AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) As a recipient of Healthier Jupiter’s first mini grant, we are happy to share our story of success. Within our “Charter Neighborhoods” there was, and is, a need for an opportunity for the youth to come together and play; Soccer was the preferred sport. I applied to AYSO to open a region in Jupiter. When the request was approved, we began playing soccer at the Jupiter Elementary School field on weekends. In the second year of play, HJ awarded AYSO Region 1639 a mini grant of $2500 for continuation of our soccer program with an emphasis on improving health among the mothers of the players. For 10 weeks we used the track at the school as a Walk/Run contest, the mothers improved their health and won Publix gift cards and had a great time! As our season came to a close, the families were treated to an evening of fun, food, and education at the Jupiter High School cafeteria. The JHS chefs prepared a typical Mayan dinner, with a healthy twist. Kathleen Waddell arranged for a Spanish-speaking educational speaker who gave us tips on improving our nutrition and provided a better understanding of the detriments of poor nutrition on the lives of our families. Our local marimba band played music while we all danced. HJ’s interest in us helped solidify our program in its second year. This soccer program, by the grace of God, continues to provide exercise opportunities to low income, high risk youth. Thank you for your part in this. As the years go on, some of our players have been invited to participate in the JTAA and Jupiter United programs where they make significant contributions to the success of Jupiter teams. Go Healthier Jupiter!
The Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grant served as a catalyst for our organization to bring the benefits of boxing – exercise, discipline, and fun – to young students throughout the Jupiter area. The boxing program brought together students from all walks of life. The best part was seeing students laugh and learn lessons that they will be able to take with them for the rest of their lives. I believe I speak for other volunteers and coaches when I say it is incredibly rewarding to see a student experience a light bulb moment when they see how they can apply lessons learned through sports and apply those lessons to their daily lives.
Vida Smith sharing her story of survival and struggle from domestic violence and being a homeless mother to a successful PhD candidate truly inspired me — as I listened to her story as part of Family Promise SPBC’s Sharing Survival Stories Saturday. My role at Family Promise is to interview the storyteller and prep them for going live or being recorded. Over the course of two days/six hours, I was enthralled with Vida’s story of leaving her homeland of Ghana and moving to the United States after getting married to a seemingly nice American man. Once here, she suffered terrible mental and physical abuse from a very controlling husband, who wanted to dominate her in every way – to the point, she was held hostage in her own house. When she had her daughters, the abuse worsened for her until one day with the help of an angel (her neighbor), she escaped with her children. Through local social services, Vida and her daughters were able to find housing and much needed help and guidance. Vida said that it is through her faith in God that she overcame this terrible situation. She decided to draw upon her inner strength to become the person and mother she wanted to be. She chose to be a role model to her daughters and not a victim. Today, she is working full-time AND earning her PhD in Leadership. How this story impacted me. Listening to her story, I thought how many other women, moms and children are out there – that go unnoticed as abused or trafficked. As a result, of her story (I’m getting emotional as I write), I have found a church that helps with abuse and human trafficking and aim to be an integral part of this mission.
My process is going better now that we have launched the art call. Since February, we have had over 12 organizations sign up to be involved, and over 25 artists have submitted to the art call.
The mini grant allowed me to get my “back of store” in order, which includes signing up for and using a new streamlined sales funnel/project creator (HoneyBook), which has made the proposal, contact, and payment progress 1000x smoother. This also makes my business, SPARC Guidance, more professional and helped me establish contracts for trainings/coaching sessions with Early Head Start via the Early Learning Coalition. I am also now able to offer family coaching sessions and I hope to expand SPARC to the School District next.
Family Caregiver One (FC1): “Amazing, thank you so much”. This is one of the initial response Each Starfish Matters (ESM), received from FC1 after she received a care package. As we listened, we heard that FC1 is caring for her mother. Her mother is 84 years old and is experiencing the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. FC1 does not have any siblings and she has a fulltime job. Luckily for FC1 her work schedule is flexible. However, the demands of her job required that some of her meetings were late evening. She told us that her lifestyle now resolves around her mother’s daily needs. FC1 indicated to us that her work schedule was now being driven by her mother’s needs. As we continued to support FC1 we learned that she is now having all meetings by early afternoon and in some cases she has asked her contacts to allow her to meet with them on the weekends. FC1 is trying to maintain own her lifestyle and her job while coping with the new demands of family caregiving. As we closed out the grant, FC1 thanked us for her last care package and told us that other family members had taken the “cute” face masks which were included in the package. (Each Starfish Matters)
In my mini grant experience it has beyond awesome! My first experience was involving the youth! I was to teach the kids about photography! We went out into the Glades and we share and compare personal feelings to the photos that were taken! We discussed how a picture has so many different meanings it was all about how you were able to look at it. I was able to give them a real hands on experience before COVID! My current mini grant has to do with getting back to basics! We are actually in process of building a garden retreat! Between planting and growing and teaching the youth in the same manner it helps them to appreciate the skills and value of bringing something to life and watching it grow! Also in the garden we have a buddy bench, to where your able to go and sit when it’s been a long day and you just need someone to talk to! Its so much more but I will rather wait until we reveal it!
The event that we hosted went well. We had great feedback on the topic about educated the community on sexual crime against children.
Glowrious Bath & Body is healing our community one bath at a time. Using A Natural Approach To Wellness, Glowrious Bath & Body provides individuals with an opportunity to use quality natural ingredients for skin care and self-care. The vision is to not only be a product based business, but additionally an informational and education platform in helping others find natural and therapeutic remedies to meet their needs. With that said, COVID was a game changer. I was and still am presented with the question of How am I going to have meaning exchanges with my consumers? And with this question in tow decided that a more interactive e-commerce platform is needed to share and exchange information and insight. The mini grant has allowed me to highlight others strengths by calling upon them to help with this fulfillment.
Hello, my name is Danielle Morris and I am the founder of Glowrious Bath & Body which is an all natural company specializing in whipped butters, hand-crafted soaps, scrubs, salves and other bath and body essentials. And ultimately, we would love for everyone to have a natural approach to wellness and in our case, one bath at a time. And so my experience with Healthier Neighbors’ mini grant has been phenomenal on a couple of levels. One, I am very grateful for the trainings that were provided, some of the insight, some of the education, because, as a small business owner, that helped me to refine my decision as to how things were going to be allocated. And with that, with my funds through the mini grant, helped me to, again, reallocate my finances, but also to reallocate my focus on how I can better serve my community with the funds that I’ve received. And so, again, this has just been a downright pleasant experience. It has been beneficial for me, again, as a small business owner because sometimes you don’t know what direction to take, so with that, I believe that it’s just been great in a sense of fostering community, providing education, providing insight, and then also giving us the means to do so. So, again, I’m very grateful for the mini grant experience. I think it has been relatively smooth. And with that, thank you, thank you, thank you.