NEW YORK (Newswire.com) – On Tuesday, November 7th, Barbara D’Amora, a founding member of The GRACE Foundation, alongside her husband, Billy, and their children, Christian and Natalie, presented a donation of $50,000 to The GRACE Foundation. This generous contribution was made possible through a “GoFundMe” campaign established in memory of their beloved son, Nicholas D’Amora, who recently passed away.
Nicholas suffered a fatal seizure in May, leading to a devastating diagnosis of brain death. The D’Amora family made the courageous decision to honor Nicholas’s legacy by donating his organs through “Live-On New York.” Nicholas’s selfless act has since saved the lives of five individuals, with his organs benefiting recipients ranging from a 34-year-old man to a 66-year-old woman.
Barbara D’Amora, reflecting on the profound impact her son had on those around him, shared her insights: “Nicholas showed us that the inability to speak does not equate to a lack of thoughts or feelings. He conveyed his daily struggles to remain regulated and focused, highlighting the significance of presuming competence in autistic individuals.” She added, “Nicholas’s advocacy transformed the way educators, support staff, parents, and friends perceive individuals with autism, cementing his legacy as a true catalyst for change.”
During the check presentation at The GRACE Foundation, staff, participants, and board members observed a moment of silence in memory of Nicholas. The D’Amora family also paid homage to their son by sharing heartwarming stories that celebrated his life.
Nicholas, despite the challenges of autism and being non-verbal, possessed an extraordinary ability to communicate his passion for cooking, music, concerts, dancing, and playing board games with friends.
Michael Lanza, a spokesperson for The GRACE Foundation, remarked, “We will ensure that Nicholas’s legacy lives on by establishing an all-inclusive kitchen for individuals of all abilities. A special section within this kitchen will be lovingly named ‘Nicky’s Kitchen’ as a tribute to Nicholas D’Amora.”
The GRACE Foundation, which has been dedicated to its mission for 23 years, is now expanding its reach with the establishment of “NICKY’s KITCHEN” in honor of Nicholas’s memory. Barbara D’Amora expressed her commitment to making her son’s dreams a reality, stating, “I am determined to bring this vision to life in memory of Nick.” “NICKY’s KITCHEN” will stand as a testament to the enduring impact of Nicholas’s legacy.
About The GRACE Foundation
The GRACE Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to support, educate and enhance the quality of life for children/adults and their families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more information, please visit www.graceofny.org
Source: The GRACE Foundation
Feed the Soul Foundation: Empowering Culinary Businesses with Financial Support
Feed the Soul Foundation provides financial support to marginalized culinary businesses, empowering their growth and success in a challenging industry.
Small culinary businesses have faced significant challenges and hardships due to the pandemic, including burnout, financial constraints, and a sense of isolation. In response to these struggles, the Feed the Soul Foundation, a national non-profit organization, has been providing financial relief and solutions to marginalized culinary businesses. Through their Restaurant Business Development Grant Program, the foundation has awarded $850,000 in support to 30 culinary business owners, empowering them to overcome obstacles and thrive in a competitive industry.
Financial and Professional Support:
With the support of the Grubhub Community Fund and Stella Artois, Feed the Soul Foundation’s 2023 grant program has provided each of the selected restaurant owners with $25,000. The program aims to address the challenges faced by these businesses, such as slim profit margins, labor shortages, inflation, and rising minimum wages. The six-month cohort program offers a range of supports, including financial literacy training, marketing and advertising guidance, and one-on-one business development consultations with industry experts. By equipping these entrepreneurs with essential knowledge and resources, the foundation aims to foster their growth and success.
The Role of Feed the Soul Foundation:
Under the leadership of Executive Director Juana Collins, a seasoned nonprofit executive, Feed the Soul Foundation is dedicated to nourishing and empowering individuals through culinary education and entrepreneurship. With a commitment to making a profound difference in lives and legacies, the foundation offers critical support to culinary businesses, acting as a vital resource for their sustainability and growth.
Creating a Supportive Network:
The importance of establishing a robust support network becomes evident when comparing the success rates of businesses that have received Feed the Soul Foundation’s support with the national average. Over 98% of the businesses that received financial and business development assistance from the foundation are still operating and have experienced growth within their operations. This success demonstrates the significance of providing both financial backing and expert guidance to culinary businesses, fostering a community of support and collaboration.
