Dear Partners and Friends,
As the new CEO of Volunteer Florida, I’m excited to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my background, including my experience in public service. I’ll also share a few updates from the team and some important dates to mark on your calendars.
I recently moved to Tallahassee, but I’m a proud Pensacola native with deep roots in the community. Before joining the team at Volunteer Florida, I was the President and CEO of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, and I also served the interests of the area in the Florida House of Representatives from 2012 to 2018.
Representing my family, friends and neighbors in the panhandle was extremely rewarding, and now, I have the privilege of advocating for national service and volunteerism throughout Florida – from my hometown all the way down to the Keys.
I’m grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to working with you to engage Floridians, transform communities and make the state a better place for everyone to live.
Commission/Foundation Board Meeting
In January, we hosted our quarterly Volunteer Florida Commission and Foundation board meeting in Orlando to discuss our progress and goals. We even had an opportunity to meet City Year Orlando AmeriCorps members at a local elementary school, where they explained how they’re helping at-risk students overcome barriers to success.
I’d like to thank all of the Commissioners and Directors who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the meetings, as well as everyone at City Year Orlando for organizing such an impactful site visit.
2018 Annual Report
We’re proud to present Volunteer Florida’s 2018 Annual Report. It was a productive year and we accomplished a lot – from administering 31 AmeriCorps programs across the state to supporting Hurricane Michael response in the panhandle – but we couldn’t have done any of it without our Commissioners, Directors, staff, partners and sponsors.
Black History Month
Volunteer Florida is honored to join First Lady Casey DeSantis in the state’s Black History Month celebration, which includes the annual student contest and educator award.
Art and essay contests are based on the theme “Celebrating Public Service,” recognizing the African Americans in Florida who have dedicated their lives to public service. While all winners will receive a prize, students who win the essay contest will earn a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation!
Students, parents, teachers and administrators are also encouraged to nominate full-time educators in Florida elementary, middle and high schools for the Excellence in Education Award.
For more information, please visit www.floridablackhistory.com.
AmeriCorps Information Sessions
If you want to learn more about AmeriCorps and the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, Volunteer Florida will be hosting an informational webinar on Tuesday, February, 19, 2019, and an in-person information session in Collier County on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Join our National Service Programs Director, Cat Keen, as she shares how your organization can apply to help solve some of Florida’s most urgent challenges with AmeriCorps!
Details and registration forms for both the webinar and the information session can be found here.
Suits for Session
Our fourth annual Suits for Session service project will take place at the Florida Capitol on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Legislators, state employees and other local professionals can bring new or gently worn business attire (or call our partner, Uber, to pick it up), and then we’ll distribute it to nonprofit organizations that are helping job-seekers find employment in Florida. More information will be announced soon, but for now, start cleaning out your closets!
Volunteer Opportunities Portal
Volunteer Florida is developing a statewide volunteer opportunities portal that will launch in the coming months. It will provide public and private nonprofit organizations with a easy-to-use platform to share opportunities and engage individuals, families and groups in community service. Opportunities will even be searchable by date, location and interest.
To be a part of the launch or for more information, please email Jovita Woodrich, our Volunteer Services Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you can see, we’ve got a lot going on at Volunteer Florida, but I’m excited to get to work and serve our great state with you.
CEO, Volunteer Florida