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Member Spotlight: Center for Child Counseling

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February Member Spotlight: Center for Child Counseling

 

The Center for Child Counseling is on a roll lately– they’ve won major grants, a Hats Off Award, and many other accolades for their work in improving the social-emotional wellness of children and their families in Palm Beach County.

The recent successes are the result of a lunch meeting in 2013, and the hard work that followed and continues today.

The Center’s story is our February Member Spotlight. 

 

The Center for Child Counseling has received a lot of attention as of late – and deservedly so.

 

In October, the agency won Nonprofit of the Year (Medium) at the 2018 Hats Off Nonprofit Awards. In November, they were one of 16 nonprofits selected to receive a grant from New York Life to provide trauma and grief support to those who have experienced devastation or loss. And in February, they won $100,000 from Impact the Palm Beaches.

 

Overseeing all of this is CEO Renée Layman, MS, LMHC. She manages a staff of more than 10 people and their work in helping more than 1,500 children and their caregivers. Layman has more than 20 years of experience in mental health services, most of which are specific to children’s mental health.

 

She’s had the job since 2013 when she and the organization’s founder, Jane Robinson, met over lunch and Robinson offered Layman the opportunity to take over the group (then called All ‘Bout Children) and take it to the next level. Layman accepted and, with Robinson’s guidance and feedback, teamed up with infant mental health specialist Lauren Scirrotto, LMHC, to develop the foundation for the next chapter of the agency, starting with the new name, Center for Child Counseling.

 

Both women had a vision for a supportive, transparent, and compassionate workplace that enabled staff to thrive while they helped the most vulnerable populations in Palm Beach County heal from trauma and toxic stress. Layman and Scirrotto, often sitting face-to-face, developed policies and procedures with a clear focus on what they wanted the agency to accomplish: building the foundation for playful, healthful, and hopeful living for children and families.  

 

Through prevention, early intervention, and targeted treatment, the staff focused on creating a “trauma-informed” community where all partners (schools, criminal justice system, shelters, health care providers, and many other professionals and institutions) worked closely to identify and heal the effects of toxic stress and trauma before they developed into damaging behaviors.

 

The goal also was to shift from asking “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you” and “how can we help?”

 

Over time, the Center for Child Counseling did just that, and today it’s focused on three key areas:

 

  • Improving the social-emotional wellness of children and their caregivers by providing an array of prevention, early intervention, and mental health services.
  • Improving caregivers' mental health and use of effective strategies to support children, while strengthening their ability to provide an environment that promotes healthy outcomes.
  • Training professionals and the community on effective clinical models and trauma-informed strategies for working with children and families.

 

How does all of that fit together?

 

A staggering 1 in 4 children live in poverty in Palm Beach County, putting them at risk for an array of experiences that can change the structure of the developing brain.

 

Some organization has to fill critical gaps in the system of care to address urgent needs of those children and their families.

 

That organization is the Center for Child Counseling.

 

 

Contact the Center for Child Counseling by calling 561-244-9499 or emailing info@centerforchildcounseling.org.

 

If your nonprofit has a great story to tell, contact Charlotte Gill at Nonprofits First: (561) 910-3891 or cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org.

Tags:  Membership  Nonprofit  Storytelling 

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Affiliate Spotlight: Sharp & Sweet

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, February 22, 2019

1.       What is your business name?

Sharp & Sweet. But we are actually two separate agencies. Cheryl Baldwin owns Sweet Boo Design and Laura Morse owns Sharp 11. Together we call ourselves Sharp & Sweet. But you might also say the name describes our personalities! Our project collaboration became so close over the years it made sense to package our work together. We recommend each other for almost every job we get into, so promoting ourselves as a team was just a natural step forward.

2.       What do you (or your business) specialize in?

Sharp & Sweet is all about nonprofit branding that elevates every aspect of your mission. To work with a brand is to take on an organization’s reason for existence. Your brand is so much more than a logo. Your brand is your cause, your culture, and your connection to donors. If it doesn’t hold meaning for the people experiencing it, your mission and everything you do is totally lost. Sharp & Sweet makes your brand SPEAK. And talk louder and above the rest, we might add. And we can do that in one hundred different ways.


