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Member Spotlight: Roots and Wings in Delray Beach

Posted By Marilyn Bieber, Thursday, July 30, 2020

Our member Roots and Wings in Delray Beach helps disadvantaged students lift themselves out of poverty by becoming strong, confident readers and life-long learners.

The nonprofit also collaborates with other community partners in improving education for all children.

We asked the organization’s Founder and President Ted Hoskinson to explain further what Roots and Wings does and how it has made a big difference in the lives of children in Delray Beach and beyond.

1) Explain what Roots and Wings does in the community.

Ted Hoskinson: At Roots and Wings, our mission is to improve the quality of education in our extended South Florida community by supporting the students who most need help in learning to read and providing encouragement for the teachers who are working hard each day to influence and inspire children to learn. 

Our founder was an elementary school teacher for many years, and his heart is still very much tied to early learning. Each of us involved with Roots and Wings has a deep passion for education, and particularly for helping disadvantaged students lift themselves out of poverty. We are helping the children who most need support to become strong, confident readers. We hope our efforts will lead them to life-time learning. In line with this goal we also reward and encourage Master Teachers who we recognize as our most important partners.

2) How has COVID 19 impacted your operations, and what services are you still offering?

Ted Hoskinson: With Palm Beach County public schools not opening this fall, Roots and Wings is diligently focused on working with the School District of Palm Beach County, elementary school principals, the City of Delray and community partners to ensure that internet connectivity in poor neighborhoods of Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach is sufficient, helping to ensure that every child has internet access to participate fully in distance learning.  

We are also working with our partners to devise a meaningful distance learning solution for Project UpLift, our free, intensive, small group after school reading program slated to serve seven schools and 420 2nd and 3rd grade students this fall. We are determined to ensure that young students who are struggling to read, and already engaged in a perilous COVID-slide, have the support they need to regain ground and achieve grade level reading. New research tells us that on average students are only retaining about 70% of what they learned last year. 

With our school-based and community partners, we are developing an individualized distance-learning program utilizing certified teachers who will establish tailored learning pathways and monitor weekly reading progress through distance learning for each of the struggling 2nd and 3rd grade students that Project UpLift primarily serves. In addition, when schools open again, we are hoping to expand our after-school programming from three afternoons a week to five afternoons a week, and to stretching our hours to 6 p.m. each day. This expansion will allow Project UpLIft to help the students most-in-need to catch up on their skills so they can pass that all- important Florida Standards Assessment in reading at the end of 3rd grade. 

3) Explain the difference Roots and Wings has made in the community through the years.

Ted Hoskinson: When Roots and Wings was founded in 2016 we had one small teacher recognition program, the Above and Beyond Awards at Pine Grove Elementary School, a Title One school in Delray Beach.  In the early days we gave our award-winning teachers a small gift bag containing $100 and some candy to share with their students. Four years later we can proudly say that we have presented nearly 1,000 Above and Beyond Awards at 18 Title One public schools to dedicated teachers and public school staff in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton. Now, our award-winning teachers and staff receive $100 in cash and nearly $1,000 worth of gift cards for area restaurants and service providers.  Their goodies are presented in a handsome canvas tote inscribed with “Dedicated Educator” and are accompanied by a framed certificate recognizing them as Above and Beyond Award-winners. 

Project UpLift, our free, intensive, small group after school tutoring program will serve 420 kids at 7 area Title One schools in 2020-21. In just 3 years we have grown from serving 30 students to serving 420! The proof of Project UpLift’s effectiveness is in the impressive reading growth our participating students are demonstrating.  Due to COVID-19, students were not tested at the end of the 2019-20 school year, but we are proud to say that in January of 2020, at the school-year’s mid-point, more than half of our Project UpLift students had already achieved a year’s worth of reading growth. 

Roots and Wings board and our small team are also champions for community collaboration. We partner with the School District, the City of Delray Beach, many other non-profit organizations and area businesses to achieve our goals. We truly believe that “all boats rise on the same tide,” and it is very important to us to collaborate in improving education, but more broadly, to collaborate for a strong, vibrant, cohesive South Florida community. We are working hard to set an example as a community collaborator and we have been formally recognized by the School District for two consecutive years as an “outstanding community partner.”

4) How has Nonprofits First helped your organization?

Ted Hoskinson: Our South Florida community is fortunate to have an organization that supplies such comprehensive services to non-profit organizations that are working so hard to achieve their missions and improve the quality of life for all of us. The educational seminars, workshops and networking opportunities that Nonprofits First provides are very helpful. They assist our non-profits in learning what they need to know to be most effective at achieving their philanthropic goals and they open the door and invite meaningful collaborations among us.  These efforts make a big difference. 

Learn more about Roots and Wings here.

If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is:

Tags:  Member Spotlight  Nonprofit Nugget  Palm Beach County  Philanthropy 

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211 HelpLine Continues To Answer The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Including the 9-8-8 When It Goes Live

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, July 20, 2020



Media Contact:  Candi Spitz ● Development Director ● Phone: 561-809-4232. Email:


Locally- 211 HelpLine Continues To Answer The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Including the 9-8-8 When It Goes Live

Lantana July 17, 2020: On Thursday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the rules for implementation of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s the three digit number “9-8-8” for suicide prevention services, which will make it easier for those in crisis to connect to help.  The new three digit phone number is expected to be implemented nationwide by 2022. The longer NSPL number 1-800-273-TALK (8255) will remain accessible during and after the transition to the 9-8-8 number.

