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Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida

Mission:

Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida is dedicated to providing therapeutic riding and equine-activities to children and adults with special needs so that they may improve physically, mentally and emotionally.

Vision:

We envision a place where abilities are strengthened, where activities lead to self-confidence, and each person can experience life without limits.

Horses lend us the wings we lack. ~ Pam Brown

History:

Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Soroptimist International of Boca Raton and the Kiwanis Club of Boca Raton.  The organization began as a community project of the Soroptimist women, soon developing into a fully functioning program with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Boca and several other members of the local community.  The program began by serving 6 children with special needs on 6 borrowed horses in a public field in Palm Beach County.   

Beginning as Horses and the Handicapped of South Palm Beach County in 1982, the organization and its stewards have remained vigilant to the ever-changing special needs community and societal changes.  Today, Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida offer four different programs and has grown to serve more than 135 children and adults with special needs annually through four programs, including: Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine-Facilitated Learning and Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy.

We manage a 5.25-acre campus within Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek that is home to a 12-stall barn, covered riding arena, grazing paddocks and a therapeutic learning center. Our equine programs are executed with the aid of 11 specially trained therapy horses and assisted by more than 300 volunteers, donating more than 10,000 hours of their time and talents. In October 2017, EATSF earned renewal as a Premier Accredited Center from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, placing the organization within the top 25% of therapeutic riding centers around the world.

By looking back, we are proud to move forward, envisioning a place where abilities are strengthened, where activities lead to self-confidence, and each person can experience life without limits.

For more information, please click here.

Boca Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities

Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities

Nation’s Largest Free Event for Kids, Adults and Wounded Warriors with Special Needs Celebrates 11 Years on Land and on Sea.

Welcome to the Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities, America’s largest free fun-day for people with special needs, their families and their caregivers.

Now in its 12th year, the Bash reaches out to embrace the estimated 20% of Florida residents who live with physical and/or intellectual challenges–disabilities that are seen or unseen. In Palm Beach County however, 25% have a disability, among the highest number in the nation.

A true celebration of diversity, the Boating & Beach Bash demonstrates how a community can honor and salute those among us who struggle each day with unimaginable challenges.

OUR GUESTS

Many of our guests are people often overlooked by society. Their challenges place them outside the mainstream, and many of them are never seen at the mall, the movies or even at a fast food restaurant. Once a year they are invited into the sunshine for a joy-filled day that celebrates their diversity and embraces them as the unique individuals they are.

Each March, young and old alike, come together with their families and caregivers to beautiful Spanish River Park in Boca Raton, where they are treated as world class VIP’s, from the moment they arrive.

THE LOCATION

The setting for the Bash is Spanish River Park, located at 3001 North Ocean Boulevard (State Road A1A). The park, Boca’s most beautiful setting for an event like the Bash, is set between the Atlantic Ocean, with its pristine beaches on one side, and the scenic Intracoastal Waterway on the other. The heart of the park boasts grassy picnic areas, covered shelters, walkways and playgrounds—all nestled under a canopy of lush, tropical trees.

Did we mention that EVERYTHING is free from the moment our guests reach the park? Admission, parking, lunch, boat rides, the concerts and all Bash related activities are FREE and always will be. We welcome one and all.

JAY VAN VECHTEN
DIRECTOR

Our History

The Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities was first imagined in 2008 by members of the City of Boca Raton’s Advisory Board for People with Disabilities. The City agreed to sponsor the event, with members of the Advisory Board helping City employees host it.

THE 1ST BASH

The first Bash in March of 2009 attracted 350 participants and had three boats that gave rides to all attendees. A BBQ lunch was served and a live band composed of musicians with disabilities rocked the park.

THE 2ND BASH

The second Bash in March of 2010 attracted 700 participants and had 7 boats. The event was enhanced by volunteers from the Coast Guard and Boca Raton High School’s Junior Navy ROTC Cadets.

THE 3RD BASH

The third Bash in March of 2011 attracted 2,200 guests and featured 25 yachts. That year the Bash achieved the status of being the largest, free, fun-day ever staged in the United States for people with special needs, their families and caregivers. The event also received global media attention as the press dubbed it, “The Miracle on the Intracoastal.” A new exhibitor zone was added, where leading nonprofit organizations and local businesses showcased goods and services specifically for the special needs community.

