our dedicated volunteers,
Mark Freeman, President