For her genuine compassion and tireless commitment to empowering children and families in Broward County, Josie Bacallao was recently named the 2009 recipient of The Jim Moran Foundation Award.
With the award a bronze sculpture created by South Florida artist George Gadson of an open book with a child climbing a ladder supported by an outstretched hand came a $25,000 unrestricted grant to the charity of her choice. Bacallao designated the funds to Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF), where she has served as president and CEO for six years. The presentation was attended by family, friends and board members from HUF and The Jim Moran Foundation (The Foundation).
"Josie leads by example — with dedication, hard work and heart," said Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation. "Under her leadership, Hispanic Unity continues to provide meaningful support services to new families adjusting to our country, giving them the guidance and support they need to become successful and engaged members of our community."
This annual award was established in 2003 by The Foundation's founder, Jim Moran, in order to recognize those who have an established history of giving back to their community through active service and personal commitment.
"I am truly overwhelmed by this honor and deeply grateful to The Jim Moran Foundation," said Bacallao. "With this generous grant, Hispanic Unity can continue to empower and help newcomers to our country become self-sufficient by strengthening them, we make a better community for everyone."
Every year, HUF provides more than 25,000 individuals with comprehensive resources to provide new Americans with the support they need to effectively transition into our country and become self-sufficient. Their clients are from 25 different countries—60 percent are Hispanic and 40 percent are non-Hispanic, including African-American, Caribbean and Caucasian. Programs include job training and development, language education, acculturation programs, legal assistance, child and youth development, senior care, as well as health outreach and referrals. Serving Browards diverse community, certain programs are provided in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole and Portuguese.
Bacallao is involved in many other local nonprofits and encourages community involvement from her staff as well. She is a board member of WorkForce One; serves on the Steering Committee for the Coordinating Council of Broward; and is an active member of the Council of Nonprofit Executives of Broward. Her previous community involvement includes serving on the board of directors of the Broward Public Library Foundation and Holy Cross Hospital.
The Jim Moran Foundation Award honors individuals who have an established history of giving back to their community through active service and personal commitment. The honoree(s) must exemplify the characteristics of the mission of The Foundation, reflect proven accomplishments that address real community needs and/or concerns and exhibit a spirit that inspires and encourages others to embrace civic and charitable responsibility in meeting the needs of their community.