BEAM (Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministries) provides wraparound services to low-income single mothers to help their families achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The program funded by WGA is the Single Parent Projects, which moves two cohorts of single mothers annually into a long-term program designed to help them develop skills in goal-setting, budget-planning, and parenting, with a strong mental health component.
On a beautiful sunny day, some 30 WGA members gathered at BEAM in Jacksonville Beach for a chance to tour the agency and enjoy a lunch made from BEAM’s organic Grace Garden. From left to right, Susan Rodgers, Allison Newberry Dennis, Jennifer Croy, and Helen Morse.
WGA member Robin Berenberg (right) arrived with a donation for the food pantry: boxes of pasta made from wheat farmed on her family’s land in North Dakota! BEAM Executive Director Susan King (left, also a WGA member) has steadily moved the agency from emergency relief to adding programs to help families in a time of crisis to avoid becoming homeless.
BEAM has always had a food pantry, but now holds cooking and tasting classes to make garden-fresh vegetables easier to prepare and more attractive for families who want healthier diets. WGA’s luncheon salad was made from wonderful fresh greens, picked from BEAM’s garden. Mary Ellen Waugh, Garden Manager, hopes to make the garden a completely volunteer-driven program. She would welcome more helpers, and especially needs one more Master Gardener.