3.       How did you get started in consulting?

Cheryl has been on her own for a long time now as a graphic designer, evolving into her own business when she took over a freelance magazine gig and then ran a business teaching children’s art classes. She did a corporate stint for a while but loved being an entrepreneur more. Cheryl also discovered a passion for furthering the work of the charitable sector, and most of her work now is with nonprofits.

Laura’s prior career was in nonprofit management, communications, and development for museums, underserved communities, and education. She brought her insider info and love for causes to create Sharp 11, a communications and strategy studio for nonprofits. Laura wants to help revolutionize the way causes share their message and engage their staff and the public.


4.       What are you really good at?

Sharp & Sweet is a cool combo. We start work with our clients by totally immersing ourselves in their story. We’re really good at listening so we can truly feel a part of the cause and understand its deepest needs. This knowledge lives in us and guides our entire strategy throughout the project. If we don’t think we can feel a connection to the cause, we won’t take on the work. It’s that personal to us.

 

5.            What is your firm really good at?

We’re really good at being bold and delivering something really special. We come out swinging. Our goal is to cut through clutter, noise, and tired old ideas to make your message totally stand out from the rest. This can be scary for clients, even if they think they want it. We know it takes time to change course or strike a new tone, but we know how to get you there. It’s a journey and it’s not for the faint. If you really want to change the world, you better step up and be big, even if you have two staff people and a budget under $250k. Donors don’t respond to weakness. They want solutions, change, and a meaningful cause to support.

 

6.            What do you do better than your rivals?

Sharp & Sweet is always cooking some secret sauce. There may only be two of us, but we bring the Total Package. We are full brand architects who understand fundraising.

We are amazing at bringing out simplicity, authenticity, and humanizing your message so you attract the people who will love and support your work. The rest of the crowd doesn’t matter. Our work is painstakingly careful in the message: no BS, never jargon-y, always human and relatable.

We are uber brain-stormers. There’s a real symbiotic flow to how we generate ideas and create. We absolutely push each other to be better with every piece we work on. We elevate each other’s work so we can be our very best for our clients.

And there’s a hell of a lot of seriousness and fun going on around here that our clients hop right into and enjoy.

5.       Who are some of your clients?

Wow, do we love us some awesome change-makers. We are overwhelmed by the good work these agencies do and are proud to be a small part of it: Community Partners, Dress for Success Palm Beaches, Alpert Jewish Family Service, Resource Depot, Center for Child Counseling, Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County, YMCA of South Palm Beach County, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Palm Beach County, HomeSafe, Palm Beach County Food Bank, and even Nonprofits First.


6.       What's the most unique aspect of what you do?

Our method employs mission-driven design and we pour the secret sauce all over it. We’re not going to tell you what that is here. You have to call us. We don’t know anyone else around in design and communications who also knows fundraising strategy and how to appeal to donors. That’s pretty crucial, right? We are also rule-breakers when necessary. We create ways for causes to find freedom to be what they were meant to be.


7.       Who inspires you?

Being Boss (Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson), RBG, Michelle&BarackForever, Brene Brown, Beyonce, Maya Angelou

8.       What cause or mission is close to your heart?

Indulge us with several, please: Suicide Prevention Awareness, Women’s Issues, Rescue Animals, Racial Equity, Education, Underserved Communities, Mental Health, World Peace, Arts & Humanities, the Environment

9.       What is your connection to the nonprofit community?

Beyond our work with clients, our current volunteerism belongs to Leadership Palm Beach County, the Mental Health Association, the Women’s Foundation of Florida, and St. George’s Center.


10.   How can organizations best reach you?

Offering coffee or food usually works best.

 

Check us out at Sharp11.org and SweetBooDesign.com

Email or call either of us to talk about what we can do for you.

Laura: 561.531.3511 and laura@sharp11.org

Cheryl: 561.578.7019 and cheryl@sweetboodesign.com

 

Thanks for taking the time to learn about us!

 

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Membership  Nonprofit  Storytelling 

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Member Spotlight: Digital Vibez

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January Spotlight: Digital Vibez

Making the world a better place - isn't that what nonprofits are all about? 

Digital Vibez certainly thinks so. Over the years, this nonprofit in Palm Beach County has literally made thousands of underserved children move toward a healthier lifestyle.

