Dear Partners and Friends,
We are making great strides in 2022. As we look toward tackling another summer of service, I’m happy to take this time to update you on the incredible things the Volunteer Florida Team has been doing this past quarter to #ServeFL.
AMERICORPS WEEK 2022 PROCLAMATIONGovernor Ron DeSantis proclaimed AmeriCorps Week in Florida, March 13-19, 2022! Volunteer Florida leveraged this opportunity to encourage Florida’s nonprofit organizations to increase their community impact by harnessing the power of AmeriCorps, as well as young Floridians to consider committing a year of service with AmeriCorps to give back to their communities.
Click HERE to read Governor DeSantis’ proclamation.
7TH ANNUAL “SUITS FOR SESSION”After sorting through literal truckloads of donations, Volunteer Florida’s 7th Annual “Suits for Session” service project on February 23rd resulted in the collection of 3,850 pounds of professional attire for Florida job-seekers statewide. The 5,144 items of professional clothing and accessories were donated to Bridges International, CareerSource Gulf Coast, and AMIKids Panama City Marine Institute – organizations dedicated to supporting job-seekers in Florida striving to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Since its inception in 2016, Volunteer Florida’s “Suits for Session” service project has collected over 27,000 items, translating to more than 20,000 pounds of professional attire.
2022 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONVENINGVolunteer Florida hosted an Emergency Management Convening in Orlando, FL, March 30-31, bringing together, county, state, federal, nonprofit and private partners to showcase their collaboration and partnership. 100+ individuals representing more than 50+ organizations participated, identifying challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which they innovated and leveraged opportunities to respond and recover.
#VF30in30 – NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTHSHARE or RETWEET Russell’s highlight.In celebration of National Volunteer Month in the month of April, Volunteer Florida recognized 30 outstanding volunteers each day on our social media channels. Our team received nominations from nonprofits and governmental entities statewide and were honored to highlight 30 of their stories for all of Volunteer Florida’s audiences to read, share and emulate. Our youngest nominee and recognized volunteer, Russell Law, had a particularly inspiring story!
2022 AMERICORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR SPRING TRAININGVolunteer Florida convened more than 70 AmeriCorps Program Directors and staff from across Florida, representing all 36 AmeriCorps Florida programs, for our Spring Training in Tampa, April 5-7.
The energy in the room was electric as staff engaged in team building activities, program development exercises and received inspirational speeches from Volunteer Florida’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year Neonkita Frazier with Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc., former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Derrick Brooks, and others.
CHAMPIONS OF SERVICE AWARDSOn March 29, Volunteer Florida’s Champion of Service Award was bestowed to Ms. Valerie Poole with Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine (LVIM) in Lakeland, Florida. Ms. Poole is a retired nurse who volunteers wherever the need with LVIM, most recently as a phlebotomist, passionate about doing whatever she can to lessen the life stressors of her hardworking, low-income patients.
On April 14, Volunteer Florida’s Champion of Service Award was presented to the Health and Hope Clinic, Inc of Pensacola, a clinic powered by +250 volunteers, including doctors, dentists, nurses, social workers, dedicated to serving the health needs of the working uninsured in the Florida Panhandle. While other clinics experienced staffing shortages in the past two years, the Health and Hope Clinic was remarkably able to expand their hours of operation and triple their patient care.
CEO’S LEADERSHIP TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
PHOTO: CEO Simon congratulates one of the Black History Month Student Art Contest winners at the Black History Month Reception in the Governor’s Mansion.
PHOTO: CEO Simon tours Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine with President & CEO Alice Koehler.
PHOTO: CEO Simon leads a roundtable discussion with AmeriCorps members serving with Polk Education Foundation’s Polk Reads Program.
PHOTO: CEO Simon and AmeriCorps members serving with Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay’s Operation: Veteran Connect.
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,
Corey Simon Chief Executive Officer Volunteer Florida