West Palm Beach, Fla. – A recent letter to the editor in The Palm Beach Post inspired a local resident to anonymously donate his car to Palm Health Foundation’s new Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund. In the letter published on April 14, 2020, foundation president and CEO Patrick McNamara spoke of his organization’s focus on long term investment in health equity to strengthen the communities that will be hardest hit by COVID-19 and its economic aftermath. The recipient of the donor’s pristine 2012 Lexus, Cassandra Tomlin, is a resident who lives within the foundation’s Healthier Boynton Beach community. The emotional presentation of the car to Tomlin and her family was made on April 29, 2020.
Tomlin, a mother of four adult children and seven grandchildren, was identified by Healthier Boynton Beach and CIRCLES® of Palm Beach County
as someone who had the potential to make great strides with the aid of a vehicle. While dedicated to taking care of her grandson who is blind, and supporting her daughter who works full time and attends nursing school, Tomlin strives to gain meaningful employment to improve her own financial position and pursue an education in working with children with disabilities. She has used public transportation and borrowed cars, but with all her responsibilities, a car is the answer to reaching the life goals she has set with the help of CIRCLES, a program that helps individuals and families break out of poverty and become upwardly mobile through education, mentoring and personal resolve to succeed.
Representatives from Palm Health Foundation, Healthier Boynton Beach and CIRCLES presented the car to Tomlin and her family, complete with a full tank of gas and all fees for the title transfer, tag and insurance down payment paid by the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund. As she stood next to her new car, Tomlin shared, “Tomorrow is never promised, but I’m optimistic now that I will continue striving for betterment for me and my family. I’m extremely excited and grateful for my donor’s gift.”
The new Palm Health Foundation Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund was inspired by the outpouring of need from Palm Beach County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Established to help residents who are struggling to pay their rent, access food, receive medical treatment and other urgent needs, the foundation has committed up to $200,000 to provide a dollar-for-dollar match for every contribution made to the new fund. Grassroots nonprofits in the foundation’s six Healthier Together communities will distribute the funds to aid in efforts to help residents recover, rebuild and plan for the future.
In addition to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund commitment, Palm Health Foundation recently announced a $10,000 grant at the recommendation of Sissy and Byron Thomas from The Alice Busch Gronewaldt Fund, a donor advised fund, to the United Way of Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It is the second contribution from Palm Health Foundation to the response fund, the first being a grant of $50,000 provided by Alice and Chris Holbrook, advisors to The Alice Busch Gronewaldt Foundation Fund.
“Thanks to our donors, community partners and Healthier Together networks, we have the ability to provide residents with the resources they need to better their lives now and for the future,” said McNamara. “We are grateful to be the conduit for neighbors wanting to help their fellow neighbors.”
About Palm Health Foundation
Palm Health Foundation is Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health. With the support of donors and a focus on results, the foundation builds strong community partnerships, respects diverse opinions, advocates for its most vulnerable neighbors and inspires innovative solutions to lead change for better health now and for generations to come. The foundation supports health equity for Palm Beach County residents of all backgrounds, heritage, education, incomes and states of well-being. Palm Health Foundation has invested more than $83 million in Palm Beach County health since 2001. For more information about Palm Health Foundation, visit palmhealthfoundation.org or call (561) 833-6333.