Charities in the News

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The Guatemalan Maya Center Is Making News…

The Guatemalan Maya Center, one of our Extraordinary Charities, has been making news regarding the national controversy over the surge of Central American child immigrants illegally crossing the U.S. border. The Central Americans who are dealing with the current influx are choosing the Center as the door to enter. The ABC, CBS and NBC television affiliates each visited the Center to take a closer look of how it is helping the children find a better, safer life. Click on the links below to view the coverage:

Coverage on WPBF, Click Here

Coverage on WPEC, Click Here

Posted in: Charities in the News, In the News, Press Releases

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Boca Helping Hands: Food for the poor increasingly comes from high-end eateries and outlets

Boca Raton —  

It’s not yet 9 a.m. on Wednesday and already 274 pounds of food have been saved.

Pete Rather, a foot soldier in the war on hunger, rolls a cart loaded with baguettes, pies and Technicolor-frosted cupcakes onto an industrial scale to assess the booty hauled from two Publix supermarkets. After the weigh-in, the loaded cart is rolled into the recesses of Boca Helping Hands where hundreds of hungry people are served daily.

Next up, the retired phone worker is heading from Whole Foods Market and then the Capital Grille.

Increasingly, Boca’s most desperate citizens are getting take-out — from some of the area’s most high-end eateries and outlets. Starbucks, Grand Lux Café and Seasons 52 are among those donating their slightly outdated food to those who need it.

In three years, donations to Boca Helping Hands from the city’s restaurants, supermarkets and from some special events have increased nearly three-and-a-half times, to 1.4 million pounds of food saved in 2013.

Helping Hands Executive Director James Gavrilos says he believes that half of all the food produced for supermarkets, restaurants and homes never makes it into people’s stomachs, as some national studies have shown.

Gavrilos ramped up his efforts to save what might have otherwise gone into the dumpster when the charity started seeing the increase in demand for food that came with the area’s real estate implosion.

With a refrigerated truck and a few delivery trucks added to his fleet, Gavrilos attributes the increase in recovered food to a growing awareness among the area’s restaurant and supermarket managers that Boca Helping Hands can use what otherwise would be wasted.

He said that he hopes that wasting food will be as taboo to the next generation as throwing away a recyclable aluminum can is to today’s youngsters.

“The food recovery movement is just beginning,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last year announced an effort to reduce the amount of food wasted. Their estimates are that 30 to 40 percent of the food that is produced gets thrown away. It’s calling for a change in attitudes, better planning and a more direct path for food that would go to waste to go to food pantries and kitchens such as Boca Helping Hands’.

“The change is going to be in the attitude of the provider who says to their bakery manager, ‘Anything that’s left, we’re going to get it in hands of people who need it,'” Gavrilos said.

Once restaurant and store owners are assured there’s no liability in donating food that can be written off as a tax deduction, they are on board with the idea, Gavrilos said.

As soon as Rather rolls up in his truck, with the Helping Hands framed in a heart emblazoned on the side, Whole Foods employee Peter Anania is on the radio signaling the store’s various departments.

Almond milk, pre-packaged meatball sandwiches, chipotle-flavored seitan, raspberries and marinated mushrooms are among the offerings wheeled through the storage area through the back door.

“Every department is allowed to donate with the exception of seafood, meat and vitamins,” Anania explains.

Later, at the Town Center mall, Rather backs his truck up to the rear entrance. He rings the bell and nods at pastry chef Linda Estrada with a cordial, “Good morning.”

He heads to an area lined with clipboards and sees what’s been put aside for him to pick up. Seventeen pounds of steak, 8 pounds of lamb, 9 pounds of sword fish, 38 pounds of potato and 8 pounds of desserts have been frozen into blocks encased in heavy-duty plastic for donation.

Bob Boribong, managing partner for Capital Grille, said the protein that’s donated is selected because it might not be the shape or exact weight the chef wants to use.

“It’s still top-notch,” he said.

Bill Harper, director of food and warehouse operations at Helping Hands, says the growth in donations is partly due to the organization’s ability to pick them up easily and quickly.

“Everything we get is typically in the clients hands or being cooked within 72 hours,” he said. “We are going to be there when we say we’re going to be there.”

Rather said he’s been amazed at how much food can be saved — and how much it’s needed.