Local crisis centers, statewide and nationally, will continue as the contracted responders for the NSPL 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and then 9-8-8 when the number goes live. Contracted crisis centers employ trained staff and are and accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) as well as approved by NSPL to respond to crisis callers.

Here locally calls to the NSPL are routed to your 211 Team who stand at the ready to respond. 

 If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know…

Crisis intervention can be reached 24/7 by dialing 2-1-1, texting your concerns and zip code to 898211 or also through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). Online Crisis Chat is also available 10am to 8pm daily: visit  #HelpStartsHere

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Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches - COVID-19 UPDATE

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, June 26, 2020

Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches

Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches, Inc. is a locally founded 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to nourish home bound seniors in our community with a freshly prepared and nutritious hot meal. Our volunteers deliver the lunchtime meals 5 days a week to our senior clients along with a friendly hello and wellness check, reporting back any concerns for communication to the family.

We serve those individuals age 65 and over who are home bound due to age, infirmity or debilitating illness and are unable or struggling to food shop and prepare nutritious meals.  Our clients typically are no longer driving or driving infrequently.  They are either living alone or living with their spouse/partner who may also be home bound.  We also serve households where one of the two individuals is homebound and the other is mobile and the primary caregiver.  Our clients all contribute to the cost of the meal service based on a sliding scale and according to their financial ability.  

CURRENT UPDATES:  Due to COVID-19 we have temporarily adjusted our operations to ensure the continued health and safety of the vulnerable senior population we serve, as well our volunteers many of whom are over 60 themselves.  We have shifted from daily deliveries to once a week delivery of a multi-pack of frozen dinner meals along with three breakfast meals.

In addition, we opened temporary meal service eligibility to seniors who are normally mobile and able to shop for themselves but who, due to COVID-19, are not shopping in public to minimize their exposure.  They receive weekly delivery of the multi-pack of meals delivered at no cost which is made possible by special grant funding.

To inquire about eligibility and setup service please call (561) 802-6979 extension 6.

Tags:  COVID-19  Nonprofit  Nonprofit; Membership  Palm Beach County  Resources 

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Member Spotlight: COMPASS

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, June 25, 2020


Especially now in the coronavirus crisis, Compass remains open to serve the members of the LGBTQ+ population and people living with and impacted by HIV in Palm Beach County.

The Lake Worth Beach-based center is offering virtual support groups and therapy sessions, as well as other services.

For many, Compass is a vital community organization.

We asked the center’s leadership to explain their mission and the kind of impact they are making during these challenging times.  


1) Explain what COMPASS does in the community.

Compass saves lives. We save lives by offering services to members of the LGBTQ+ population and people living with and impacted by HIV, in Palm Beach County.

Through Compass, people are able to access no-cost mental health therapy, get case management if they are living with HIV, get a free HIV test, and help getting connected to resources for HIV prevention, such as PrEP medications, and of course, in a normal year, attend fun community-minded events like Palm Beach Pride and the Stonewall Ball. 


2) How has COVID 19 impacted your operations, and what services are you still offering?

We have had to cancel all in-person events, but most support groups and therapy sessions are being offered virtually. All case management services are being offered virtually or over the phone, and at-home HIV tests are being mailed to community members who request them, in lieu of in-person testing. 

Nearly all staff are working remotely, and the center is closed to in-person visitors, but we feel that with the virtual options available to us, we are still able to be there for our community. 

3) Explain the difference COMPASS has made in the community through the years.

When Compass began as the Stop AIDS Project of South Florida in 1988, our goal was to educate the community about HIV and AIDS, to slow its spread and reduce the stigma associated with living with HIV. That goal has since expanded to include offering life-saving support to the entire LGBTQ community of Palm Beach County, no matter their age or situation.

We’ve helped people come out to their friends, family and employers, we’ve gotten people the mental health care they need, and we’ve helped countless people learn their HIV status and get into care.  


4) How has Nonprofits First helped your organization?

Nonprofits First offers high quality trainings across a wide range of topics, from using Excel to being a compassionate leader to being aware of racial biases in our dealings with others. The accreditation process NPF offers always helps us as an organization to be stronger, more transparent, and better prepared to deal with whatever may come our way.

Learn more about COMPASS here.

Photo thanks to Jim Stafford Photography.



If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is:

Tags:  Membership  Nonprofit 

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Nonprofit Legal Assistance Project 2020 Agency Trainings

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Please download the PDF (below) for all training information.


Additional Trainings Additional trainings not listed or other customized trainings are available upon request.

For additional information or to schedule a training:
Vanessa Coe, Esq.

Non‐Profit Legal Assistance Project

423 Fern Street, Suite 200

West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

Telephone: 561‐721‐6015

Cell: 561‐316‐8544


Ana Casey, HR Generalist, Assistant

Non‐Profit Legal Assistance Project

Telephone: 561‐822‐9768


Download File (PDF)

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