Gloria’s Gab

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With a focus on helping non profits doing critical work to improve our community,  BrightView Landscapes created a new Social Justice Fund and awarded Branches its first grant.  For those unfamiliar with Branches, this non profit over the last 45 years has provided life-changing opportunities to help working families and their children break the cycle of generational poverty. With the challenges for so many during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Branches has increased its meal service and has provided more than 27,000 grab-and-go meals for children and families as of the end of July. . This amazing organization, within 24 hours of the schools closing, had its Branches’ Grow & Climb student services team began connecting with their children, youth and families via phone calls, text messages and Zoom meetings with a goal of preventing social isolation and providing educational and tutoring needs of the students as they adjusted to remote learning.   Brent McLaughlin, Executive Director of Branches, reports that around 60 percent of families in our community are struggling to make ends meet even before COVID 19 pandemic hit and is most grateful for BrightView’s Leadership Team for responding to this Pandemic in such a thoughtful, efficient and generous manner.  For more information on Branches, please contact Isabelle Pike at 305-206-5689 or ipike@branchesfl.org

Mask donations are an unexpected surprise for those on the receiving end and our local women’s clubs are stepping up to meet the need.  In April, the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove (WCCG) , led by the club’s Environment Committee Chair Billie Jean Baldwin, gathered a group of 11 sewers and enlisted the help of volunteers for delivery.  They have thus far donated more  than 1,800 reusable, washable cloth face masks for distribution to local nonprofit organizations and families.  For face mask requests, contact Baldwin at baldwinbj70@gmail.com.

Donations such as these are coming from General Federation of Women’s Clubs all over the county and state as volunteers find a need and race to fill that need. Speaking of which, you will also find GFWC FL members helping with food distributions, making calls and food deliveries to seniors in need, and even donating blood.  In fact, on August 22, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club is partnering with the Rotary Club of Coral Gables once again to collect critically needed blood during this pandemic in front of the clubhouse at 1001 East Ponce de Leon Blvd. To avoid waiting in line, the clubs are having donors call or email Theresa Gilmore. To reserve a time slot contact Theresa at  305-812-1844 or email theresagilmoreap@att.net. These blood donations will be held about every 8 weeks sponsored by the non profit Innovative Transfusion Medicine; so, we will keep you posted.  Donors will be given at no charge a mini physical, Covid 19 antibody test, a cholesterol test, snack and entry into Apply products giveaway.

Lots of great mixers and events are being held online.  The Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County, whose hashtag is #SHEOWNED,  has a networker every 3rd Thursday.  Next up is one on August 27, 6-7 p.m., that should be fun and a great way to meet other business leaders virtually.  BYOB and sign up at https://womenschamberofcommerce.wildapricot.org/event-3924524


Despite storms and the pandemic, there was some great news recently as our veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley on SpaceX returned safely on August 2nd.  Nice to have the missions back to USA after 9 years.  It never gets old seeing lift offs and landings televised live but amazed it was only on a few channels LIVE and so historic.

Speaking of hard to believe, the Florida Gators and FSU Seminoles will not be playing their annual state rivalry game. Bragging rights will have to wait for another year.

Finally, please continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and stay safe.  Our economy is counting on us to be responsible.

Until next time, keep making each day count.


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A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel , non profit consulting and management. Before joining Miami's Community Newspapers as a columnist and marketing specialist, Gloria was the Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee (6 yrs.) and first Executive Director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation (14 yrs.) and the Pinecrest Community Foundation (1 ½ yrs) . Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist for Community Newspapers writing Gloria’s Gab, that focuses on the non-profit activity, and a host of an online show, Gloria's Gab LIVE. Gloria serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables as Civic and Charity Chair, and is involved in the club's International Committee. She is an active Life Member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee and is Secretary of the Merrick Festival. She serves on the board of directors of the Coral Gables Woman' Club as Publicity Chair and also coordinates the club's monthly fundraiser for various charities with Gringo Bingo at Clutch Burger. In addition, Gloria participates in numerous other charitable events and is a member of the Business Forum Group, Profit Inc., the Greater Miami Festival & Events Association and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. In other volunteer activity, Gloria helps Miami Christian School with fund-raising and PR; is an Ambassador and volunteers for events for A Safe Haven for Newborns. She is an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where she enjoys singing in the choir every weekend.

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