Central Florida Foundation Announces Next Grants to Support Community Healing After Pulse Tragedy

Better Together Fund Focuses on Long-Term Community Healing

November 10 2016


After the Pulse tragedy, Orlando’s healing process continues. In support of helping to heal the local community, Central Florida Foundation recently issued the next grants from its Better Together Fund to support two initiatives.

The first grant is for $50,000 to the Friends Talking Faith radio show with The Three Wise Guys. The project includes:

  • 5 radio shows and podcasts to air on WMFE 90.7 to talk about how members of the community have been personally transformed by the events at Pulse.
  • Community forums to help the community hear these stories and to continue the conversations.
  • The collection of stories will establish a library of conversations to live on for generations to come at the Orange County Regional History Center.
  • The radio shows and conversations will include members from the Latino, LGBTQ and faith communities.

“Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys believe that as people share their stories we can all find ways to heal after the Pulse tragedy,” says Rev. Bryan Fulwider, co-host and managing partner of Friends Talking Faith. “We are committed now and well into the future to be part of this ongoing work, and are grateful to be one partner among many helping to bring healing and to empower our community for greater acceptance, understanding and cooperation.”

The second grant is for $6,000 to the Trauma Resource Institute for the following:

  • A one-day training for 24 lay leaders across the community including firefighters, police officers, LGBTQ leaders, Latino leaders, mental health counselors and others on the biological response of trauma using the Community Resiliency Model (CRM).
  • This model will help participants understand how the body responds to trauma and tactics to help cope and restore balance to mind, body and spirit.
  • The CRM model has been implemented nationally and internationally in the event of natural and man-made disasters including after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, post Hurricane Katrina, for Syrian refugees entering Germany and many others.
  • Upon successful completion of this grant, another grant of up to $35,000 will be awarded to Trauma Resource Institute to offer a four-day “train the trainer” session.
  • The participants will then be able to use these skills to help themselves and help community members.
  • Trainers will be able to conduct community-wide trainings with their constituents to teach the CRM model.
  • Community trainings will be conducted in English and Spanish.

“The Trauma Resource Institute is humbled by the invitation from Central Florida Foundation,” said Elaine Miller Karas, executive director of Trauma Resource Institute. “We are encouraged by the resiliency we witness worldwide, and our wellness skills will serve as a community model that help restore well-being to individuals, families and the wider community after the Pulse tragedy.”

Through the fund, Central Florida Foundation is responding to the community in two phases. The first phase has focused on immediate needs such as rent assistance for survivors and families and long-term mental health services; the second phase supports rebuilding and healing the LGBTQ and Latino communities; underlying causes of this tragic event (not policy and advocacy); and other needs we cannot anticipate until we face them.

“As the region’s community foundation, our purpose is to help support the rebuilding of our community,” said Mark Brewer, president/CEO of Central Florida Foundation. “The Better Together Fund is now in phase-two to focus on ensuring that our community heals to be stronger than before.”

The Foundation continues to learn from Latino, LGBTQ, faith, mental health and other community leaders working on the ground to support survivors, families and the community at large to identify where the gaps are in our community as it continues toward healing. The Foundation distributes grants through an accountable, transparent grant-making process that enables the public to see exactly where funds are directed.

“Central Florida Foundation continues to play a leadership role helping our community heal after the Pulse tragedy and we are proud to support the Better Together Fund,” said Diane O’Dell, executive director of Universal Orlando Foundation.

Contributors to the fund include Universal Orlando Foundation, Winter Park Health Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, The Delta Air Lines Foundation, and Nationwide Insurance Foundation. To view the full list of donors and for regular updates on grants, visit the Better Together fund’s website at: https://cffound.org/bettertogether.

Photo courtesy of The Three Wise Guys Facebook Page