This week, Volunteer Florida announced that $370,000 in Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) grants has been awarded to 22 nonprofit and service organizations across the Sunshine State. The 22 groups also secured $370,000 in local funding, bringing the total to $740,000.
“Volunteers play a critical role in our communities and without them, many of the goods and services that we know today would cease to exist,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “I applaud Volunteer Florida’s efforts to ensure that Florida’s nonprofit organizations have the resources they need to be successful in our communities.”
Volunteer Florida’s VGF program, which is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, helps organizations use skills-based volunteers to serve Florida students, families and communities. Skills-based volunteerism expands the impact of organizations by leveraging the experience and talents of professionals, such as teachers, IT consultants, accountants and attorneys.
“Skills-based volunteers are an integral part of many nonprofits as they help extend the reach and capacity of organizations to meet their missions,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Clay Ingram. “Since 2014, Volunteer Florida has been able to empower 50,943 skills-based volunteers to serve 746,487 hours, a value of nearly $17 million to the State of Florida, through the VGF program.”
The following organizations received VGF funding for the 2019-2020 program year:
Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church ($15,000) – Bay County
The Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church will recruit and utilize at least 400 volunteers who will help rebuild Hurricane Michael-damaged homes.
Big Bend Hospice Foundation, Inc. ($15,000) – Leon County
Big Bend Hospice will recruit 450 volunteers who will conduct Valor Ceremonies to honor the organization’s veteran patients.
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc. ($15,000) – Duval County
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council will recruit 500 volunteers who will lead STEM, financial literacy and life skills programs to Girl Scouts in north Florida.
Girls on the Run of the Big Bend, Inc. ($20,000) – Leon County
In their third year of funding, Girls on the Run of the Big Bend will recruit 400 volunteers to fulfill the organization’s mission of inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.
Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories, Inc. ($15,000) – Wakulla County
The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, Inc. will recruit 400 volunteers who will lead environmental education tours, assist with sea turtle releases, collect and identify marine specimens, care for marine specimens, participate in educational outreach events, and create educational exhibits at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea, Florida.
House of Hope ($15,000) – Martin County
House of Hope will recruit 400 volunteers that will contribute a total of 3,000 volunteer hours. Volunteers will assist the organization with various volunteer projects and duties in the organization’s food pantries, gardens and centers.
ICU Baby, Inc. ($15,000) – Miami-Dade County
ICU Baby will recruit 400 volunteers who will provide support to families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) at Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital and Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
Junior Achievement of Greater Miami ($15,000) – Dade County
Junior Achievement of Greater Miami will recruit 400 volunteers who will visit K-12 classrooms and interact with students and educators, sharing business knowledge and real-life experiences that relate to the lessons of Junior Achievement’s programming.
Junior Achievement of South Florida ($20,000) – Broward County
In their third year of funding, Junior Achievement of South Florida will recruit 400 volunteers who will instruct and mentor eighth grade and high school students and teach financial literacy, substance abuse prevention, and workforce readiness.
Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast ($15,000) – Palm Beach County
Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast will recruit 400 volunteers who will teach Junior Achievement curriculum in classrooms.
Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine ($15,000) – Polk County
Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine will recruit 400 volunteers that will provide clinical and operational support at their clinics.
Manna Food Bank ($15,000) – Escambia County
Manna Food Bank will recruit over 400 volunteers that will help the organization provide emergency food assistance and specialty programs to those in need in northwest Florida.
New Hope for Kids ($20,000) – Orange County
In their third year of funding, New Hope for Kids will recruit 400 volunteers who will work with children and adults dealing with grief and loss.
Performing Arts Center Trust, Inc. (The Adrienne Arsht Center) ($20,000) – Miami-Dade County
In their third year of funding, The Adrienne Arsht Center will recruit 400 volunteers who will tutor, mentor and engage more than 60,000 students from Miami-Dade County Public Schools as part of the center’s free art education program.
St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum ($20,000) – St. Johns County
In their third year of funding, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum will recruit 400 volunteers who will educate the public about the maritime history of Florida.
Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital ($15,000) – Broward County
The Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital will recruit 400 volunteers who will aid in fostering environmental stewardship.
Schott Memorial Center, Inc. ($20,000) – Broward County
In their third year of funding, Schott Communities will recruit 400 volunteers who will lead and assist with nutrition, mental health, and exercise activities for special needs clients at the organization’s center in Cooper City, Florida.
Seniors on a Mission, Inc. ($20,000) – Duval County
In their third year of funding, Seniors on a Mission will recruit 400 senior volunteers who will assist local nonprofit organizations in Jacksonville through various activities, such as sorting clothes and stuffing envelopes.
Speak Up for Kids of Palm Beach County, Inc. ($20,000) – Palm Beach County
In their third year of funding, Speak Up for Kids of Palm Beach County, Inc. will recruit 400 volunteers who will serve as child advocates, making sure that the child’s best interests are met during dependency cases in Palm Beach County.
St. Lucie County Oxbow Eco-Center ($15,000) – St. Lucie County
The Oxbow Eco-Center will recruit 400 volunteers who will serve to support the multi-faceted Riverlution Program and assist with education and outreach throughout St. Lucie County.
The School Board of Broward County, Florida ($15,000) – Broward County
The School Board of Broward County will recruit 400 volunteers who will complete service projects at over 100 school-sites throughout Broward County.
Volunteers in Service to the Elderly ($15,000) – Polk County
Volunteers in Service to the Elderly will recruit 400 volunteers to provide supportive services to more than 4,200 seniors, age 70 and above, to help them live safely and independently in their own homes.