Every year the Port St. Lucie Business Women awards grants from money raised in the organization’s annual spring Luncheon and Fashion Show. This year the Port St. Lucie Business Women surpassed fundraising goals. As a result, the organization doubled the total dollar amount awarded to more than double the number of non-profits over last year’s awards. The Community Action Grants committee presented awards totaling $12,700 to 16 Treasure Coast non-profit organizations that benefit women and children in our community at their September 1 meeting.
American Cancer Society received $1,500 for sponsorship of the Port St. Lucie Business Women walkers who participate in their annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and for sponsorship of a water station. Any community member affected by can receive support from the American Cancer Society through a variety of local programs.
Children’s Home Society received $1,500 to purchase two baby simulators and necessary items for their Baby Think It Over program, part of its Teen Life Choices Program. Teen Life Choices targets the prevention of teen pregnancy and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices for St. Lucie County teens ages 10 to 18. Baby simulators are distributed on Friday for students to care for over a weekend to give them a first-hand account of what parenting entails.
Council On Aging of St. Lucie, Inc. received $1,000 for its Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels delivers meals to homebound St. Lucie County residents 60 and older, especially those with the greatest economic and social need.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of the Treasure Coast received a grant of $1,000 earmarked for children’s hearing services. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is the only organization on the Treasure Coast providing direct support services to the deaf and hard of hearing members of our community.
Friends In Pink received a grant of $1,500 to assist a mother and her children to remain in their home while they await additional assistance from family. For breast cancer patients the threat of lack of shelter can be devastating. Without an address it’s impossible to prove residency, a requirement for many services in Florida. Friends In Pink offers financial assistance to individuals who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are either uninsured or underinsured.
Grace Way Village received a grant of $1,000 for Matthew’s Café, where free lunch is offered to women and their children on Wednesdays when they shop at Hope’s Closet 4 Children, another Grace Way program. Grace Way Village is a community outreach organization that provides clothing, food and shelter, as well as the tools and resources necessary to obtain financial stability and security, to people living in poverty.
HANDS of St. Lucie County received a grant of $350 earmarked for diabetes Reagent Tests. A majority of HANDS patients suffering from symptoms of diabetes are women. With proper diagnosis patients can then receive the treatment and medication that they need and return to work and better care for their families. HANDS of St. Lucie County provides primary healthcare services and access to a continuum of healthcare to qualified, low-income, uninsured, adult residents of St. Lucie County.
Heathcote Botanical Gardens received a grant of $300 earmarked for the purchase of portable audio equipment to be used by garden guides and teachers who provide children’s educational garden tours and classes on a wide range of topics, including botany, horticulture, insects and pioneers.
Hibiscus Children’s Center received a grant of $500 for emergency assistance for single mothers and their children, including food, utility and rental assistance to avoid being homeless and to remain together. Hibiscus Children’s Center maintains a safe shelter for children who are abused, abandoned and neglected by providing prevention, early intervention and advocacy in quality residential, assessment and recovery programs.
The Inner Truth Project received a grant of $750 for its Teen Survivor Support Group, a weekly support group for teen survivors of sexual violence. The Inner Truth Project offers outreach to the community and services to teen and adult survivors of sexual violence, allowing them to bravely share the truth about their experiences in a safe environment in order to actualize emotional strength, hope, health and well-being.
Mustard Seed Ministries received a grant of $1,000 that helped fund its Summer Food Program to assist children who receive free or reduced cost meals during the school year to continue receiving healthy lunches when school is not in session. Mustard Seed Ministries provides assistance to individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.
PACE Center For Girls received a grant of $500 towards providing academic and social services to at-risk girls 12 to 17 years old who qualify for their program.
SafeSpace received a grant of $500 to help fund its Food Pantry Program at its Emergency Shelter, offering nonperishable food items to victims and their children upon arrival in their shelter. SafeSpace operates an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, provides a Supportive Living program, and offers outreach services for those who choose not to enter a shelter but whose lives are being affected by domestic violence.
St. Lucie County Education Foundation received $250, a sum that will be matched 100 percent by State Grant funds. The Education Foundation supports the teachers and students of St. Lucie Schools District through programs not funded by tax revenue. It has earmarked funds for use by teachers to underwrite creative classroom projects that provide a unique and result-oriented learning experience for students.
Treasure Coast Food Bank received a grant of $250 to fund its Teen Pantry. For families that struggle with hunger, being able to afford personal hygiene and other non-food items is an impossible choice. Teenagers are able to shop at “no cost” for items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, hair items, deodorant, school supplies, shoes, socks and healthy snacks, allowing them to fit in and focus on school. The Treasure Coast Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization and the only Food Bank in our four-county region.
WPSL Christmas Kids of St. Lucie County received a grant of $800 to be used to pay for children’s swimming lessons. The Christmas Kids, sponsored by WPSL radio, provides toys for more than 1,800 children referred by St. Lucie County Community Services and other agencies, funds summer recreation programs for children and provides medical supplies and school clothing for families who have no other place to turn to for help.
The Port St. Lucie Business Women’s Community Action Committee will continue studying critical community needs to make decisions for future funding. Recipients for 2017 will be chosen later this year.
Plans are underway for the Port St. Lucie Business Women’s 27th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show to be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club, 12600 N.W. Harbour Ridge Blvd., Palm City. This event is the organization’s major fundraiser that supports its Community Action Grants & Awards to local non-profit agencies that work with women and children in our community and provides scholarships for women attending Indian River State College.
The Port St. Lucie Business Women is a professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of business women and serving our community in an effective way. For more information visit www.pslbw.com. “Like” us on Facebook for updates about our event, programs and community involvement.
Photo Credit: Diane Gallagher, DSG Designs & Photography