Bencomo Foundation: Grants for Florida

OVERVIEW: The Bencomo Foundation supports free funeral services and burial resources for low-income families in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

FUNDING AREAS: Funeral services, burial resources

IP TAKE: This is a single-issue funder for local families in need. It is also the first and only funder of its kind in the U.S.

PROFILE: Established in 2016, the Bencomo Foundation is a private foundation based in Miami Lakes, Florida. This is the foundation of Carolos Joel Bencomo, who created this foundation after working in the funeral industry by selling and purchasing cemetery lots. This foundation aims to “accompany our loved ones to say goodbye to families in our community who do not have the necessary financial resources, taking care of their grief and providing them with the means to do so with dignity.” Bencomo supports free funeral services for low-income local families.

The Bencomo Foundation is a highly focused foundation with a sole purpose of helping local families who cannot give their deceased relatives a proper burial. Bencomo was inspired to create the foundation after being involved in a case where parents could not afford to bury their 19-year-old son who died in an accident in Miami. To receive foundation support, families must prove that they earn less than $12,000 per year, do not own a cemetery plot, and do not have credit cards. Thus far, this is the only foundation of its kind in the United States. The foundation is separate from, but affiliated with, the Bencomo Magazine.

Grants range between about $5,000 and $15,000. The foundation assisted one family in its first year, three in its second year, and seven in its third year of operations. Depending on the individual and family’s situation, the foundation may provide either full or partial assistance for a funeral. It awards funds to families rather than to nonprofit organizations or government agencies. Grantmaking focuses exclusively on Miami-Dade County in Florida. Past local grantees include the families of Luz Concepción, Zoila Ortiz, and Olaga Borrego.

This foundation accepts requests for help from families without economic resources on the foundation’s website. Direct general questions to the staff at 305-979-8970 or via online form.

PEOPLE:

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