The entire project nearly collapsed in late 2011, when the City had to withdraw its funding for the event because the Bash’s rapid growth had made it too expensive and labor intensive for the City to manage. Fortunately the City agreed to allow the Bash to continue to utilize the park for free and to enjoy the benefit of in-kind services, like sanitation, security and lifeguards. It then relinquished the Bash to Jay Van Vechten, one of its original creators, who vowed to keep the event alive.

Jay assembled a group of dedicated volunteers and together they reimagined the event on a much grander and more inclusive scale, reaching beyond the boundaries of Boca Raton. The freshly minted Bash would now welcome anyone with a disability in South Florida, along with their families and caregivers.

THE 4TH BASH

In 2012, the all-volunteer organizing committee doubled the size of the Bash, drawing close to 4,500 attendees, assisted by 500 volunteers, and provided boat rides aboard 24 yachts. In this its 4th year, the event was named: “BEST COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM IN SOUTH FLORIDA,” a prestigious award it has now won four times from the Gold Coast PR Council.

5TH, 6TH, 7TH AND 8TH BASH EVENTS

The 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Bash events continued to grow drawing thousands of guests.

Additionally, leading singers and musicians from across the State volunteered to entertain, while DJ’s with disabilities inspired guests with the latest dance music. Throughout the park miniature therapy ponies and service dogs mixed and mingled with guests to the delight of everyone.

Ronald McDonald’s magic tricks cheered young and old alike, while a dozen costumed action heroes, including Spiderman, Captain America, Batman and Superman kept everyone laughing and entertained throughout the day.

Rehabilitation professionals from Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital at the Delray Medical Center, along with graduating seniors from Nova University’s Rehabilitation Program, began leading guests in low impact sports, while on the beach professional kite flyers thrilled attendees with high flying aerobatic stunts.

Another popular feature added in recent years is a Body Mind & Spirit Center, where various forms of yoga, breathing and meditation techniques are shared by a team of trained professionals.

Finally, there’s a Fun Zone that offers arts and crafts workshops and numerous interactive games that provide wholesome, accessible activities for the entire family.

It is a magical day for everyone!

After four years of lobbying the powers that be, the Bash was delighted to add mobility mats to our beach offerings, providing full access to anyone with mobility issues, even those in wheelchairs. Now guests can traverse the sand and even have a dip in the ocean, thanks to fully immersible, floating chairs awaiting them at water’s edge. The Bash now owns a full set of state of the art Mobi Mats, thanks to a county grant that allowed us to supplement those mats owned by the City of Boca Raton. It is a win/win for everyone.

THE 9TH AND 10TH BASH EVENTS

In the 9th year close to 5,000 guests attended the Bash. They came from as far away as California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Washington DC. A mother and son journeyed all the way from Puglia, Italy to join us. The Bash also welcomed the Broadway star of ANNIE, Andrea McArdle, singing: “TOMORROW,” her signature hit song from the show. Additionally singer Mason Pace and dozens of costumed Super Heroes led everyone in a rousing rendition of “We Are The World.” One of the biggest hits of the 2017 Bash was a miniature train called the Catabella Express. With five cars, each capable of holding up to four people, the accessible train allows those in wheelchairs to roll aboard and go for a fun ride throughout the park.

In the 10th year, Bash participants celebrated the event’s 10th Anniversary, with nearly 6,000 guests on hand to welcome Ketchi Okwuchi, finalist from the popular TV show, “America’s Got Talent.” Ms. Okwuchi, who survived a fiery plane crash has endured over 100 surgeries since her accident. But her beautiful voice and extraordinary spirit inspired all who heard her and got to meet her that day. Also on hand were the 20 members of Miami’s Lighthouse for the Blind Gospel Choir, raising their voices to the heavens in thanks for the blessings we all have, that in spite of our challenges we are all one in the eyes of God.

For more information, please click here.

Nonprofits First

What We Do
For more than 14 years, Nonprofits First, Inc. has been the leading resource for strengthening the administrative and operational capacity of nonprofit organizations in the community. Comprised of experienced professionals, consultants and volunteers, the vision of Nonprofits First is a community in which all nonprofits achieve their highest level of success.
We promote quality and accountability in our nonprofit community through:

Our Vision

A community in which nonprofit organizations achieve their highest level of desired impact.

Our Mission

Empowering nonprofit excellence.

