Dear Partners and Friends,

There are so many exciting things happening at Volunteer Florida right now, I couldn’t wait to share them! We’re launching programs, announcing scholarship contests, awarding funding, organizing service projects, and we’ve only just began the new year. Take a moment to learn what my incredible team is doing to help #ServeFL‘s communities.

2022 Black History Month – HAPPENING NOW! On January 21st, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the guidelines for this year’s Black History Month Student Contests and Educator Awards, as well as the art and essay contest theme, “Celebrating African-American Contributions to Florida’s History.”

“Black History Month is an opportunity for students to learn about the contributions African-Americans have made throughout Florida’s history,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Over the next month, we will be honoring these contributions and their benefits to Florida’s communities. I encourage all Florida students to join us by participating in this month’s art and essay contests.”Student essay contest winners will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. Forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at by 5pm (ET) on Friday, February 18, 2022.

Volunteer Florida is proud to facilitate Florida’s Black History Month contests and awards each year on behalf of the Governor and First Lady, in collaboration with our sponsors and partners.


2022-2023 AmeriCorps Funding – REQUESTING PROPOSALS! Volunteer Florida proudly administers AmeriCorps in the Sunshine State and we’ve announced our request for proposals (RFP) for 2022-2023 AmeriCorps funding for Florida’s nonprofit organizations. View the RFP and apply HERE by 5pm (ET) on Monday, March 7, 2022.

“We encourage all of Florida’s nonprofit organizations to harness the power of national service members in their community and apply for this funding opportunity,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Corey Simon.

Volunteer Florida’s Grant Writing Certification Program – LAUNCHED!We officially kicked-off our virtual, no-cost Grant Writing Certification Program this week! 400 participants representing more than 360 nonprofit organizations across Florida are embarking on six weeks of training this spring to better prepare for the grant application process and increase their likelihood of grant funding selection.

We were so impressed by Florida’s overwhelming interest, we’re looking forward to confirming dates for our summer session! More info coming soon.

2022 Emergency Management Convening – NEXT MONTH!Volunteer Florida is thrilled to bring together emergency management partners from across Florida for our Emergency Management Convening this year in Orlando, March 30 – March 31! Register for the Convening HEREThis no-cost event will host emergency management training sessions and leadership development, and we anticipate speakers from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), Florida Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (FVOAD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other partners.

$1.275 Million for Hurricane Irma Long-Term Recovery – AWARDED! Volunteer Florida is proud to announce that $1,275,000 in Florida Disaster Fund grants have been awarded by the Volunteer Florida Foundation to four organizations engaged in Hurricane Irma long-term recovery efforts across the state.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. ($225,000)This funding will allow the organization to replace 10 affordable housing units for disabled and chronically homeless Monroe Country residents. Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, Inc. ($383,500)With this funding, the organization will repair and rebuild Irma-impacted homes, as well as engage in preventative work to ensure impacted homes withstand future disasters, for low-income homeowners in Hillsborough County. Family Endeavors, Inc. ($200,500)This funding will allow the organization to complete the unmet repair needs of 20 Hurricane Irma damaged homes in Duval and Orange Counties. United Way of Collier and the Keys ($466,000)With this funding, the organization will repair or rebuild a minimum of 50 homes in Collier and Monroe Counties damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. 

Mentoring Florida’s At-Risk Youth: One Mentor, One ChildVolunteer Florida’s CEO Corey Simon recently joined First Lady Casey DeSantis and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to announce the launch of DJJ’s new mentoring initiative – One Mentor, One Child.

Using the Volunteer Connect platform, DJJ will build a statewide mentoring network that will match mentors with at-risk youth in their communities. Organizations and individuals interested in becoming involved in the One Mentor, One Child initiative can visit DJJ’s website HERE.

Volunteer Florida is Florida’s Service Enterprise HubVolunteer Florida has teamed up with Points of Light to offer Florida’s nonprofit organizations access to the Service Enterprise Certification program. This national change management program helps organizations gain a greater return on volunteer investment to better achieve their mission.

“For every dollar invested in effective volunteer engagement, organizations can see up to a $6 return. This certification is a direct investment in Florida’s local communities and Volunteer Florida looks forward to assisting in harnessing its value and elevating high-performing nonprofits in the Sunshine State,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Corey SimonLearn more about becoming a Service Enterprise in Florida HERE.

7th Annual “Suits For Session” Service Project – NEXT WEEK! This year’s “Suits for Session” service project is taking place at the Florida Capitol on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. Legislators, state employees and other local professionals come together each Legislative Session to donate their new or gently-worn business attire and help prepare job-seekers in need throughout the state. Learn more HERE!

Hope Ambassadors Clubs in Florida’s Schools – AWARDED!Volunteer Florida is pleased to administer the Hope Ambassadors Program and has awarded $500 grants to 100 schools statewide for the 2021-2022 school year to establish Hope Ambassadors Clubs in Florida middle and high schools.

First launched by First Lady Casey DeSantis in December 2019, the goal of the Hope Ambassadors Program is to help foster a kind and compassionate environment where Florida’s students can engage in volunteerism and community service projects, as well as mentor their peers to build new relationships and leadership skills.Questions? Email!

Thank you for your continued support of Volunteer Florida and our mission to #ServeFL. None of our efforts would be possible without YOU. If there is anything we can do for you, or your organization, please reach out to me or my team.

Yours in Service,

Corey SimonChief Executive OfficerVolunteer Florida