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Families First Joins the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

Selena Smith, Director of Communications
Families First of Palm Beach County
; (561) 253-1451

Tina Snider, Director of Marketing and Communications
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
; (561) 340-4510



WEST PALM BEACH, FL (July 30, 2013) -- The need for help never stops. There will always be new parents who need guidance to handle the stress of caring for their children. There will always be the determined work to keep children out of foster care so families can stay together, and there will always be someone who needs support as their life takes an unexpected turn.

Knowing that help and support will always be needed in our community, Families First of Palm Beach County took a big step to ensure they will be around to help not only right now, but for generations to come.

Families First recently established an agency endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Just as community needs continue to present themselves, Families First is sustaining their future so they can address those needs and provide help to the people that need it most, forever.

“This is a giant step in solidifying our future in serving the community,” said Julie Swindler, LCSW, CEO of Families First of Palm Beach County. “We have grown tremendously over the last 23 years helping thousands of families, and I am thrilled to say we will be able to continue helping those who are in need.”

Agency endowments are established to provide a stable, predictable source of income for nonprofit organizations; demonstrating leadership’s planning for the future. When funds can be difficult to raise to support day to day operations, an endowment can be an important source of reliable income.

"We are so pleased to be joining the Community Foundation family,” said JoAnn Sears, Families First Foundation Board President. “They exemplify leadership, financial expertise, and community commitment - all qualities we value as we continue to grow the Foundation.”

The Community Foundation manages funds permanently endowed by donors for the benefit of a specific charitable cause. In the case of agency endowments, the cause is the organization itself. The Foundation’s strong investment oversight services allow nonprofit organizations to focus on their mission in perpetuity. This permanent pool of assets generates income and grows over time and, similar to a personal savings, it can provide a reliable source of additional income to support the activities of the nonprofit.

“Establishing an agency endowment demonstrates Families First’s commitment to support our community forever,” comments Danielle Cameron, CAP®, Vice President for Personal and Family Philanthropy at the Community Foundation. “The Community Foundation has supported Families First’s programs in the past and we are extremely pleased to partner with them in the future as they build their legacy.”

PHOTO CAPTION: (Left) Mrs. JoAnn Sears, Families First Foundation Board President, with Mrs. Duque (right) and her grandchildren. Families First of PBC helped the Duque family stay together and kept the children out of foster care. Mrs. Duque gain permanent custody of her grandchildren and moved into a new home with assistance provided by Families First of Palm Beach County.


About Families First of Palm Beach County
Families First is helping families learn how to become productive and successful members of their community. It has established a 23 year history of ensuring families develop resiliency to crisis situations, learning how to increase and maintain social connections, and enhance the knowledge and implementation of parenting and child development skills. Families First staff works with each of its 1,000 families in Palm Beach County, teaching them how to create a safe, secure and nurturing environment for their children. Families who seek to build a better quality of life for their children benefit from the agency’s five diverse programs that provide a way to reduce barriers impacting family stability. For more information, visit

About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
As one of Florida’s largest community foundations, the Community Foundation works for Palm Beach and Martin Counties in multiple ways, playing multiple roles. For donors, the Foundation offers an effective way to manage giving by providing expert philanthropic advice rooted in a deep knowledge of our community and an array of philanthropic vehicles and services. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader and awards grants to the region’s nonprofits to help meet community needs, fulfill donors’ philanthropic wishes and strengthen the nonprofit sector. Using local knowledge, networks, influence and creativity, the Foundation brings people together to improve the community’s quality of life now and in the future. Founded in 1972, the Foundation has total assets of more than $140 million and has awarded over $94 million in grants and scholarships in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

The Rodrigues Family - Season to Share 2012

Date: July 17, 2013 The Rodriguez Family was chosen as a 2012 Season to Share family through the Palm Beach Post. Susana became a widow when her husband and brother were killed in a car accident. Since then, this stay-at-home mother has been working in a sod field to support her family. At the time their story was submitted, the family was living in a one room trailer without hot water or air conditioning. Thanks to the generosity of the community, $72,000 was raised for the family.

First on the scene were partners and staff from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. The group replaced the steps accessing the trailer, brought toys for the children, gifts for Susana, and even a Christmas tree. On December 21st the family attended a lunch at the Kennel Club’s Paddock Restaurant, hosted by President, Pat Rooney, Jr.

In July of 2013, the Rodriguez Family moved into their new brick and mortar home. With donations made to the family, Families First of Palm Beach County was able to purchase, repair, and furnish a three bedroom, two bathroom home. Donations also allowed the agency to pay the first year’s taxes and two months of electric and water.

The family is adjusting to their new home with running hot water, central air conditioning, and a large back yard to play in. Thank you to the many that made this possible: Palm Beach Post readers, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, The Palm Beach Kennel Club, Tripp Electric Motors, Constantine and Antoinette Walker, Wayne Tullos, Allen Thomas, Getsy Castrillo, Hispanic Belle Glade Church, Badcock Furniture - KIent and Lynette Connell, MCM Paint and Flooring - Mike Martin, Extra Closet Storage, Dr. Jennifer Laskey, Nicole Tumoszwicz, and Literacy Coalition.

See more of their journey...

Palm Beach Post 11-25-12.

CBS 12 Story 7-17-13.

Palm Beach Post 7-21-13.

The Sun 7-25-13.

Their New Home - Video

Smash Bash 8/15/13

 Thank you to all who made our inaugural event a success. With your help we were able to raise $6,000 for local children and families. Congratulations to Tournament winners: 1st Place - Ganem Jean Jacques; 2nd Place - Eric Stuertz; 3rd Place - Michael Jameson; 1st Place Team - Palm Beach Table Tennis-Olympic Heights. Click on the image below to see pictures from the event.



Julie Swindler on CBS 12

Julie Swindler, LCSW, CEO of Families First of Palm Beach County was up at 3:30 a.m. preparing for her interview to talk about the agency and Families First Day powered by FPL. Watch the interview here.

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