We Are Welcoming Community Partners Virtually and Expanding Our Role as a Facilitator and Connector in the Community in the COVID-19 Era
Most people in the Miami community know of JLM through our work with survivors of domestic violence, the homeless, and women and children at risk. Our flagship projects, Inn Transition North and South, are long-term transitional housing shelters for families run via public-private partnerships with Miami-Dade County. JLM is also known due to our work with children with learning disabilities through Therapy Dogs, and our signature Done In a Day programs. Both of these programs have been influential in the community.
What is less known is that JLM awards scholarships to high school senior women who have shown an interest in volunteering, and partners with nonprofits to provide them with funding and volunteers for up to three years.
Making Lemons out of Lemonade
In our role as a grantor of funds, JLM holds a yearly event with potential community partners. In previous years, JLM has focused on awarding one or two partnerships for up to $10k of funding and regular volunteer hours, and has arranged one-day events with 501 (c)(3) nonprofits.
Though the event typically focuses on partnering with JLM, we knew that community needs have shifted so dramatically due to COVID-19. JLM quickly pivoted to expand our typical work and broaden our reach to focus on building stronger community ties with other nonprofits in Miami-Dade. JLM’s all-volunteer force realized that during busy days focused on grant writing and operational programming, many nonprofit staff might not set aside time to debrief with other local nonprofits and share success stories. We used the planned event to allow nonprofits to communicate freely and find synchronicities in their work, and maximize their impact.
JLM Acts As A Community Connector
“Connectivity is unity of understanding of joint effort towards a common cause for the good of all.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
Our event gave other nonprofits an opportunity to commiserate and connect in ways they had previously not been able to do. We were thrilled to see representatives attend on behalf of newer and smaller nonprofits, and JLM was glad to step in as connector on important issues in our community. We connected seemingly disparate organizational needs by giving the nonprofits a place to voice their needs.
Additionally, because of JLM’s own robust membership, we had several opportunities for follow up. Our members work with other 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and sit on other nonprofit boards, which has created the opportunity to network and make those groups aware of each other as well.
A Way Forward, Together
Building off of our resilient community and the wonderful response to the event, JLM is looking forward to hosting another event this May. We are always seeking increased connectivity in our community, and want to make sure that all community partners and organizations are included in the next event. Please reach out to ProgramDevelopment@jlmiami.org to be included on invitations to future collaborative events and kept updated on JLM’s phenomenal community work.