Milestones and Achievements:
Since its inception in 2020, Feed the Soul Foundation has achieved significant milestones in supporting marginalized culinary businesses. These include:
- Investing $1,078,000 in financial and business development support to 59 culinary businesses across the nation.
- Providing $46,000 in emergency funds through the Emergency Relief Fund to assist culinary businesses affected by unforeseen damages and natural disasters.
- Establishing an internship program and distributing $59,000 in student stipends while providing workforce training to 15 minority college students studying small business marketing, marketing research, and public relations.
Recognizing Culinary Excellence:
The foundation’s 2023 grant program has recognized and supported a diverse range of culinary businesses. The awarded cohort includes establishments such as 7th & Grove, Andes Café, Bueno Dias Café & La Bodega at The Met, Haire’s Gulf Shrimp, Pepitos Paletas, The Urban Oyster, and many more. These businesses represent the resilience and creativity of the culinary community and highlight the foundation’s commitment to fostering growth and sustainability within the industry.
Feed the Soul Foundation will continue to provide support and resources to marginalized culinary businesses. In October, they will open applications for the 2024 Restaurant Business Development Grant Program, offering entrepreneurs another chance to receive financial assistance and expert guidance. Furthermore, the foundation has scheduled a Global Culinary Conference in Houston, Texas, in January 2024, aiming to foster growth and collaboration within the culinary community.
The Feed the Soul Foundation’s Restaurant Business Development Grant Program has been instrumental in providing financial relief and professional support to marginalized culinary businesses. By equipping entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and guidance, the foundation empowers them to overcome challenges and thrive in a competitive industry. Through their continued efforts, Feed the Soul Foundation is making a lasting impact on the lives and legacies of culinary entrepreneurs, fostering sustainable growth within the culinary community.
About Feed the Soul Foundation
Feed the Soul Foundation was established in 2020 to aid marginalized entrepreneurs in the culinary industry with business development resources and support to foster sustainable business growth. The Restaurant Business Development Fund supports marginalized business owners with business development scholarships and emergency funding.
SOURCE Feed the Soul Foundation
Al B. Sure! & Rev. Al Sharpton: Championing Health Equity in Transplantation
Al B. Sure! and Rev. Al Sharpton unite to oppose Medicare cutbacks, advocating for health equity in transplantation to benefit minority communities.
In a powerful display of solidarity and determination, music legend Al B. Sure! and global civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton have come together to announce the formation of the “Health Equity in Transplantation Coalition.” This coalition aims to oppose the recent Medicare cutbacks for transplant patient blood tests that detect early signs of organ rejection, particularly affecting minority and underserved communities. With their shared commitment to justice and equality, Al B! will serve as the Executive Chairman, while Rev. Sharpton will play a vital role as the Senior Advisor.
The Impact of Medicare Coverage Restrictions:
On March 2, 2023, a private contractor known as a “Medicare Administrative Contractor” (MAC) announced restrictions on Medicare coverage for transplant patient blood tests. These tests, essential for detecting early signs of organ rejection, have been instrumental in safeguarding the health of transplant patients since 2017. However, the sudden change linking coverage to invasive surgical biopsies has caused confusion, delays, and cancellations, primarily affecting Black, Hispanic, Latino, and underserved transplant communities.
The Voice of Al B!:
As a successful organ transplant recipient and advocate for the transplant patient community, Al B! understands the importance of these blood tests firsthand. Having received a life-saving liver transplant in 2022, he emphasizes the need for accessible and non-invasive blood tests that can be conducted at home. Al B! believes that tying Medicare coverage to invasive biopsies places an undue burden on underserved transplant recipients, necessitating expensive travel, time off work for patients and caregivers, and hospital procedures.