ABOUT US-

Since 2005, Nonprofits First has been the leading resource for strengthening the operational and administrative capacity of nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach County. Comprised of experienced professionals, consultants and volunteers, the vision of Nonprofits First is a community in which all nonprofits achieve their highest level of success.

We promote quality and accountability in our nonprofit community through Accreditation, Education and Professional Development, and Management Support Services.

Nonprofits First exists for the sole purpose of serving and supporting the entire nonprofit community.

Strong, well-run nonprofit organizations have adopted many best practices from the business world. They know that good management and strategically deployed resources help them gain market respect, donor confidence, and public support. We believe that this level of success is attainable for Palm Beach County’s service organizations. We make it possible for nonprofits to deliver the highest level of service to our community.

For more information, please click here.

Center for Trauma Counseling

Center for Trauma Counseling 

Center for Trauma Counseling, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 2012 by Helya Ortiz, LMHC, to serve Palm Beach County, Florida as a community mental health organization.  Her vision was to provide cost-effective and easily accessible community-based mental services to the community, to ensure continued personal, social and professional development and support; for the achievement and maintenance of a fulfilling quality of life.

Our Mission is to ensure the immediate availability of cost-effective mental health interventions to serve most in need Palm Beach County impacted by trauma related experiences.

Our Philosophy is that children, adolescents, adults, elderly and their families have access to evidence-based mental health treatment from trained mental health professionals.

Don’t suffer alone.  Get the help you need.

Provision of High Quality Services Is Our Number One Responsibility

Our community mission fulfills an unmet need in Palm Beach County. Our leadership focuses on delivering high quality trauma counseling to fulfill the mental health needs of our clients. Our center has highly-qualified mental health counselors with extensive training, licensing and in-depth experience. Specifically we are able to treat a number of symptoms, issues and disorders related to traumatic events. These include post-traumatic stress disorders; severe physical illness or disability; death and grief; disasters; mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment; and a number of other mental and psychological disorders.

For more information, click here.

Gilda’s Club South Florida

About Gilda’s Club
Gilda’s Club South Florida, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, is dedicated to providing support, education and hope to all people impacted by cancer, family members and friends of those diagnosed, children, and people who have lost someone to cancer.
FREE OF CHARGE TO EVERYONE
Gilda’s Club South Florida provides a gathering place where people with cancer, as well as their families and friends, or people that have lost someone to cancer, can join with others to actively involve themselves in building social and emotional support as a supplement to regular medical care. Our evidence-based programming includes support groups, healthy lifestyle workshops, mind-body classes, social activities, educational lectures and community resource information.
We build community, so we can take on cancer together.
The mission of Gilda’s Club South Florida is to ensure all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.

OUR HISTORY

Who is Gilda?

Our namesake, Gilda Radner, was one of the original cast members of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Throughout her time on the show, she created several enduring characters, including Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner.

When Gilda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986 she quickly realized the importance of emotional and social support. After attending The Wellness Community in Southern California, Gilda envisioned places of participation, education, hope and friendship to be made available to men, women and children with all types of cancer and their families and friends. After her death in May 1989 her husband, Gene Wilder, and Joanna Bull – Gilda’s psychotherapist – founded the flagship Gilda’s Club in New York City.

What We Do

Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer? Are you undergoing treatment or perhaps you know someone – a family member or friend – with cancer? Have you lost someone to cancer?

A cancer diagnosis can bring with it fear, isolation, and anger, and an overwhelming need for information about treatment options, health insurance, financial support and how to manage the daily routine of life. Cancer doesn’t just change the life of the individual diagnosed, but also the lives of those around them.

At Gilda’s Club South Florida we offer professionally-led support and networking groups, healthy lifestyle groups, educational workshops and lectures, social activities, and resources to all those impacted by cancer.

The mission of Gilda’s Club South Florida is to ensure all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.

Our programs are offered free of charge to members.

For more information, please click here.

Junior Achievement of South Florida

With the help of over 7,000 trained corporate and community volunteers and mentors, JA delivers over 20 unique programs to 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties and at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion on the Broward College North Campus, a first-class facility housing two JA BizTowns and JA Finance Park.

Junior Achievement of South Florida is preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s careers.

Junior Achievement empowers young people to own their economic success. Our volunteer-delivered, K-12 programs foster work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills. JA’s experiential learning inspires kids to dream big and reach their potential.

