Dear Partners and Friends,

We have a lot of irons in the fire this fall. Florida‘s volunteers and national service members continue to serve on the front lines of environmental stewardship, combatting hunger and homelessness, engaging in near-peer student mentorship, and so much more.
Continue reading to learn about what we have brewing and what’s to come this season.

2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Contests and Awards
On Monday, September 13th, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the theme for this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month as “Celebrating Hispanic-American Community Leaders and Champions” and released information regarding the student art and essay contests and Excellence in Education awards. Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15.
Watch her announcement video HERE.

First Lady DeSantis is inviting students to participate in academic and creative contests based on this year’s theme. Students in grades K-3 are invited to participate in an art contest while students in grades 4-12 are invited to participate in an essay contest. Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

All entries must be received by 5 p.m. (ET) on Monday, October 11, 2021. Student contest forms and educator nomination forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.


Bring AmeriCorps to Your Community: Funding and Request for Proposals
Recently, we announced that the State of Florida was awarded $17,189,370 from AmeriCorps to fund 37 programs throughout the state for the 2021-2022 grant cycle. Cumulatively, these programs will recruit and manage 1,612 AmeriCorps members who will serve in 35 of Florida’s counties, contributing an estimated 1,981,575 total hours of service valued at $52,155,054.

Over the past 25 years, AmeriCorps has empowered over 1.4 million individuals nationwide to dedicate a year of service, driving solutions to our communities’ most pressing issues. In return, members gain leadership skills and on-the-job training, as well as a living stipend and educational award equivalent to the Pell Grant used to help pay for post-secondary educational costs upon completion of their service.

We’re immensely proud to announce the 2022-2023 AmeriCorps funding request for proposals (RFP). Florida organizations interested in applying should respond to the RFP by Monday, November 1, 2021 at 5 pm (ET). 

If you have any questions regarding AmeriCorps in Florida or the funding process, please contact americorpsrfp@volunteerflorida.org.


2021 Volunteer Leadership Engagement Series 
Join us each Monday at 10:30amET this October as we hear from national experts providing essential insights and tools for developing and positioning volunteer engagement. Volunteer engagement is both an indispensable and enterprising element of an organization’s foundational blueprint and we can’t wait to afford this valuable dialogue to Florida‘s organizations.
Learn more about October’s webinar series HERE, or click on the tiles below to register today!


     


Volunteer Florida‘s Team – Giving Back
This past month, members of the Volunteer Florida Team leapt into action to package nearly 400 boxes of food items for Second Harvest of the Big Bend’s mobile distribution efforts. I’m extremely proud to lead a team that leads by example and am challenging our next service project to accomplish even more.


CEO’s Leadership Tour Highlights
Throughout my travels across the state, I am continuously impressed by the heart and drive of our national service members and volunteers working to make Florida the best place to live, work and raise a family.

     
Roundtable with new AmeriCorps members serving with City Year of Jacksonville, August 2021.

     

 Training and orientation with new AmeriCorps members serving with The ARC of Jacksonville, August 2021.


Thank you for your continued support of Volunteer Florida. Our mission to #ServeFL wouldn’t be possible without YOU. If there is anything that I can do for you, or your organization, please let me know.

Yours in Service,


Corey Simon
Chief Executive Officer
Volunteer Florida