Branches Transforms its 2020 Gala into A Virtual Fundraiser

All gala funds were converted into donations, which helped ramp up meals for families and small business services to Miami community

Volunteer SouTania and Branches' Climb Youth Program Assistant Manager, Alison Van Gundy, distributing groceries at Branches Lakeview to families.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Branches was forced to cancel its 17th Annual Black Tie & Blue Jeans Gala and Auction which was scheduled for May 9th, 2020. However, thanks to an incredible Matching Grant provided by Trish and Dan Bell, all Gala donations and all Gala sponsorships which were converted into donations were matched $1 for $1. Branches also hosted its first ever Online Auction, and thanks to its many donors, it was a huge success. Thank you to all the generous funders for their support of Branches.

Thank you to the Premiere Sponsors

Philanthropic Chairs
Trish & Dan Bell

Platinum Sponsors
Himan Brown Charitable Trust

Gold Sponsors
Kathy & Scott Howard | Sandy & Rod Bell
The Tonkinson Foundation

Silver Sponsor
Bilzin Sumberg | Truist

Bronze Sponsors
Aetna | Bank United | City National | CenterState Bank
Crowe LLP | JP Morgan Chase | Missy & Jim Morgan
Publix | Victoria & Jason Randolph

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the Miami community, Branches has been working tirelessly to serve children and families. Branches ramped up its meal service and to date has provided over 21,000 grab-and-go meals for children and families. Within 24 hours of the schools closing, Branches’ Grow & Climb student services team began connecting with children, youth and families via phone calls, text messages and Zoom meetings. The goal is to prevent social isolation as well as to meet the educational and tutoring needs of the students as they adjust to remote learning. The Achieve team is providing financial wellness services through Zoom meetings and phone calls, providing financial coaching, small business and emergency assistance. The Achieve staff has provided over 3,000 virtual meetings with participants, and has provided Business Coaching sessions to 705 small businesses, completing dozens of loan applications. With VITA free tax prep sites closed, Branches launched a ‘Walk-Up’ Window tax prep service and was one of the few VITA sites to reopen in the State of Florida. Branches is incredibly proud to serve this community when people need us the most.

Please visit to learn more.

Branches South Miami staff delivering meals to their families.
Students at the Branches outdoor library.
Sushi Maki delivering pre-prepared dinners at Branches Florida City.
Branches Director of Student Services, Kim Torres serving hot grab-and-go dinners to a family at Branches Florida City.
Branches' Assistant Manager of Asset Building, Rudy Tabares preparing taxes at Branches Lakeview.
Branches Florida City staff preparing meals for distribution
Feeding South Florida delivering bulk groceries for Branches Lakeview families.
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