JA helps young people connect with relevant learning and the importance of staying in school. Junior Achievement sparks students to develop competitive skills and confidence.

HISTORY

Junior Achievement of South Florida has served almost 1,000,000 students since its inception in 1959.

Junior Achievement of South Florida was founded locally in 1959 by the Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club and served just 373 high school students during its first year. Programs now span grades K-12, with age-appropriate curricula designed to teach elementary students about their roles as individuals, workers, and consumers and to prepare middle grade and high school students for key economic and workforce issues they will face. In 2009, our impact greatly expanded with the opening of JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, and we now serve 50,000 students each year.

JA USA

Junior Achievement of South Florida is part of the JA USA network. Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic & economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, & provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge & skills in financial literacy, work readiness & entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in 109 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Click here for more information.

Living Hungry

WE CHANGE WHAT HUNGRY CHILDREN HUNGER FOR. WELCOME TO LIVING HUNGRY.

5,141,000 MEALS / 20,000 FUEL UP PACKS/ 81,000 CHILDREN+

WHAT WE BELIEVE

Every Child Has Potential.

The Fact is 1 out of 5 American students are failing to thrive due to malnourishment. Hunger plagues our American children living in poverty, right here at home.  Food is the #1 social determinant of health .Many endure 68 hours of hunger over the weekend away from school meals.  Malnourishment robs our young  students of their brightest futures, from elementary school to high school. This problem is solvable. We solve it. 

Maura Plante founded Living Hungry to nourish children well to realize their full potential.  Her dedication is total, her passion is infectious.

Worth Nourishing

Living Hungry is a  new charity born of the belief every child has a potential worth nourishing. Poverty setbacks and malnutrition plague our at-risk teens and homeless youth worst. Living Hungry is created to provide nutrition products and logistical solutions by teaming with our fiscal agent South Florida Hunger Coalition and funding partners to feed the children to change the storyline and unleash hidden genius in the next generation.   

Currently Feeding Students, Youth & People in Palm Beach County, Collier County, Okeechobee County, St. Lucie County, Martin County, Hendry County, Broward County and expanding fast. Be next.

Innovating Superheroes

Our vision is big. Not to fuel children to overcome poverty barriers, but to unleash wild success stories! We want to see young Americans come from behind, tap into their “hunger” to realize their dreams, imagine their brightest futures, and then live out their best lives. 

How do we do this? We innovate solutions to today’s problems. We use  iterative product development, R&D, efficient supply chain logistics, and build maverick  collaboratives. We partner well. We build to scale, to integrate local collaborators, to automate systems. Net effect results in dynamic and sustainable platforms. All to fuel up the most at-risk students for peak performance:

  • Homeless Students: Operation “Not One Hungry Homeless Student in Palm Beach County”  weekend feeding program 
  • “Food is Medicine” combats Diabetes with Food, Cooking, Classes & love.
  • At-Risk Teenagers: “WHOLE TEEN HEALTHY” program
  • New program concept percolating next. Stay tuned.

For more information, click here.

Autism Society

Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

While there is currently no known single cause of autism, early diagnosis helps a person receive the support and services that they need, which can lead to a quality life filled with opportunity.

The Autism Society of America has been improving the lives of all affected by autism for over 50 years and envisions a world where individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued. We provide advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community at national, state and local levels through our strong nationwide network of Affiliates.

Founded in 1965 by Dr. Bernard Rimland, Dr. Ruth Sullivan and many other parents of children with autism, the Autism Society is the leading source of trusted and reliable information about autism. Through its national network, the Autism Society has spearheaded numerous pieces of federal, state and local legislation, including the 2006 Combating Autism Act, the first federal autism-specific law. The Autism Society’s website is one of the most visited websites on autism in the world and our on-line resource database, Autism Source™, and National Contact Center (800-3-AUTISM) provide information and service referrals to thousands of people each year.

The Autism Society also hosts the most comprehensive national conference on autism, on average attended by a thousand people each year. Our Information and Referral team, our program staff and our strong affiliate presence in states and communities throughout the country serve thousands of families each year who are searching for help in their journey with autism.

