Milagro Center Receives Challenge Grant from Hands On Tzedakah

Contact: Barbara J. Stark, Executive Director

Milagro Center Receives Challenge Grant From Hands On Tzedakah, Inc.
For Milagro’s Teen Program Serving Local Disadvantaged At-Risk Youth 

Delray Beach, FL – Nonprofit arts and education program based Milagro Center is the recent recipient of a $12,000 challenge grant from Hands On Tzedakah, Inc. to be used towards the purchase of a new passenger van for Milagro’s Teen Program. On July 1, Hands On Tzedakah (HOT) Co-founder and CEO Ron Gallatin issued a challenge to Milagro to raise $12,000 (half the cost of the vehicle) by August 1, 2014, and if successful, HOT would grant the matching $12,000. In response, Milagro Center launched its “VAN-tastic Challenge.” With the help of many supporters, including the Wells Fargo Foundation, Florida Community Bank, GL Homes, PermaPlate, Kurt and Mary Ann Knaus, and Todd and Gina Skelton, Milagro successfully raised the funds needed to meet the challenge in just 9 days.

The new van will benefit Milagro Center’s Teen Leadership Program which serves middle and high school youth ages 12-18 years old in an afterschool and summer camp setting. Currently, over 50 teens attend the Teen Program which provides cultural arts exposure and instruction, academic tutoring, Living Values Education, financial literacy, recreational activities, life lessons and leadership skills. With the success of the “VAN-tastic Challenge,” the new passenger van will allow the Teen Program further growth by providing transportation from neighboring schools to the center. Additionally, the van will enable Milagro Center to add additional off-site field trips to its enrichment program.

Since 2013, Hands On Tzedakah has been an advocate of Milagro Center, raising and granting greater than $42,000 in support of Milagro’s math and literacy instruction, summer camp program, and center improvements such as an Automated External Defibrillator, outdoor drinking fountain, and security system. “We are extremely grateful that Hands on Tzedakah has provided Milagro Center with such important and ongoing support,” said Milagro Center Executive Director Barbara Stark. “It is gratifying that such a wonderful and respected organization that reaches donors worldwide acknowledges the tremendous impact Milagro Center’s programs have on the academic and social growth of the children and youth who attend our center right here in Delray Beach.”

About Milagro Center 

Milagro Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is an arts and education program that nurtures the seeds of creativity, builds an indestructible sense of self worth, and inspires youth to reach their fullest potential. Milagro, which means “miracle” in Spanish, serves disadvantaged, undervalued children, teens, and families throughout South Florida. The Center’s four goals are to ensure academic success, promote the arts, teach inclusion while embracing diversity, and create strong individuals who positively impact their communities. Please visit the website at, become a Facebook fan of “The Milagro Center” Cause page, and follow Milagro Center on Twitter @MilagroCenter.

About Hands On Tzedakah, Inc. 

Hands On Tzedakah’s mission is to reach out to individuals in need by supporting programs that fall below the radar screen of traditional funding. Hands On Tzedakah collaborates with people who dedicate themselves to helping others. We are partners (1) in programs where our funding serves to make a profound difference in people’s lives; and (2) with our donors by enabling them to see, touch, and feel the effect of their dollars at work. Please visit the website


Critical Help for Seniors Below the Poverty Level

The following press release was issued on February 9, 2012.  Read about an incredible program HOT has created to dramatically impact the lives of impoverished seniors.  You can also hear the voice of one person who called to share how much the help has meant to her.

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South Palm Beach County images of lushly landscaped gated communities may make it difficult to believe that among us are seniors trying to live on incomes far below the poverty level. But, thanks to a local charity, things got just a little easier for 131 such Delray Beach and Boca Raton seniors, who have been clients of Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS).

Thanks to the generosity of Hands On Tzedakah (HOT), these seniors, whose incomes are 50% to 75% below the Federal Poverty Level, are now receiving monthly merchandise cards to cover non-food essentials such as prescription co-pays and personal care items. HOT is a Boca Raton-based charity that provides basic safety net assistance to those whose needs would otherwise go unmet. The cards are purchased at a discount to stretch the donated funds as far as possible.

“It’s hard to imagine that some of the seniors in our community are surviving on less than $7,000 a year,” said Danielle Hartman, JFS President and CEO. “These are our neighbors, many of whom may have never worked or worked at low wage jobs throughout their adult lives and receive minimal, if any, social security.”

“JFS was already taking care of their nutritional needs, but beyond food there are so many basic necessities of life that seniors at this level must often go without,” said Ron Gallatin, Chairman and CEO of HOT. “We wanted to make sure that they had a monthly supplement so there is never a month, never a week, and never a day that one of these local seniors is unable to buy one of life’s basic necessities.”

After receiving her first card, Judy left an unsolicited tearful message for JFS, unmistakably expressing what this “gift” means for her, “You don’t know how you made my day. I never go shopping because I never have anything to spend. I wear old clothing and I hardly ever buy any medications because I don’t want to spend the money. I can use my card for clothing, medication or personal supplies. What a beautiful gift you’ve given me.”

Click on the play button (triangle) below to hear Judy’s message:

A non-profit, non-sectarian agency, Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service of South Palm Beach County has been committed to providing help, hope and humanity for people of all ages and beliefs throughout the community since 1979. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. For more information, visit, phone 561-852-3333 or E-mail:

Hands On Tzedakah (HOT), a nonprofit public charity, reaches out to individuals in need by supporting programs that fall below the radar screen of traditional funding. HOT’s major focus is to support “safety-net” or essential, life-sustaining programs that combat hunger, poverty, homelessness and illness, as well as human service projects that address quality-of-life issues such as health and mental wellness, support to victims of terror, or assist those living with economically disadvantages, disabilities, abuse, illness or advanced age. For more information about HOT, or to make contributions to permit us to expand this program, visit or E-mail