Every year the Port St. Lucie Business Women awards grants from money raised in the organization’s annual spring Luncheon and Fashion Show. The Community Action Grants committee presented awards totaling $8,000 to nine Treasure Coast non-profit organizations that benefit women and children in our community at their October 5 meeting.
Council On Aging of St. Lucie, Inc. received $1,500 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. This grant will provide two women with meals for the entire year.
Grace Packs Inc. received a grant of $1,000 for its weekend meals for children program. Children continue to struggle with hunger on the Treasure Coast. One in four children in St. Lucie County are considered food insecure. Grace Packs Inc. will furnish two breakfasts, lunch, dinner and snack items at the end of each school week to these children to carry them through the weekend. (During the week, students have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school.)
HANDS of St. Lucie County received a grant of $500 earmarked for chronic disease diagnostic testing for female patients suspected of having heart disease or cancer, two of the three leading causes of death for women. Managing chronic disease is nearly impossible for the uninsured. 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.
Hibiscus Children’s Center received a grant of $1,500 for its Sanctuary4Kids program. Sanctuary4Kids opened its doors in April. It serves as a temporary location for abused, neglected and abandoned children to wait while investigators work to find a safe placement for the children. 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 $250 for Experiential Education Therapy. Experiential Education Therapy is an emerging treatment in psychotherapy focusing on physically active and experiential approaches. Activities are designed to embody lessons and skills that teach women who have experienced sexual trauma how to overcome life’s difficult situations and gain valuable personal insights so that they may begin the internal rewiring of positive messaging. 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.
Learn to Read of St. Lucie County received a grant of $500 for its Family Literacy program. Disadvantaged parents face a gap in education, lacking basic reading and writing skills to help their children in school. Low literacy levels are linked to poor health and fewer economic opportunities. Learn to Read of St. Lucie County advocates for the most basic of educational skills for both child and parent: the ability to read and write.
Mind & Melody received a grant of $750 for innovative music programs for older adults with neurological impairment. Women comprise two-thirds of the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, a majority of whom transition into Long Term Care Facilities where there is a lack of enrichment programs. Mind & Melody’s intergenerational and interactive music programs re-engages static minds.
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.
Sarah’s Kitchen of the Treasure Coast received a grant of $1,500 to supply hot nutritious meals to families and individuals who are struggling financially. Sarah’s Kitchen operates three feeding sites in Fort Pierce and two in Port St. Lucie. Additionally, Sarah’s Kitchen operates a mobile feeding unit that it brings to feed the homeless in their camps and at local parks.
The Port St. Lucie Business Women’s Community Action Committee will continue studying critical community needs to make decisions for future funding.
Plans are underway for the Port St. Lucie Business Women’s 28th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show to be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018, 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, which was founded in 1980, 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.