In an effort to support organizations working to improve their communities, BrightView Landscapes has created a new Social Justice Fund and awarded Branches a grant for its efforts, including those focused on providing hot meals for the Florida City community.
Branches, which provides life-changing opportunities to help working families and their children break the cycle of generational poverty, is the first nonprofit organization in the country to receive funding from the BrightView Fund for Social Justice.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Miami community, Branches has been working tirelessly to serve children and families. Branches ramped up its meal service and to date has provided over 27,000 grab-and-go meals for children and families. Within 24 hours of the schools closing, Branches’ Grow & Climb student services team began connecting with their children, youth and families via phone calls, text messages and Zoom meetings.
The goal is to prevent social isolation as well as to meet the educational and tutoring needs of the students as they adjusted to remote learning. The Achieve team is providing financial wellness services through Zoom meetings and phone calls, providing financial coaching, small business and emergency assistance. The Achieve staff has to date provided over 4,000 virtual meetings with participants, and has provided business coaching sessions to 905 small businesses, completing dozens of loan applications. With VITA free tax prep sites closed, Branches launched a “Walk-Up” Window tax prep service and was one of the few VITA sites to reopen in the State of Florida.
“Almost 60 percent of families in our community are struggling to make ends meet, and now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even more individuals will find themselves in desperate situations.” said Brent McLaughlin, executive director of Branches. “In partnership with funders like BrightView, Branches is able to keep serving our community when they need us the most, in particular providing hot grab-and-go meals to our children and families at Branches Florida City, one of the most underserved areas in our community.
“Thank you to BrightView’s Leadership Team for responding to this Pandemic in such a thoughtful, efficient and generous manner; we are incredibly grateful for your support,” he added.
For more information on Branches, contact Isabelle Pike at 305-206-5689 or firstname.lastname@example.org.