April 27, 2022 Reinhold Foundation puts its support, spotlight on success of local nonprofits
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ORANGE PARK – Nonprofit groups lined up at the door of the Thrasher-Horne Center Conference Room Tuesday for a payday like no other.
The Paul E. and Klare N. Reinhold Foundation had 47 envelopes stuffed with checks during the annual Celebrate Clay program. The organization that has been, and continues to be, the beacon for everything good in Clay County. It not only supports charitable efforts throughout the county but also provides a necessary platform for nonprofits to put their services on display.
There were more than 140 applicants to receive awards and a panel of five judges spent hundreds of hours pouring through the finances and services of each. That group eventually was pared down to 47, but make no mistake: the rest will return to the community and continue their important missions.
That’s what makes Clay County a wonderful place to live and do business. We all are lucky to have the Reinhold Foundation and all 140 nonprofits to be our neighbors. If we open our eyes and our hearts, the goodness will mute all of the noise of discord.
The James Boys Ministry won the top prize of $15,000 as winners of the Community Service Award. They refurbish bicycles to be given away to needy children – most at the J.P. Hall Children’s Christmas Charities party at the fairgrounds. I was at last December’s giveaway and saw the faces of children getting their bikes and helmets. Many were still in their pajamas. And for some, it was the only significant gift from the holiday season.
The smiles were worth $15,000 to the 48 skilled volunteers who make up the ministry from Orange Park United Methodist Church.
The James Boys also build wheelchair ramps, make home repairs and work on new homes for Habitat for Humanity.
They epitomize what makes Clay County a great place.
Quigley House and Operation Barnabas each earned $7,000 from the Judges’ Choice Program Awards.
Quigley House provides advocacy and empowerment for women and children who’ve been abused. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary program for a scourge of physical and sexual violence. The house provides a safe shelter for women and their children and pets while they work to hopefully gain the life skills – and fortitude – the break the cycle of violence in their homes. Quigley provided a combined 12,000 nights of services to survivors.
The goal should be to put Quigley House out of business by ending abuse. But until that happens, they are another reason Clay County is a great place.
Operation Barnabas, which will host a massive festival at the Orange Park Mall on Saturday, is a faith-based program to prevent suicides and homelessness for veterans and first responders.
Founder Raylan Heck was overwhelmed after his organization was recognized by the Reinhold Foundation, especially since it was the first time Operation Barnabas applied for an award.
“Clay County is a great place to be,” Heck said. “It is a place of grace and healing.”
Volunteers are the biggest reason Clay County is special. According to the foundation, the county had more than 10,000 volunteers last year who collected $12 million in in-kind donations, $36.6 million in grants and contributions, $4 million in fundraising, $43 million in other income that provided $48 million in direct program delivery to our fellow neighbors.
All of those numbers represent a significant increase from the 2021 figures.
Foundation Executive Director Amy Parker personally thanked all of the organizations.
“That is very worthy of a standing ovation,” she said. “Thank you all so much for the compassion, the devotion that you provide Clay County.”
Thank you, Reinhold Foundation, and all of the nonprofits for making Clay County a great place.