Community, health, and empowerment is at the heart of everything we do here at Farm Stand, which is why partnering with service organizations and nonprofits is crucial to our business model. Advocates of living locally in the most holistic sense – sourcing ingredients, supporting small business, and investing in our community – we decided to choose a partner based in the greater Palm Beach area. After some research, we discovered the women’s shelter, Harmony House, run by the YWCA of Palm Beach County. Their mission and work immediately resonated with our team. We connected with the leaders at Harmony House and were humbled by their tireless dedication to service, creating safe spaces for women and children, and providing much needed services for victims of domestic abuse to heal, grow and thrive as they work towards a brighter future. Through these conversations, Farm Stand for Love Project was born. Our pledge is to always be heartfelt – and to empower women to stand up for and to love themselves.
In their own words, “YWCA of Palm Beach County is a 501 (c)(3) organization committed to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” They do this through spearheading education, awareness, and training campaigns and providing resources on eliminating racism. Additionally, they’re active political advocates for policy change, and they recognize and award individuals and organizations who demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity.
In addition to their educational programs and political activism, the YWCA of Palm Beach County offers comprehensive services that help local women and children flee unsafe domestic violence situations. These around-the-clock services include re-housing, child development and empowerment programs, and women’s health. Their 72-bed domestic violence shelter, Harmony House, serves approximately 700 women and children each year!
The success stories from the women who have been served by Harmony House and all of YWCA’s programs will move you beyond words. This recent testimonial is an inspiration to all who read it, so we wanted to share it with our Farm Stand family:
“I want to start by saying thank you so much for all that you do for families in the community and for young moms like myself. The program has been a big help for my children and me, the love and support that the staff give is amazing. I’m very thankful for all the many blessings and the motivation I received. YWCA is like a second family to me and has been for the past six years. I just want you guys to know how thankful I truly am. I had no hope when I moved back to Florida. My children and I were moving from pillow to post, I had no job or anything. Then doors began to open, I got blessed with a job that pays well, and YWCA of Palm Beach County helped me with a grant to move into my own place. That was the biggest Christmas gift I could have given my kids – a home to call their own. May the Lord continue to bless the organization to feed the community with knowledge, support, and love for the many years to come.” – Brittany McClean, December 2020. (Name has been changed to protect the client’s identity.)
In order to support the good work that Harmony House does for women like Brittany every single day (and night!), Farm Stand donates a care package to the shelter for each transaction made at farm-stand.com as well as at our physical, seasonal boutique located at the Winter Equestrian Festival here in Wellington.
Our first donation drop off in December 2020 included 55 of our heart-shaped, handmade, natural soaps packaged in sisal soap saver bags with heart charms, engraved with the words, “For Love” – providing a soap for each of the women and children that were being served by the shelter on that date. Our hope is that by sharing our heart with them, each individual who enters the doors of Harmony House feels immensely loved.
As we continue to explore ways to broaden our own partnership with Harmony House and YWCA, you, too, can get involved further with the work they're doing. You can either donate, become an annual member, or volunteer if you’re local! Not based in Florida? Find your YWCA here.
Although monetary donations are certainly impactful, Harmony House always welcomes donations of personal care products, linens, clothing, and non-perishable food, too. Click here to view the full list of supplies they need to keep the shelter running daily.
When you donate these items, you remove the extra stress of obtaining and paying for the necessities from the women and children at Harmony House. Many of these individuals arrive with nothing. They’re processing so much trauma when they arrive, this small act makes an immeasurable impact. A donation of basic items such as soap, a toothbrush, or even a comb means one less thing they have to worry about – and that’s a huge relief. Your donations, big or small, can go so far.
We’re also excited to share that YWCA has been selected as a finalist for the 12th annual Great Charity Challenge (GCC) presented by Fidelity Investments® – a show jumping, philanthropic event at the Winter Equestrian Festival that distributes more than $1 million each year to participating, local charities. The 2021 GCC competition will be held on Saturday, February 6th at 7:00 PM.
“Through the support of the equestrian industry and the local community, the event has acted as a catalyst for charitable giving over the last 11 years, distributing $14.8 million to 256 local non-profit organizations,” Anne Caroline explains. This year, 19 charities (including YWCA!) were chosen to participate from over 300 applicants. We’re so excited that our favorite annual event and our charitable partner have united, and we can’t wait to witness and support the amazing work YWCA is able to accomplish with the additional funds from the GCC!