The Support of Rev. Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich:
Rev. Al Sharpton, renowned for his tireless work in defending the rights of minority communities, welcomes the support of former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich in restoring Medicare coverage for surveillance blood tests. Their alignment, along with a broad bipartisan group of transplant patients, physicians, and members of Congress, highlights the urgent need to reverse these detrimental rollbacks. Rev. Sharpton emphasizes that these non-invasive tests provided a lifeline to Black, Hispanic, Latino, and underserved communities, and it is essential to expand access to better tools, not restrict them.
Addressing Disparities in Transplant Care:
Transplant care plays a critical role in the lives of Black, Hispanic, and Latino Americans, who account for 40% of transplants in the United States, exceeding their representation in the general population. The battle against organ rejection is a daily struggle, with half of all kidney transplants failing within ten years. The issue is further compounded by the severe organ shortage, disproportionately affecting these communities. Approximately 50% of individuals on the transplant waiting list are Black or Hispanic/Latino, highlighting the urgent need for equitable post-transplant care and access to transplantation.
Broad Support and National Attention:
The coalition led by Al B! and Rev. Sharpton has garnered widespread support from transplant patients and the medical community. Leading national professional transplant medical associations, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of Transplantation, have expressed opposition to the Medicare coverage restrictions. Additionally, a bipartisan group of representatives in Congress, along with grassroots transplant patient group “Honor the Gift coalition,” have raised concerns and demanded answers from CMS regarding the rollbacks.
Al B! and Rev. Sharpton express hope that the House Congressional Black Caucus and other influential bodies will join their efforts to restore Medicare coverage for these vital blood tests. To amplify their cause, hundreds of transplant recipients will gather in Washington, D.C., from December 4-6 for a series of activities, including meetings with congressional leaders and a press conference. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all transplant recipients, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status, have access to the necessary tools and care for a healthier future.
The formation of the “Health Equity in Transplantation Coalition” led by Al B. Sure! and Rev. Al Sharpton marks a significant step toward addressing the disparities faced by minority and underserved communities in transplant care. By opposing the Medicare cutbacks for transplant patient blood tests, this coalition strives to ensure that all transplant recipients have access to early detection of organ rejection, regardless of their background. Through their collective efforts, they aim to build a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system for all.
Black Business Boom Celebrates 5 Years of Creating Financially Savvy and Bankable Minority Businesses in Nashville and Beyond
NASHVILLE, Tenn. /PRNewswire/ — Black Business Boom, founded by Danielle McGee as the Groupon for Black owned businesses, marks a significant milestone as it celebrates its 5-year anniversary. The organization has evolved into a dynamic force for the empowerment of Black-owned businesses, not only in Nashville but throughout Tennessee and beyond. The cornerstones of Black Business Boom are the 501(c)3 Boomin University, launched in 2020, which provides free business training to underserved minority business owners; Boomin Marketing, designed to equip participants with the latest communication strategies and tools from social media mastery to content creation wizardry; and Boomin to the Bank, a revolving loan fund that offers microloans of up to $5000 to small business owners, helping them to build bankable businesses by providing financial literacy training, helping participants establish business bank accounts and bookkeeping systems. Notably, Boomin to the Bank has partnered with Kiva Microloans, in order to deploy $10 million in capital to Black-owned businesses who graduate the Boomin to the Bank program by 2030. The Kiva partnership will launch with funding loans for 30 program graduates.
“I wanted to create a space for Black entrepreneurs to gain the financial and business education they needed to create thriving, sustainable businesses, in Nashville,” says McGee. “We are excited to expand and create impact nationwide.”
Black Business Boom was recently awarded funds from the TN Placemakers Entrepreneurship Fund, to support Boomin University cohorts in East, Middle, and West Tennessee, preparing them to source funds from banks and other granting institutions. Truist Bank also supports Black Business Boom with a grant that supplements key programming focused on training and technical assistance, to Black owned businesses, interested in securing corporate and government contracting opportunities.
About Black Business Boom:
Black Business Boom is a dynamic organization founded by Danielle McGee, originally as the Nashville Black Business Directory. Celebrating its 5-year anniversary, Black Business Boom is dedicated to empowering Black entrepreneurs through education, marketing programs, and financial support. The organization envisions a thriving ecosystem that provides essential elements for the success of Black-owned businesses in Tennessee and beyond.
Connect with Black Business Boom:
SOURCE Black Business Boom
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