The 2021 season offered opportunities for the Foundation to make a number of dynamic grants to some of the most outstanding agencies in our footprint. In total, we awarded over $2.8mm to 66 organizations working on the frontlines of our most underserved local communities, providing services for the hungry, the homeless, and those in need of healthcare and education. An additional $430,000 was awarded in direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, bringing our total COVID grantmaking to over $1 million to help those deeply affected by the impacts of the pandemic.
This was only made possible with the time, resources and expertise of all of you. We have continued to be humbled by the incredible generosity within Lost Tree. Our record fundraising has once again allowed us to have record impact with nearly 100 Lost Tree residents joining us on virtual site visits. We were especially excited to have so many new members of the Village join a team and learn more about our important work.
We continued to make capital grants in our focus areas of education, health, hunger and housing. Our grant awards ranged from supporting grassroots, community-based efforts to larger, systemic initiatives.
We also had a larger than usual group of requests at the top end of our grant range of $100,000, for some very exciting and critical projects. All were strongly approved, as they represent efforts that allow us to scale our grants and leverage our money as efficiently and effectively as possible. Highlights include:
- Palm Beach County Food Bank – The Foundation helped launch the first Food Bank location in the County nearly 10 years ago and we have consistently helped them grow. While their mission was exploding before COVID, the pandemic created a staggering increase in families facing food insecurity. In addition to our record-breaking Food Drive and funding for an emergency generator, this season’s grant of over $130,000 provided the racking in their brand-new warehouse in Lake Worth which will allow them to grow exponentially.
- FoundCare – This Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) operates seven clinics throughout our area, available to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Our grant provided the fixtures and equipment for a new clinic on Okeechobee Road in West Palm Beach, which will help fill unmet healthcare needs for thousands of residents. This agency is also proving to be a very critical partner in our Riviera Beach Health Initiative.
- Center for Child Counseling – Perhaps one of the most innovative and capable agencies providing behavioral health services to over 4,500 children each year. This highly-recognized agency works to address and mitigate the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We provided technology and therapeutic supplies as they continue to expand their coverage.
- Lord’s Place – Regarded as the County’s strongest agency in helping homeless individuals and families, the Foundation has funded their extraordinary capacity for many years. This latest grant provided new impact windows for their Family Campus in West Palm Beach to help them create safe and healthy spaces for families in crisis.
- Place of Hope – A well-run group of homes for foster children and young adults. We funded three vans as part of a fleet to transport foster children, young mothers and their babies to medical appointments, school, etc.
- Palm Beach State College (PBSC) – With a growing and continued need for affordable, high quality education, this is our second grant to help train nurses and healthcare workers by providing medical simulation equipment. This will create both scale and leverage to expand the number of trained and certified professionals where demand exceeds the supply.
- Banner Lake Club – This community-based center in Hobe Sound is a refuge for children and families in a distressed neighborhood. We have funded their expansion in the past and respect the work they do for a community in need. Our grant this year will help with the construction costs for a new school wing for K-3, along with space for an onsite clinic.
We have a strong history with every one of these seven agencies and we’ve gotten to know their leadership. If there is consistency across their organizations, it is that they all lead with compassion and believe in a high level of quality, treating clients with respect and dignity regardless of their economic circumstance. We have seen what they can do with the right resources for the right projects and we are proud that we are such an important part of their platforms. As each of these organizations have repeatedly affirmed: Lost Tree Foundation’s capital funding is a unique and much-needed resource.
As most of you know, we have assisted the Literacy Project in Riviera Beach for years and we are now progressing with the Riviera Beach Health Initiative. The primary objective is to support a new healthcare facility in Riviera Beach that will offer a number of important ancillary services, ultimately seeking to improve access to healthcare and the overall health and well-being of the residents in the community.
Lastly, I also want to thank and recognize Team Captains Gene Markowski, Charlie McGill, and Irene Shaw who are rotating off the Grants Committee after serving for five or more years. They have each demonstrated extraordinary commitments to their teams and to the Foundation in myriad of ways beyond just the Grants Committee. We will sincerely miss them.
We are so grateful for everyone’s overwhelming participation and support, and are looking forward to next season. I hope you’ll join us as a site visitor, a donor and a long-time supporter.
Scott Rogers, Grants Chair