Dear Friends and Partners,
I hope you and your families are continuing to do well during this difficult time. Over the past few months, the team at Volunteer Florida has been safely “getting things done” for Florida. I invite you to keep reading to learn more about what our organization has been doing and what we have in store over this next quarter.
Program Spotlight: Seniors on a Mission
This week, Volunteer Generation Fund program, Seniors on a Mission, was recognized during the September meeting of the Florida Cabinet.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seniors on a Mission shifted their service model to serve seniors in the Jacksonville community. During a three-week period, they delivered 13,750 meals to six HUD senior living communities. Staff with Seniors on a Mission have also engaged in “lawn-chair conversations” with seniors and delivered comfort bags with adult coloring books, stuffed animals and more. We appreciate Governor DeSantis for recognizing this deserving group!
2020-2021 AmeriCorps Program Year
Last month, the Volunteer Florida team kicked off another great AmeriCorps program year in the State of Florida. This year, 36 programs will recruit and manage 1,497 AmeriCorps members who will serve in 32 counties throughout the state. Additionally, Volunteer Florida will be supporting five organizations who received AmeriCorps planning grants to develop and implement a future AmeriCorps program that will help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual Volunteer Convening
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to announce Volunteer Florida’s first-ever volunteer convening. The Volunteer Leadership Virtual Convening: Volunteer Engagement for Changing Communities will be hosted virtually October 27-29, 2020. This no-cost event will cover a broad range of topics that will engage nonprofits, governmental entities and leaders from across the state. To register, please click here.
Florida Disaster Fund Activation
In response to Hurricane Sally, Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Disaster Fund. The Florida Disaster Fund is the state’s official private fund for disaster response and recovery. Funds collected will be distributed to service organizations that serve individuals within their communities with disaster response and recovery. To donate, please visit www.volunteerflorida.org. For more information about volunteer opportunities, please click here.
New Volunteer Florida Website
Volunteer Florida is excited to debut a new website look. Visit www.volunteerflorida.org to check out all the new features for yourself!
Hispanic Heritage Month
Earlier this month, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the theme for Hispanic Heritage Month will be “Celebrating Untold Stories and Contributions of Hispanic Americans in Florida” 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.
For more information about these contests, please visit www.floridahispanicheritage.com. The deadline for entry has been extended to Thursday, October 15. Student essay contest winners will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.
AmeriCorps Funding Opportunity
This week, Volunteer Florida released the 2020-2021 AmeriCorps competitive funding request for proposals. This year, funding priority will be given to organizations who are helping communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and/or helping individuals prepare to enter the workforce. Click here to learn more.
Stories of Service
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Floridians have stepped up to protect one another and serve one another. As a part of Stories of Service: Serving During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Volunteer Florida will recognize these amazing Floridians in different ways, including social media.
To nominate an outstanding Floridian who has stepped up to serve our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.
Thank you for your support of Volunteer Florida. This fall, I hope you and your families will continue to stay healthy and consider ways that you can give back. To find volunteer opportunities in your community, please visit Volunteer Connect. Together, we can #ServeFL.
Yours in Service,
Chief Executive Officer