Although local farm workers harvest millions of dollars worth of sugarcane, sweet corn and other vegetables every year, few make enough money to put the food they pick on their own tables.
Palm Beach County is home to approximately 10,000 seasonal and migrant workers who work long hours under the blazing South Florida sun for an income of under $10,000 per year.
These workers harvest the 452,242 acres of agricultural land in our county, one of the largest agricultural counties in the Nation. Their back-breaking work is vital to the Palm Beach County economy, which had an estimated $1.42 billion in agricultural sales last year, leading the nation in the production of sugarcane, fresh sweet corn and sweet bell peppers, and leading the State of Florida in the production of rice, lettuce, radishes, Chinese vegetables, specialty leaf and celery. Read more
By 2028, United Way wants to see 95 percent of students in the United States graduate from high school ready for college and career. It’s one of the organization’s “impact goals” for the next decade.
In Palm Beach County, the graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year was an all-time high of 85 percent. So, what is the Town of Palm Beach United Way doing to increase the rate by 10 percentage points over the next 10 years?
The Town of Palm Beach United Way held its Annual Meeting Thursday, April 26, at The Breakers to thank board members and donors for a successful campaign and to celebrate a season of many accomplishments.
Highlights of the meeting include:
- An entertaining step performance from the Pine Gove Inspiring Steppers.
Click HERE to see the performance!
- An inspiring personal story from the 2018 Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Youth of the Year, David Wooten.
- An update on campaigns from Atesh Chandra (Treasure Chest), Stephen Hall, Jr. (Business and Professional), Alison Sieving (Red Feather) and Mary Freitas (Tocqueville).
The campaign is currently at $4,540,875 and still climbing.
Our Volunteer Spotlight recognizes Town of Palm Beach United Way volunteers who are passionate, inspiring and dedicated. They are individuals committed to transforming lives and who invest in our vision of building healthy and strong communities.
Suzanne Brenner has been a volunteer at the Town of Palm Beach United Way for several years. She serves on our Allocation Committee helping ensure annual donations are carefully and thoughtfully put to good use funding programs in Palm Beach County that improve education, health, financial stability and basic needs for our less fortunate neighbors. She also serves on our Financial Scan Committee and the United Way campaign team for The Breakers Palm Beach, where she works as director of retail operations.
Below, Suzanne answers a few questions about volunteering at the Town of Palm Beach United Way and what it means to her.
National Football League team owners Stephen Ross and Jonathan Tisch discussed the importance of philanthropy in sports at the Town of Palm Beach United Way Business and Professional Breakfast on Monday, February 26 at The Breakers Palm Beach. About 250 business and community leaders attended the 28th annual event.
“As an owner, we have a platform and responsibility to create positive change and engage in constructive dialogue around social issues in our community,” said Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins. “Sports has the power to be used as a vehicle for promoting understanding, respect and equality. If we can use sports to break barriers among people of different backgrounds, we can use sports to build bridges and develop solutions to important societal issues.”
Tisch, owner of the New York Giants, moderated the chat. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the partnership between the NFL and United Way — the longest running partnership in history between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization. Read more
Caregivers Day: Recognizing Palm Beach County agencies that provide care to the most vulnerable in our community
National Caregivers Day, observed annually on the third Friday of February, is a day to recognize and thank caregivers who provide quality, compassionate care in our community.
In Palm Beach County, there are about 65,000 elderly residents with dementia. There are about 22,300 children living in households headed by grandparents or relative caregivers. And, there are about 150,000 people with disabilities.
The Town of Palm Beach United Way helps fund programs at several non profit agencies in Palm Beach County that support our most vulnerable residents, many of whom would otherwise “fall through the cracks.” Read more
In 2017, 211 organizations around the country answered more than 13.4 million requests for help. Almost half of those requests were for things we all need not only to survive, but to thrive — safe and stable housing, food and health.
In honor of 2-1-1 Awareness Week, which began on Sunday, February 11 (2-1-1 Day), we share the history and impact of our local 211 helpline agency.
Teamwork: United Way and NFL partnership is longest in history between a sports league and a nonprofit
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the partnership between the United Way and the National Football League.
Over the past decades, thousands of NFL players, coaches, owners and staff have teamed up with United Way to help build strong and healthy communities. Most recently, the two organizations worked together to launch Character Playbook, a program that helps middle school students cultivate and maintain healthy relationships and make good decisions when faced with conflict. To date, more than 200,000 students in nearly 2,000 schools across the nation have used Character Playbook as a tool for personal development. Read more
The allocations process is one of the most important responsibilities we have at the Town of Palm Beach United Way.
We are committed to ensuring donor dollars are effectively and efficiently invested into education, health and income-based programs in Palm Beach County that address the most critical health and human service needs in our community.
So each year, we ask dozens of community volunteers to serve as the eyes and ears of more than 2,500 donors by vetting these programs to make sure they achieve measurable results and meet the needs of the most vulnerable children, individuals and families in our community.
“Our generous contributors know that we take the allocation process very seriously and can count on our committee to ensure their dollars are invested wisely into our partner agencies making a real difference in Palm Beach County,” said Board Chairman Jay Boodheshwar.
On Monday, January 22 about 100 of our Allocation Committee volunteers kicked off the grant review process with a meet and greet cocktail part at Renato’s Palm Beach.
Doris Laing was a quiet 14-year-old ninth-grader when she first met her mentor in 1996. Laing was a member of Take Stock in Children’s Student/Mentor Support program designed for low-income kids. Her mentor, Barbara Pariente, was a judge on the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
Laing maintained a 3.0 GPA, stayed out of trouble and earned a scholarship to college. For 20 years, she remained close to Pariente and leaned on her for emotional support through graduate school, marriage, children and life’s uncertainties. Last October, Justice Pariente swore Laing in as a new lawyer.
“Children need mentors in their life for additional support, encouragement and direction,” said Nancy Stellway, Executive Director of Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County. “Home life for most students is very different today than it was years ago. With many parents working several jobs in order to feed their families, more single parent households and increased social pressures, students often find themselves lacking sufficient guidance and support. We know that when we provide students with tools and long-lasting relationships, they can achieve better academic results and options for their future.”
Laing’s story proves mentors have a profound impact on children — not only in school, but in work and in life. In honor of National Mentoring Month, the Town of Palm Beach United Way would like to recognize its partner agencies who offer mentoring programs and highlight the successes they’ve achieved.