BEAM distributes Thanksgiving meal kits to families in need
The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, commonly referred to as BEAM, distributed 1,130 Thanksgiving meal kits to low-income families, exceeding its goal to assist 1,000 families this year through the Thanksgiving Basket Program.
With many local residents still struggling from the economic effects of COVID-19 disruptions, BEAM set a community goal to assist double the number of basket recipients in 2019.
The kits were distributed with both delivery and “drive thru” style, in partnership with St. Paul’s Catholic Church at Father Murphy Hall in Jacksonville Beach.
The nonprofit encouraged the community to get involved by dropping off Thanksgiving meal kits with nonperishable food items and a grocery store gift card or sponsor a basket via its website. The community brought hundreds of pre-assembled baskets to Father Murphy Hall and raised about $27,000. Monetary donations helped BEAM purchase Thanksgiving food items in bulk and will assist the organization in keeping the food pantry shelves stocked through the holidays.
“For a family living paycheck to paycheck, the holidays can be particularly stressful. As many are still struggling financially due to COVID-19, we are grateful that the community stepped up to help us meet the increased demand,” said Patsy Garcia, BEAM’s director of social services. “No one was turned away and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped make that possible.”
Here’s more good news:
• LifeSouth blood bank teamed up with Harrell & Harrell to host a Giving Tuesday blood drive at the law firm’s headquarters in Mandarin. Thanks to the generosity of the blood donors who participated, LifeSouth estimates local hospitals will be able to save up to 48 lives in the community.
LifeSouth encourages businesses to consider hosting blood drives as a safe and socially distanced way to engage employees, give back to the community and support philanthropic efforts during this season of giving. For more information contact Karen Patterson at email@example.com.
• L’Arche Jacksonville, which runs group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has received a $7,000 award from auto insurer Geico. The money will provide support for the Rainbow Workshop, an arts day program where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together.
Many of the residents at L’Arche Jacksonville attend the day program, along with six others who are non-residential. Participants choose between painting, clay and ceramics, mosaics and jewelry-making, each of which has its own room in the workshop.
Because of COVID-19 precautions, L’Arche stopped selling artwork by workshop artists that was on display to the public during the week and canceled its annual Holiday Extravaganza. Both generated money for the Rainbow Workshop.
L’Arche Jacksonville was founded as Harbor House and is now one of 150 L’Arche communities worldwide.
• TheTom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation and radio station 1010XL raised a total of $155,360.10 during this year’s radiothon. The station has hosted the event for the past 13 years, helping to raise a total of $1,101,339.96.
The Jay Fund Foundation was created 25 years ago to help families and children battling cancer. Coughlin, who was relieved this year of his most recent position from the Jaguars as vice president of football operations, was the team’s first head coach from 1995 to 2002 before moving on to the Giants from 2004 to 2016.
• Junior Achievement of North Florida has received a $10,000 grant from the Arby’s Foundation as part of its national in-restaurant fundraiser, the Make a Difference Campaign. The local Arby’s team presented JA of North Florida with a check last week at the Butler Boulevard/Philips Highway restaurant.
“We are grateful to Arby’s and the community for helping to fund our programming,” said Steve St. Amand, president of JA of North Florida. “Arby’s is truly a great community partner. This donation will go directly to bringing financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness lessons to students around the First Coast.”
The $10,000 received will help to fund programming for hundreds of students from kindergarten to grade 12. JA programs are currently being taught virtually by virtual volunteers.
• Members of Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate-led volunteer force, surprised nurses at Baptist Emergency Center North on Nov. 25 with the delivery of donated Thanksgiving meals as a way of thanking them for their dedicated service.
The delivery was part of The Home Depot Foundation’s annual season of giving campaign, Operation Surprise. From Veterans Day through Dec. 31, Team Depot members take part in volunteer efforts to make a positive difference in local communities across the country.
This is the 10th year for Operation Surprise.
Have good news? You can mail to The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.