Along the way, the agency won our 2018 Hats Off Nonprofit Awards for “Nonprofit of the Year (Small category).” And they were one of the shining stars in our 101 For The 501 program in 2017.

And so, Digital Vibez is our January spotlight.

 

After a group of young people held him up at gunpoint and robbed him, Wilford Romelus set out on a new mission in life. With his skills in technology and his brother’s skills in dancing, Romelus decided it was time to put their experience to work and give young people a more meaningful, less destructive avenues to express their emotions. 

 

That is how Digital Vibez was born.   

 

“So many kids get into trouble because they can’t express their feelings,” Romelus said. “I knew one of the kids who robbed me and I knew if we can change the way he expresses himself, he can make better choices.”

 

Romelus, his brother, Wilbert, and other supporters began organizing a variety of activities and classes for children with the goal of maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. Their focus was to serve all of Palm Beach County, concentrating particularly in the zip codes marked as high-risk by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County.

 

The thinking was, by giving youth an opportunity to express themselves in a safe place, they would channel their emotions away from destructive behaviors.

 

It worked.

 

In the past eight years, Digital Vibez has partnered with after-school and community organizations to deliver engaging fitness, computer literacy, mentoring, and other programs to many thousands of children. Its messages are aligned with countywide health and wellness initiatives promoted through the Palm Beach County School District, the Florida Department of Health Palm Beach, and other affiliated organizations.

 

The group’s wellness workshops have expanded from 10 sites in 2015 to 20 sites in 2017. And the organization’s annual revenue increased from $50,000 in 2014 to close to $400,000 in 2017/18.

 

In addition to the Hats Off Nonprofit Awards, Digital Vibez has also received the Champion Award from Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County.

 

And one more thing: the number of steps children have taken collectively through the fitness and other programs has exceeded 2.6 million.

 

The success came largely from Romelus’ passion for connecting with children. Romelus, who is 32, was born in Haiti and grew up in rural Immokalee, Florida. He had always wanted to better his community.

 

Digital Vibez also took off because of support from funders and other donors. In addition, it helped that Romelus learned many strategies for running a nonprofit by completing Nonprofit First’s 101 For The 501 program, which is targeted for nonprofit start-ups.

 

“Many kids imitate what they see and we just need to give them better choices,” he said.

 

Learn more about Digital Vibez here.

 

And to truly understand their programs, check out one of their videos here.

 

If you want Nonprofits First to spotlight your nonprofit, please contact Charlotte Gill, our director of development and business strategies, here.

 

 

Tags:  Charities  Leadership  Membership  Nonprofit  Storytelling 

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Member Spotlight: 3 Things

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It’s a challenge many nonprofits face: how to inform the public about their missions?

 

There’s help available – finally!

 

Nonprofits First, along with our affiliate member All the Rage Marketing, has teamed up with WFLX FOX29 to educate the public about the services of nonprofits in Palm Beach County and beyond.

 

A new segment on WFLX FOX29 called 3 Things profiles individual nonprofits and their three

issues or services (hence the name 3 Things) that benefit the community. And get this: it’s FREE to members of Nonprofits First. So far, more than a dozen nonprofits have done these segments on WFLX FOX29 – and millions of TV viewers and social media users have learned about these agencies.

 

We asked Rafael Ibarra, marketing producer at WFLX FOX29, to explain the 3 Things segment in more detail.

 

It’s our November member spotlight….

 

Why did your station decide to do 3 Things?

 

Rafael Ibarra: 3 Things was started as a way to bring nonprofits closer to the community they serve and to each other. Many people in our area need help and don’t know where to turn. Interestingly enough, there are just as many people with extra time to volunteer or with things they aren’t using anymore that would mean the world to someone less fortunate. 3 Things shows both of these groups and places they can turn to that they might not have even known existed before. We have also heard of a few instances where nonprofits have reached out to each other after seeing them on 3 Things to offer help and services. It really is an amazing thing to witness.  After only 12 weeks on the air, 3 Things messages have already been shared with MILLIONS of viewers and social media followers.

 

 

What’s the goal of 3 Things? What do you hope the public will gain from watching the 3 Things segments?

