Volunteer Florida Announces $150,000 in Grants to Florida Nonprofits

Tallahassee – Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman today announced that Volunteer Florida is awarding $150,000 in grant funding to 15 nonprofits and service organizations across the state. The Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF), funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, will be administered by Volunteer Florida. 

Volunteer Florida CEO Chester W. Spellman said, “As the Governor’s lead agency for service and volunteerism in Florida, we are proud to announce the 2015 VGF grantees. We are especially proud of this year’s emphasis on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) programs that align with the Governor’s goal to create new jobs for Floridians and provide our students with a first-class education.”

The VGF program will help local nonprofits recruit, manage, and support approximately 2,200 skills-based volunteers throughout the state. The volunteers will serve Florida students and job-seekers, work to make Florida families healthier, restore and protect Florida’s natural resources, and support critical emergency management efforts.

“Volunteering and civic engagement are the cornerstones of a strong nation and an essential part of the solution to many of the challenges facing our communities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Every day, Volunteer Florida works to strengthen the state’s volunteer sector and engage more Floridians in high impact service. I congratulate them on receiving a Volunteer Generation Fund grant, which will help nonprofits across Florida broaden their volunteer base and increase their impact on community challenges.”

Volunteer Florida’s Volunteer Generation Fund program maximizes organizations’ capacity to recruit, manage, and retain skills-based volunteers. Skills-based volunteerism expands the impact of community organizations by leveraging professionals’ skills. From accountants to IT and management consultants, skills-based volunteers use their professional experience to strengthen the operations of nonprofits.

“Volunteers significantly improve the quality of life in our communities, and helping local agencies more effectively use volunteers to serve more Floridians is a smart investment,” said Spellman. “As Florida continues to become a global destination for jobs, we are making communities from Pensacola to the Keys better places to live, work, and raise a family.”

The 2015 Volunteer Florida VGF sub-grantees are as follows: 

Chapman Partnership, Miami-Dade County 

Projected Impact:  Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Chapman Partnership operates two Homeless Assistance Centers with 800 beds located in Miami and Homestead. The centers serve approximately 5,000 men, women and families with children annually, providing emergency housing, meals, health, dental, and psychiatric care, day care, job training, job placement and assistance with securing stable housing.

Community Organizations Active in Disaster (BRACE), Escambia County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

BRACE is a community based disaster coalition that works with families before, during, and after disasters to prevent homelessness.

Community Youth Development, Sarasota County 

Projected impact: Recruit 200 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Community Youth Development serves thousands of at-risk middle school students, cultivating leadership skills and supporting positive choices so that they become good citizens and civic leaders.

Computer Mentors Group, Inc., Hillsborough County

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Computer Mentors Group, Inc. provides technology training and mentoring for teens ages 13-18, including MS Office certification and basic computer skills certifications. Students work on real-world technology service learning projects. CMG maintains a computer lab and internet access for individuals who do not have access to technology resources.

Flagler Volunteer Services, Inc., Flagler County  

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Flagler Volunteer Services works directly with local non-profits, government agencies, and others to connect volunteers with service, including students who seek community service hours for scholarships and resumes and seniors who want to serve their neighbors.

Franklin’s Promise Coalition, Franklin County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 168 skills based volunteers, provide 3780 hours of service

Franklin’s Promise improves access to local services seek to eliminate service disparities of service and promotes positive youth development while emphasizing the reduction of substance abuse and other negative behaviors.

Growing Hope Foundation, Monroe County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Growing Hope improves access to healthy food through its farmers’ market, as well as helping individuals become self-reliant by growing their own food.

Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County, Seminole County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Habitat Seminole-Apopka builds new homes, rehabilitates existing homes and repairs older, owner-occupied homes that have fallen into a state of critical disrepair.  It works in partnership with homeowners-in-progress, volunteers and the community at large provide low-income families with safe, decent and affordable housing.

Hope for Miami, Miami-Dade County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Hope for Miami serves at-risk children and youth through a number of programs that focus on positive choices and healthy futures.

Parker Street Ministries, Polk County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Parker Street Ministries, Inc. (PSM) is a non-profit organization committed to individual, family and community restoration, reconciliation and revitalization in Lakeland’s Parker Street community and surrounding impoverished neighborhoods.

Pensacola Promise (Chain Reaction), Escambia County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Chain Reaction is a character education program that is teen-directed, teen-driven and teen-organized using volunteerism as its teaching tool. Since 2003, Chain Reaction has provided local teens ages 13 to 18 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties with safe, meaningful and educational volunteer activities.

Salvation Army of Tampa/Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

The Salvation Army will provide financial literacy, GED preparation and readiness classes and trainings to homeless individuals to assist them with housing and employment.

Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, Leon County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

Volunteers will directly address community education needs through teaching hands-on STEM-based activities that pertain to the natural sciences and environmental stewardship to students with limited access to STEM programs.

The Arc Jacksonville, Duval County
Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

The Arc Jacksonville is a local chapter of a national membership organization advocating for and serving individuals with unique abilities.  The Arc Jacksonville provides services to over 400 adults, including employment services, day programs, residential options, a social club, and a meaningful college experience on the campus of the University of North Florida.

United Way of Manatee County, Manatee County 

Projected Impact: Recruit 150 skills based volunteers, provide 1200 hours of service

United Way of Manatee County focuses on education, income, and health issues and seeks to make the local non-profit sector more effective and efficient.