The BallenIsles Charities Foundation was established in 2011 with the goal of Making a Difference to local nonprofit organizations in areas surrounding our residential community located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The launch of the Foundation underscores a commitment to those civic and tax-exempt organizations that make such a difference, not only to our own residents, but to so many of our neighbors in the surrounding cities, towns and communities. Our donors recognized that by working together they could make a significant positive impact providing financial and in-kind support in these areas: Civic, Health & Human Services, Environment, and Education. In our first six years, the BallenIsles Charities Foundation has awarded over $1,765,000 to 59 local area organizations.
The following spotlights a few of our grants:
Paws 4 Liberty: The mission of Paws 4 Liberty is to help returning soldiers with disabilities regain their independence and confidence through the assistance of professionally trained service dogs. With a primary focus on post 9/11 veterans with post-traumatic stress (PTS), Paws 4 Liberty screens, trains, and places skilled service dogs with qualified veterans at no cost to the recipient. There is a critical need among post 9/11 veterans for service dog assistance as many returning veterans are being diagnosed with PTSD. In addition to training and placing service dogs with qualified veterans, Paws 4 Liberty also works with veterans who already have a dog and would like their dog to learn specific tasks that would help them with their PTSD symptoms. They adhere to the standards set by Assistance Dogs International in the model for this program. All of their service dogs come from animal shelters or rescue groups, or are donated to the organization. The veteran/dog teams are screened for suitability for the program and, once admitted, the teams work together learning tasks and service commands that will help the dog assist the veteran with PTSD symptoms. Our 2017 grant will fund the training for 5 veteran/dog teams.
Carson Scholars Fund: The Carson Scholars Fund supports two main initiatives: The Carson Scholars Program and The Ben Carson Reading Project. Our 2017 grant provides funding to build a Ben Carson Reading Room in the Northmore Elementary School in West Palm Beach. These reading rooms provide a warm, inviting environment where children can discover the joy of independent leisure reading. The room will be stocked with over 500 high-interest books selected by the school & will be used exclusively for reading books that students select according to their interests and reading skills. The Palm Beach County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Avossa, is highly supportive of this program providing a letter of commendation & the Palm Beach County Board of Education recognized the local Carson Scholars Fund chapter with an award for creation of these reading rooms.
McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary: McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 200 resident animals. Some of the exotic animals were donated by wildlife officers after being confiscated from previous owners because of abuse, neglect, or illegal possession. Others were pets that the owners could no longer care for and felt that McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary could provide the animals a safe haven. In addition to their permanent residents, they treat hundreds of native animals in their rehab program and the animals are then released into the wild. Some animals, who cannot be released, act as animal ambassadors in their educational programs. Last year, Mark McCarthy, performed over one hundred educational programs in schools, camps, and events in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. These programs increase awareness of our planet’s fragile wildlife. Our 2017 grant will help fund a new van to safely transport animals.
Palm Beach Gardens Police Department: The mission of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department is to protect and serve in partnership with the community. Our 2017 Grant will help them enhance their ability as first responders to reach, rescue, and respond to victims. This grant will fund the purchase of breaching tools used to gain access to victims and/or offenders, and, to gain entry to buildings or vehicles during emergency situations, i.e., where there is an active shooter, at a building collapse, or during a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado. In addition, funding for rescue harnesses will enable officers to quickly slide victims out of harm’s way while maintaining defensive readiness.