 

Rafael Ibarra: The goal of 3 Things is to educate, inform and give a little fun fact that makes viewers say “Huh! I didn’t know that!” Each segment is carefully crafted, so if you don’t live near the organization and it doesn’t target you, you still walk away having learned a new word or fun fact about dogs, the human brain, or just about any other topic under the sun. If you get any sort of new information from 3 Things, then we’re doing our job.

 

 

 

Why do you think nonprofits need to be recognized for their work?

 

Rafael Ibarra: For the same reason doctors, police and firemen do. These people are out there working tirelessly to make our communities better places to live. They give to the needy, help new mothers, and even pull people back from the brink. They’re heroes, and all we hope to do is to shine some light on the hard work they do, and hope that someone out there decides to help anyway they can.

 

 

See all the 3 Things segments here.

 

Want to have your nonprofit featured in a 3 Things segment? Contact Charlotte Gill, Nonprofit First’s director of development & business strategies, at 561-910-3891 or at cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

Tags:  Collaborations  Marketing  Mem  Nonprofit  Public Relations  Social Media  Television  WFLX FOX29 

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Member Spotlight: Pathways to Prosperity

Posted By Sophia Raymond, Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Nonprofits First is showcasing the extraordinary work of nonprofits in Palm Beach County and beyond.

 

This month, we focus on Pathways to Prosperity (P2P), an anti-poverty community nonprofit in Boynton Beach (and member of Nonprofits First).

 

P2P is pushing the envelope in helping hundreds of low-income families overcome poverty and become economically well-off. They run many programs including the Poverty Simulation, which educates residents about the pains of living in poverty.

 

Read on to learn how the Poverty Simulation is making a big difference.

 

 

“I’m a drug dealer – watch out,” a woman told a crowd of people rushing through a fictitious town created in a large meeting room of Pathways to Prosperity (P2P).

 

Dozens of people dart away from her, but a few desperate residents seek her out to get jobs selling drugs. They need work to feed their families because they can’t find other kinds of employment and have mounting expenses to pay off.

 

It’s how the drug trade grows in this fictitious world -- as well as in the real world.

 

These were the real-world lessons of a recent Poverty Simulation exercise aimed at showing business and community members what it is truly like to live in poverty in Palm Beach County.

 

About 70 participants took part in the three-hour simulation in Boynton Beach in June. They heard stories and acted out examples of what it takes to earn a living wage in the county.

 

A family of four needs to earn about $61,000 a year to live in Palm Beach County – which is nearly impossible for families lacking higher education, reliable transportation, safe housing, and the ability to work. About 176,000 people in Palm Beach County live in poverty (close to 12% of the population), data shows.

 

“We hosted the Poverty Simulation so people can understand just how hard it is for many families to live in Palm Beach County,” said P2P CEO Kemberly Bush. “That’s why we have a drug dealer in our simulation because, in the real world, desperate people fall into the drug trade if they have no other options.”

 

P2P hosts the simulations in conjunction with Palm Beach County Community Action Program. The exercises are also connected to the National Circles Campaign, another program that P2P is a part of and focuses on educating individuals on how to climb out of poverty and become prosperous.

 

The Poverty Simulation is based on real-life scenarios from careful research.

 

During the exercise, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, including single parents, people with disabilities, and senior citizens on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide for food, shelter and other basic necessities during four, 15-minute "weeks.” 

 

Although the simulation uses "play" money, fictional scenarios and time limits, it’s not meant to be a game. Participants get to immerse themselves in their characters, view poverty from different angles, and then discuss the potential for change within local communities. More importantly, the exercise is designed to sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families and create a broader awareness among policymakers and community leaders.

 

P2P will host the next Poverty Simulation in October. It’s part of the organization’s mission to improve the social, mental, spiritual, economic and emotional well-being of children and families through education and social services.

 

The agency and its partners are hoping to cut the region’s poverty level by 10% within the next 10 years.

 

“We can do it – I know we can,” Kem said. “Our goal is to come up with policies, programs and most of all education, through initiatives such as the Poverty Simulation, so more and more people in the community understand what it’s like to be a low-income family trying to survive from month-to-month.”

 

Learn more about P2P here.

 

If interested in learning about the next Poverty Simulation, contact Kemberly Bush at: kbush@p2ppbc.org

Tags:  Financial Empowerment  Nonprofit  Pathways to Prosperity  Poverty 

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