Usually, Ibis Charities Foundation holds its annual charity breakfast this time of year, distributes the money to local nonprofits and starts raising money for next year.
But courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s nothing normal or usual about this year.
So even though Ibis Charities Foundation had raised over $320,000 this year, ICF President Sharon Bross knew Palm Beach County needed more help.
When Ms. Bross learned parents would have to remain outside the oncology unit at St. Mary’s Medical Center for 48 hours if they left for food, Ibis Charities Foundation sent a $5,000 check to the Pediatric Oncology Support Team (POST) to provide meals for families and a chance for them to stay with their critically ill children.
When Sweet Dreams, a Palm Beach County-based nonprofit that provides beds for children who share a bed with siblings — or sleep on the floor — needed financial help, another $5,000 check was written.
With most of the county’s food banks running low because people have lost jobs or making a lot less money, it was time to make more phone calls.
You can never give enough to charities during a pandemic.
“There are so many people in our community who lack the basic essentials such as food, housing and medical needs,” Ms. Bross said in a statement. “They need help now. The challenges many people are facing because of the pandemic is extraordinary. The Club at Ibis has proven to be a community with a heart because the donations keep coming in.”
Dr. Barbara Abernathy, POST’s CEO/ president, said in the statement that the donations from Ibis Charities Foundation not only feed parents, but the children undergoing cancer treatments.
“Oh, my God, it’s so incredible,” she said. “When we bring the meals to the hospitals, the kids will press their noses against the glass so they can see what we’re bringing today. Is it lasagna? Is it subs? Is it pizza?
“This is a way to lift their spirits and wrap a virtual hug around them. They are so excited to see people thinking about them. They don’t feel so alone.”
Ms. Bross said her fellow residents at The Club at Ibis will continue their fundraising and will distribute money to area nonprofits such as The Lord’s Place, Palm Beach Harvest, Feeding South Florida and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies.
“I can’t think of one food bank in the county that isn’t being stressed with their resources,” Ms. Bross said. “You cannot have people going hungry at any time, much less during a pandemic.”
Ibis Charities Foundation was selected as the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation of the Year in 2018 by the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Association of Professional Fundraisers.
ICF has donated more than $1 million in the last four years. ¦