The Autism Society’s national office is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. We are proud to be one of the few organizations to have members on the autism spectrum serving as active members of our board directors as well as in other leadership positions throughout the organization. Temple Grandin was the first member-elected person with autism to serve on the Autism Society Board of Directors, in 1988.

The Autism Society’s Panel of Professional Advisors (PPA) sets the standards for our Options Policy that governs our practices, and we are proud to count the top professional autism experts on our PPA. The Autism Society’s Advisory Panel of People on the Spectrum of Autism (PSA) is a first-of-its-kind advisory panel comprised solely of individuals with autism who help Autism Society staff create programs and services that will advocate for the right of all people with autism to live fulfilling, interdependent lives.

Each year, people with autism, families and professionals volunteer thousands of hours to help the Autism Society achieve its mission of improving the lives of all those affected by autism. To each and every one of you, thank you.

The Autism Society engages in fair hiring practices and is an equal opportunity employer that also strongly encourages people with developmental disabilities to apply for vacant positions. It is the Society’s policy to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, sex, age, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, genetic information, familial status or the presence of disabilities.

For more information, please click here.

Women in Distress

OUR MISSION:

To stop domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy.

OUR HISTORY:

Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. was founded by Edee Greene and a group of concerned citizens in July of 1974. Initially, Women In Distress served as Broward County’s first refuge for homeless women in a modest four-bedroom home until a local tragedy brought light to the need for shelter for women and children in danger. Shortly thereafter, the agency’s founders were able to purchase a 54-bed shelter with generous contributions from Dr. Kona and Ruth Simon, and Walter and Peg Griffith, later expanding to 62 beds with a gift of a second 8-bed shelter from Lorraine Thomas. Women In Distress was now able to offer crisis shelter and support to victims of domestic violence and their children. In November 1995, the doors of the Jim & Jan Moran Family Center opened in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Family Center instantly increased our visibility, accessibility and capacity to serve more families. In 1999, Janet A. Boyle established a $1 million endowment for Women In Distress in an effort to help ensure the future operations of the organization. Mrs. Boyle’s generosity has established a legacy benefiting Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc., its participants and employees for future generations. Today, Women In Distress has expanded again in order to meet the increased needs for emergency shelter and services. In the Summer of 2011, the new Women In Distress Jim & Jan Moran Family Center opened its doors to the community. The new center allowed for the agency to double its emergency shelter and outreach services as well as offer new enhancements including a special population wing for families with special needs and a Broward Sheriff’s Substation.

COA ACCREDITATION

Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. is the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County. This means that The Council on Accreditation (COA) has verified that Women In Distress consistently operates with integrity, credibility and the utmost level of quality. The accreditation process takes place every four years. Women In Distress participates in a detailed review and analysis of the administrative operations and service delivery against national standards of best practice. COA is an independent accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada, and is one of the three leading accreditors of such service providers. COA is widely recognized by states and national organizations as an accrediting body with the capacity, scope, and ability to contribute significantly to the improvement of the behavioral health and social service delivery systems. Originally known as an accrediting body for family and children’s agencies, COA has earned public recognition from mental health and substance abuse organizations as well.

For more information, click here.

GL HOMES Philanthropy

Making A Difference

Every day GL Homes makes a difference in the communities where we live and work.

GL Homes supports many worthwhile causes throughout Florida, with a particular emphasis on those charities that work to break the cycle of homelessness.

Our GL Connects and Good Night’s Sleep initiatives are two of the many ways we dedicate our time, energy, and resources to help those who are homeless get back on their feet.

CHARITIES

Through the spirit of giving, GL Homes supports many organizations throughout Florida.
Here is just a sample of those we proudly support through our time and resources:

211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast • American Red Cross • Best Foot Forward • Boys & Girls Club of Collier County • Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County • Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County • The Broward Partnership • Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches • Epilepsy Foundation of Florida • Forum Club of the Palm Beaches • Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, Inc. • Greater Miami Jewish Federation • Gulfstream Goodwill Industries • Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties • Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach • Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County • In the Pines • Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options (JAFCO) • Jewish Federation of Broward County • Leadership Florida® • Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County • Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County • The Lord’s Place • Norton Museum of Art • Pace Center for Girls of Collier County • The Pap Corps Champions for Cancer Research • Place of Hope • Ranger Good Works • St. Matthew’s House, Naples • The Senator Philip D. Lewis Center • Young At Art Museum • Youth Haven, Inc.

For more information, please click here.

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