Dear Partners and Friends, 

I hope you and your families are doing well. Over the past few months, the team at Volunteer Florida has continued “getting things done” for Florida. I invite you to keep reading to learn more about what our organization has been doing to #ServeFL!

Best and Brightest Award Ceremony

CEO Tamayo presented an Excellence in Volunteerism Award to Amaya Waymon, a Rickard’s student, at the annual Best and Brightest Awards Ceremony in Tallahassee. In the past 4 years, Amaya has performed over 900 hours of service in our local community. She is actively improving the lives of those around her while learning new skills, gaining experience, and enriching her life! Congratulations, Amaya!

Florida Children and Youth Cabinet 

On May 18, CEO Tamayo and our Volunteer Services Director, Jovita Woodrich, were invited to participate in the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet meeting to present on Volunteer Connect. There was a great dialogue on action items relating to the power of partnership, volunteerism and resiliency.

DJJ Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony

CEO Tamayo provided welcome remarks at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s annual volunteer appreciation ceremony. They recognized volunteers who have consistently supported efforts to prevent and reduce juvenile delinquency within their local communities.

CERT/Citizen Corps Funding

Volunteer Florida recently announced FY 2023-2024 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)/Citizen Corps Program funding and anticipates awarding up to $100,000 in subgrants. Through the CERT and Citizen Corps Programs, individuals learn basic disaster recovery skills, which allows them to provide critical support to their communities during and after emergencies and disasters.

Welcome Home Event- Hurricane Ian Rebuild 

CEO Tamayo recently had the honor of participating in a Welcome Home celebration for a family of 7 whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Ian in Port Charlotte, FL. Upon learning the extent of the damage after Ian made landfall, Nerieda and her family continued driving to Kansas, where they stayed with family.Two weeks later, they returned to Port Charlotte to find their home uninhabitable and they lived in two travel trailers in their backyard during the rebuild. It is Nereida’s greatest hope that they will be able to restore structure and routine by returning to their home. They were supported via SHRC (Sheltering in Home for Recovery Continuation) funding, which relieved their living situation. SBP then used philanthropic funding from other donors to complete the necessary home repairs.

Hurricane Preparedness: How to Prepare?

Volunteer Florida, Florida Department of Emergency Management, Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and emergency management partners encourage all citizens, households and cities to prepare for disasters ahead of the start of hurricane season which was June 1.  Disaster Supply KitsWhen disaster strikes, local relief officials can’t reach everyone immediately. In fact, it could be days or weeks depending on how dire the event. Basic services, such as electricity, gas, water, sewage, and telecommunications could be out for days, weeks, or longer. You may need to evacuate at a moment’s notice, taking only the essentials with you. To be fully prepared, individuals and families should have a fully-stocked disaster supply kit: a collection of basic items, prepared ahead of time, that a household may need in the event of a disaster.

What happens during the 2023 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday?During the 2023 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, you may purchase qualifying items related to disaster preparedness exempt from sales tax. There will be two separate two-week holiday periods this year. The first began on Saturday, May 27, 2023, and ended on Friday, June 9, 2023. The second holiday period begins on Saturday, August 26, 2023, and ends on Friday, September 8, 2023.Click here for a list of items that are exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday.


PHOTO: CEO Tamayo tours The Boys and Girls Clubs of West Palm Beach, An AmeriCorps GranteePHOTO: CEO Tamayo tours the Walton County Emergency Operations CenterPHOTO: CEO Tamayo presented Excellence in Volunteerism Award to Wynn McFarlin with the Special Olympics of FloridaPHOTO: CEO Tamayo celebrating with the family at the Welcome Home Ribbon Cutting Event PHOTO: CEO Tamayo presenting the Excellence in Volunteerism Award to the SSG Michael Wayne Schafer Memorial VFW Post 10209, and its Auxiliary in Spring Hill, FL. 

Thank you for your continued support of Volunteer Florida and our mission to #ServeFL. If there is anything we can do for you, or your organization, please reach out to me or my team.

Yours in Service,

Josefina Tamayo Chief Executive OfficerVolunteer Florida