“To see the lines of hungry people in Boca Raton …” he said, shaking his head.

Ageggis@tribune.com or 561-243-6624

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KidSafe Foundation – Let’s Shine the Light!

We achieved a generous donor match from our ticket sales but we have room for more! Please join these amazing people and businesses helping KidSafe Foundation!
 
Shine the Light
…on education to PREVENT child sexual abuse, bullying, and
internet dangers.
 
Friday, March 7th
 
WHAT: KidSafe Foundation 5th Annual Fundraiser
WHEN: Friday, March 7th; 7pm to 11pm
WHERE: Woodfield Country Club
 
Ticket price is $150 per person and will buy you:
 Music, Dancing, Incredible Food (prepared by the award winning Chef Bart), Open Bar, Live & Silent Auctions
 
Amazing Auction Items!
  • Trip to Kinsale, Ireland (7 nights for up to 6 people in private penthouse).
  • Two tickets to the ESPY awards golf classic, night hotel stay, and airfare to LA.
  • Exotic dream car driving experience in Las Vegas for 2 people, 3 night stay, and airfare
  • Fighter Pilot for a day! In a real fighter plane with an experienced pilot.
  • Tickets to the American Music Awards, VIP party pass, red carpet experience, dinner, hotel and airfare.
  • Two tickets to the hottest TV show “THE VOICE”!
  • Signed boxing gloves from boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard.
  • A football signed by Hall of Famer Chris Carter.
  • Goodyear Blimp ride for two.
  • Incredible package from Dr. Marta Rendon, world-renowned, board certified dermatologist and founder of the Rendon Center for Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine in Boca Raton, FL.
  • Two tickets to Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-celebrity Tennis Classic and reception.
  • So many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you to our generous sponsors and underwriters for supporting KidSafe!
Planet Fitness; Arthur J. Langer; SVP Investments; Wells Fargo Advisor, LLC; Rick Carroll Insurance; Professional Fire Fighters/Paramedics of Local 2928; Herman Law; Pace Plumbing Corporation; Jamestown Metal Marine Sales; Minuteman Press of Boca Raton; Picture it Perfect Photography; MC Alex Entertainment Group; The Boca Raton Observer; Kennesaw Fruit and Juices; Salk Marketing; and Bardot Salon.
 
Quick Links
 
Bardot Salon Helps Keep KidSafe!
 
From February 16 until Febuary 28 
10% of all Salon Services will be donated to KidSafe Foundation.
You must say “KidSafe” when making your appointment! 
 
 698-2 Yamato Rd
Boca Raton FL 33431
 

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CPT receives Lost Tree & LETF grants for technology & equipment upgrades

The CPT has been awarded $51,535 from 2 grants: one public one private, to overhaul the technology and equipment in our West Palm Beach facility. The upgrades will cost nearly $65,000. 
  
Last month, the CPT received nearly $30,000 from the State Law Enforcement Trust Funds (LETF) for critical equipment and technology upgrades to the closed circuit television system.  The funds are administered by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and approved by County Commissioners. The new system records digitally to hard drive making it easier to retrieve and share files with law enforcement and case workers. This saves staff time and reduce storage space needs. It also facilitates faster preparation of court cases – a further savings of tax dollars.
  
 Just this week, the CPT was awarded a grant from the Lost Tree Village Charitable Foundation for $21,900 to support the interview room equipment upgrades and replace the current telephone system.  All upgrades should be made by Springtime. Just over 80% of costs are covered by the grants. The remaining funds will come from CPT agency reserves.

The Child Protection Team of Palm Beach County is participating in The Honda Classic’s “Birdies for Children” Charity Event for the 3rd year.

 

Donations to CPT made through Birdies for Children will be matched 10% by The Honda Classic.  So, for every $100 donated, CPT receives $110.
 
That’s why NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO GIVE TO CPT.  More than 20% of our annual budget comes from private donations and grants.  Without which, we could not continue our critical work.  make a contribution today by Clicking here!

 

Also, every donor gets a chance to guess the correct number of birdies for the tournament for a chance to win a new Honda! 
The Child Protection Team of Palm Beach (CPT) operates
the only clinic serving alleged child abuse victims
and their families in Palm Beach County. 
 
CPT services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

If you suspect child abuse, child sexual abuse or neglect,

call the Florida Abuse Hotline at (800) 962-2873.  

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