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Susan Buza, longtime 211 HelpLine leader, retires

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

After an 18-year tenure, Susan Buza has retired as the President/CEO of 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast.

In 1998, Buza stepped into what she thought would be a temporary role. It quickly became a long-term career venture for her. The agency is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, suicide prevention, information, assessment and referral to community services, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year .

Buza led 211 through many achievements. The agency has become nationally accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Services (the first in Florida and the fifth in the nation); received national certification from the American Association of Suicidology and Contact USA; become accessible by dialing the three digit number 2-1-1; changed its name from The Center of Information and Crisis Services to 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast; realized a tripling of its annual budget by broadening its income sources; increased its service area from one county to five; added four specialized services (Special Needs HelpLine, PBC Victim Services Hotline, Healthcare Advocacy and Help Me Grow); and continued to be recognized as a critical service.

“It has been extremely rewarding to see how 211 has grown over the past several years and how we have become such an integral part of the service delivery system in our region,” Buza said. “I cherish all of the relationships I have built over my tenure with 211 and I thank everyone who has played a role in our success.”

The agency has planned its annual fall event in Buza’s honor. “Cocktails & Croquet” will be Oct. 14 at the National Croquet Center and will include dinner, drinks, entertainment and a silent auction, for $150 per person. The evening will shine a light on and pay tribute to all that Susan has accomplished throughout her career, as well as introduce 211 HelpLine’s new President/CEO, Sharon L’Herrou.

For more information about the event, call 561-383-1128 or visit 211’s website at www.211palmbeach.org.

Original post can be found here.

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Clinics Can Help Set To Move in To Newly Expanded Facility October 1

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Friday, September 2, 2016

October 1 is the official move date for Clinics Can Help (CCH), the West Palm Beach based nonprofit helping those in Palm Beach County with improved healthcare through the provision of medical equipment and supplies. Following its July 12 groundbreaking on National Disability Awareness Day, the nationally recognized nonprofit is excited to offer more benefits for its clients’ medical needs through its expanded facilities.

The expansion includes 5,000 sq. ft. of office space, as well as a significantly larger warehouse which will help the organization meet the growing needs of children and adults across the county access vital medical equipment. CCH has become the answer for many families and individuals who are unable to attain the wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and other necessary medical equipment needed to improve, or to simply manage, their lives.

During the past decade, CCH has become locally and nationally recognized for its innovative programs such as the Lending Closet, which matches those in medical and financial need with donated items.  Response has been overwhelming for CCH’s KINDER (Kids In Need of Durable Equipment Right now) Project, which seeks and provides special adaptive strollers, wheelchairs and other equipment for children with serious medical conditions.  

 “We have been able to provide more than $820,000 in reusable medical supplies and equipment last year alone,” said CCH Founder and President Owen O’Neill. “Thanks to generous donations of equipment and funds, we are able to provide hundreds of wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, and wound care supplies to children and adults throughout our area.” O’Neill anticipates the new space will allow the organization to reach four times as many clients through the expanded warehouse and administrative facilities.

About Clinics Can Help:

CCH is a vital resource in Palm Beach County and throughout southeast Florida for families in search of medical equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, nebulizers and walkers.  Access to this equipment is a critical part of acquiring quality health care and for the thousands of children and adults who cannot afford it.  CCH makes a difference in the lives of through a simple process of organized recycling. It is the only organization of its kind in Florida and one of only four in the U.S. that provides a vast and diverse array of equipment.

For more information about Clinics Can Help or this groundbreaking event please visit www.clinicscanhelp.org or call 561-640-2995.

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Nonprofit brings new life to old neighborhood

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County is celebrating 30 years of helping deserving local people become homeowners.

In the past 30 years, the chapter has built 205 new homes. Now, it's focusing especially on one area of West Palm Beach.

Friday, Habitat for Humanity dedicated its tenth home in Coleman Park, a historic neighborhood in the northern part of West Palm Beach.

Many of the homes in Coleman Park have fallen into disrepair in recent years. To change that, the city has been donating empty lots on which Habitat for Humanity can build. The non-profit also repairs current homes in the neighborhood.

"Some of them need new roofs, some of them need electrical work done, some, significant work in order for their home to be safe," said Bernard Godek, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County. "So we've been helping those families too."

"It's changing a street that might have boarded up houses that are rehabbed by Habitat, or vacant lots that are built on," said West Palm Beach city commissioner Sylvia Moffett.

In addition to the ten new homes already built in Coleman Park, the group has many more in the area on its construction schedule.

"It lowers crime because you have more people," Moffett said. "More eyes on the street, more people invested."

"There's a lot more spirit going on, a lot more pride in ownership and living in this community," Godek said. "It's just exciting to see the change."

Original post can be found here.

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Communities in Schools of Palm Beach County receives $25,000 donation from AT&T

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Monday, August 29, 2016

AT&T is making a $25,000 contribution to Communities in Schools of Palm Beach County.

The nonprofit is dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life.

The donation will be used to provide school-based graduation coaches for students at low-performing schools. The coaches will assist students with academic, attendance, and/or behavior issues by connecting them and their families with critical community resources.

The $25,000 is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature education initiative focused on high school success and career readiness. In addition to providing financial support to CIS, AT&T employees spend time each year at a school sharing job readiness activities with high school students.

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Families First of Palm Beach County receives Accreditation for Excellence in Nonprofit Management

Posted By Adriene Tynes, Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Families First of Palm Beach County utilizes the accreditation process to ensure that the agency is meeting the highest standards of best practices in the field for finance, human resources and governance," said Julie Swindler, CEO at Families First of Palm Beach County. "The Board of Directors supports the ongoing accreditation process to ensure the Board is meeting its fiduciary and governing responsibilities, exceeding the industry standards."

Serving our community for more than 25 years, Families First of Palm Beach County provides child abuse prevention, health, housing, and behavioral health services for families whose life circumstances impact child and family health and stability. Many of the families served by Families First struggle with domestic violence, homelessness, drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical health issues or just a change in circumstance that has left them unable to cope. With eight programs, Families First helps them build on their strengths and designs individualized plans that meet each family's specific needs.

Families First sees many successes: 100 percent of the families served through the nationally evidence-based Healthy Families program remain free from abuse and neglect; 100 percent of the babies born to HIV positive mothers through the TOPWA (Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women) program are born healthy; hundreds of women of child-bearing age are giving birth to healthy infants because they receive healthcare before conception and prenatally. Also, children exhibiting behaviors that indicate emotional or mental health issues are being treated at early ages so that they can be successful in school, at home, and in the community now and in adulthood.

By preventing abuse, homelessness, health issues, pregnancies with poor outcomes, and children's behavioral health issues, Families First saves taxpayers millions in costs of special education, delinquency and dependency services needed to fix issues after they have occurred.


The Accreditation program at Nonprofits First helps nonprofit agencies manage risks, identify financial trends, and demonstrate accountability and management excellence to funders and other community stakeholders. Accredited agencies have demonstrated compliance with standards that address core requirements of the federal, state, and local laws and regulations that govern nonprofits, best practices in management, as well as the expectations of many public and private funders. The standards cover a number of key areas, including: board governance, strategic planning, fundraising, risk management, human resources, and financial management. To ensure that the process is objective, compliance with Accreditation standards is verified by subject matter experts in each area of review, offering vital third-party confirmation of an organization’s commitment to management excellence.

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