Quantum Foundation Awards $1 Million To Grassroots Nonprofits

The Quantum Foundation, Palm Beach County’s largest health funder, is celebrating a major milestone with its 10th annual Quantum in the Community (QIC) initiative, funding grassroots organizations in Palm Beach County. Recently, 112 nonprofits received a portion of $1 million in unrestricted funding to go toward such essentials as meals, hygiene products, rent/utility assistance, clothing, transportation and more.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought forward longstanding health inequities in disinvested communities, exposing the impacts of the social determinants of health,” said Eric Kelly, president of the Quantum Foundation. “Health equity is our way forward, and these vulnerable communities need their basic needs met, now more than ever. Quantum in the Community funding has helped many of these organizations survive this current crisis.”

In 2011, the foundation’s board of directors made a commitment to this annual program when surveys showed local nonprofits were struggling to keep their doors open in the troubled economy. Since then, the foundation has awarded a total of $7.5 million through this initiative.

The Quantum Foundation’s mission is to fund initiatives that improve the health of Palm Beach County residents. In 1998, the foundation marked its rookie year as one of Palm Beach County’s newest and largest philanthropic organizations with an impressive $7.6 million granted to more than 40 Palm Beach County projects.

2020 Quantum in the Community grantees in the Wellington, Greenacres and Royal Palm Beach area include: Angels for Friends Corp.; Back to Basics Inc.; Bi-Wi “Because I’m Worth It” International; the Dezman Fleury Foundation; Family First Community Outreach Services; Hope 4 Mobility Inc.; the Kids Cancer Foundation; the National Council of Jewish Women, Palm Beach; the Talented Teen Club; Wellington Cares; and the Wellington Community Foundation.

Three of this year’s QIC recipients explain what the grants do to help the community:

From a warm coat to a hot lunch or even a sofa for a single mom, Church of the Harvest serves the people of the Glades area. The pantry provides free food, clothing, furniture, household goods, diapers, ice and water and anything else clients might need.

Barbara Iderosa and her husband, Pastor Rich Iderosa, started the nonprofit almost 20 years ago. Before the pandemic, Church of the Harvest was serving close to 400 people a week. That number has skyrocketed to nearly 2,000 people a month. An anonymous donor helps with most utilities, fuel and insurance, but the QIC grant bridges the gaps that are needed to help keep the operation going.

“We would have a difficult time without being in partnership with the Quantum Foundation,” Iderosa said. “It is an especially important grant for us, and we are so grateful for it. There was no centralized pantry in the Glades area when we started back in 2000.”

To donate, volunteer or learn more, visit www.churchoftheharvestpahokee.com or call (561) 924-7776.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission is to support and help the poor, restore dignity and spread the love of Christ to everyone. Kate Devine, president of the SVDP District of Palm Beach County, said that volunteers meet with clients, prioritize their needs and connect them to other services if they cannot help directly. All funds remain in Palm Beach County, so neighbors are helping neighbors. The Quantum Foundation grant helps financially support clients who come to SVDP needing assistance with rent, utilities or other bills.

SVDP’s largest need is funding, but volunteer opportunities are also available. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit www.svdp-palmbeach.org or call (561) 401-9585.

Renette Verhaeghe was watching the news one night and learned that many Palm Beach County veterans were homeless, living in their cars or on the beach, and she felt that was unacceptable. That was three years ago when Operation120 started, and the organization has exponentially grown since then.

“We help clients with resumés, job placement, budgeting, credit repair and debt consolidation. We teach job and life skills, offer mediation, trauma counseling and brain mapping — all for free,” Verhaeghe said.

The agency has a 3,000-square-foot home in Lake Worth Beach, operational since January, and QIC funding is a big part of keeping that building running. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.operation120.org or call (561) 463-VETS.

For more information about Quantum Foundation, or to learn about applying for grants, visit www.quantumfnd.org or call (561) 832-7497.