We will strive to facilitate creative, effective programming that addresses the immediate needs of children in
crisis while seeking long term solutions to the abuse, neglect and abandonment problem facing the children
of our community.
About the Foundation
The Paul Palank Memorial Foundation was formed to aid abused, neglected and abandoned children in
Dade and Broward Counties. The funding became possible because of the successful conclusion of a legal
battle that lasted more than nine years, ending in the United States Supreme Court, over the wrongful death
of Paul Palank. In addition to being a husband and devoted father of two small children, Paul was a Sergeant
with the Miami Police Department, who focused his professional and personal efforts on helping children.
Sadly, he was killed, along with seven others, in a train derailment wherein CSX Railroad was found by a
jury to have put enormous profits above human life. When the jury punished the corporation with a large
financial verdict, Paul's family contributed proceeds of the jury award to this cause in an effort to honor
Paul's values as well as Paul himself for his examples of courage and commitment to the most vulnerable in
his community, the children.
The Foundation in 2014 - A Ten Year Review
what has gone before for the Foundation started in his honor, as well as what is envisioned for our future. We have granted
for over 10 years now, always seeking to be effective while keeping in mind both Paul's values--protecting some of the most
vulnerable of children--and the values of the current directors--innovation, collaboration and successfulness.
Now we have taken the time to assure that our future direction is equally informed and contemplative, as the community of
need matures and changes. We are grateful to the many community “experts” from each county that educated us on the
The organizations we have been fortunate enough to work with have been impressive. From larger organizations such as
Kristi House or Kids in Distress, to smaller ones, such as KidSafe or Heart Gallery, as well as a full spectrum in between, we
have personally verified their exceedingly high standards for helping the children, as well as their efficiency and intent on
assuring the most amount of improvement for the most children.
The individuals we have met, moreover, have shown themselves to be nothing short of amazing! It is not surprising to find so
many workers and volunteers making sacrifices, considering the type of people who make children their life’s work, but even
in such a caring community it has been wondrous to meet such soulful, committed, and clever people. The people we have
met, whether briefly or repeatedly, could teach other communities many things about working in harmony and cooperation,
and the value of being unified in their common goals. They have been true professionals, regardless of their titles. Their
generosity in teaching us how to do this work both optimally and optimistically is deeply appreciated.
Now we are looking forward to the next stage in our Foundational Plan. While we intend to keep our eye on the same
problems and issues we have been committed to since our inception, we are also updating our priorities and approaches in
hope of being more pro-active in both comprehensive program coverage, as well as innovation.
Sadly, we cannot do anywhere near all that we would like to, so we are sharpening our focus. So to share the outcome of our
recent, in depth discussions and analyses, we intend to continue our funding priorities specifically for children of abuse,
neglect and abandonment in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, with an eye toward preventative programs. For the mid-
term, however, we are going to focus on three areas: Foster Care; Life Skills training, particularly programs beginning as
early as 14-years-of age; and Aging Out Assistance, seeking creative programs that motivate success.
This is a difficult economic period, but we are looking forward to helping those programs that are making a positive
difference in the lives of these children. We hope to help “shrink” the problem.