A welcome holiday morale booster for Community Based Organizations (CBOs): employees at nearly 300 local organizations get unexpected end-of-year holiday gifts from a collaborative of foundations sharing $525,000

“Help the Helpers Initiative” provides financial support for Community Based Organizations employees’ well-being

Today, nearly three-hundred Miami-Dade nonprofits and other community organizations learn they have been chosen to receive a portion of $525,000 “Help the Helpers” grants intended to support the well-being of area employees. A collaborative of South Florida foundations and funders pooled together this half-million-dollar fund to enable CBOs to financially reward front-line employees for providing critical services during the pandemic. The Miami-Dade Initiative is modeled on a successful Help the Helpers 2021 pilot led by the United Way of Palm Beach County, which pooled $433,000 for mini-grants distributed to Palm Beach organizations. A similar effort is currently underway in Broward County.

Grants for the Miami-Dade initiative will be distributed to local organizations in the form of mini-grants proportional to the number of individuals on staff. Organization CEOs will be given discretion to determine the best use of the funds for employee gift cards, self-care trainings, mindfulness courses, or stress reduction approaches. The Miami Foundation is the fiscal agent for Help the Helpers. 

“The past two years have been extremely trying for community-based organizations. Their employees have become essential front-line workers, demonstrating profound selflessness and dedication throughout the pandemic. The emotional well-being of staff and volunteers who faced unprecedented levels of stress has been deeply impacted,” said Angelika Schlanger, Director of The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, which brought the concept to Miami-Dade after participating in the Palm Beach initiative. “Help the Helpers is the collective effort of local funders to honor our community heroes and extend gratitude for their unwavering commitment to supporting others. We hope these grants promote their self-care and let them know how deeply we appreciate them.”

Funding agencies include: Allegany Franciscan Ministries, The Children’s Trust, The Coral Gables Community Foundation, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida, The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation, The Miami Foundation, and United Way Miami.

Grants will range from $300 to $6,100 and will be received in full by January 2022. Thehope is that this grant will further ongoing stress reduction efforts at community organizations and encourage their creation if they don’t already exist.

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