Each day of the year, we are thankful for nonprofits and individuals who are committed to creating positive change in our communities -- from helping those who are homeless and isolated to guiding at-risk youth toward successful futures. While this newsletter only includes a few of their stories, we are happy to say there are many, many more who inspire us to continue my husband's legacy and be a part of all of the good that's happening.
This holiday season and in the New Year, may we all continue to find joy in offering kindness, compassion and hope to our neighbors in need.
Our warmest wishes to you and your families,
Chairman and President
The Jim Moran Foundation
Frances Esposito honored with The Jim Moran Foundation Award
Jan Moran presents The Jim Moran Foundation Award to Frances Esposito.
For her decades of unwavering commitment and service to empowering the homeless, Frances Esposito
has been named the 2014 recipient of The Jim Moran Foundation Award.
With this honor, Frances received a $50,000 unrestricted grant to Broward Partnership -- the nonprofit of her choice -- and a bronze award created by South Florida artist and sculptor George Gadson of an open book with a child climbing a ladder supported by an outstretched hand.
"Frances has been and continues to be an incredible advocate for those who are hungry, hurting and lacking permanent, safe housing," said Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation. "She treats each person with respect and leads with a compassionate heart -- and I know my husband, Jim, would be proud that his Foundation is honoring her with this special award."
Read the full story here.
Leadership program guides teens on path for success
After exploring the Johnson History Museum at the 1916 courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach, some students expressed an interest in law.
For teens in low-income areas of Palm Beach County, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries
provides leadership development and employment readiness through its Good Leaders program. Last year, more than 90 students participated in activities that included individual or small group mentoring, life skills training, service learning projects, and college and business tours.
One student, Shaina, was new to the area. Because she was shy and having trouble connecting with others, her grades were declining. By joining Good Leaders, Shaina began interacting more and making friends. One day she mentioned her hope of becoming a chef. The Good Leaders coordinator arranged a visit to a local culinary school. With new expectations for her future and gaining confidence each day, Shaina proudly shares her grades -- now all As and Bs -- with her mother and Goodwill's program staff.
As a group, the students completed numerous service learning projects such as cleaning up the beach -- where some had never been; distributing lunches to homeless individuals; assisting seniors with arts and crafts projects; and much more.
Learn about Gulfstream Goodwill's many programs and services.
Putting their skills to work: seniors log thousands of volunteer hours
When Lottie (left) received the organization's 2013 Mighty Missionary award, Founder and CEO Joanne Hickox presented her with a gift basket and plaque.
Lottie, an 85-year-old who enjoyed working for more than 50 years, now volunteers with Seniors on a Mission -- a Jacksonville-area nonprofit providing independent-living seniors with service opportunities. She happily shares her story:
"When I retired, I had nowhere to turn. My husband's health was declining and he was admitted to a nursing home. Knowing my situation, a friend invited me on a Mission Trip. That was four years ago. Since then, I have been on 97 day-long Mission Trips, giving back over $11,208 in service to the Jacksonville community I so dearly love.
If not for Seniors on a Mission, I don't know where I would be today. Everyone is so loving, caring, and accepting. Seniors on a Mission gave me renewed purpose. I get to work on different projects and do things I've never done before. I have fun with people my own age that I may never have met.
Seniors on a Mission has basically saved my life... Thank you to The Jim Moran Foundation for helping make this possible for me. There are hundreds more like me with similar stories."
Since 2005, Seniors on a Mission has engaged 725 Senior Saints and donated nearly 80,000 community service hours.
Connect with Seniors on a Mission through its website.