We also encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they try to continue to provide valuable services with reduced resources.
'Dream family' went to Gator Bowl
The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl and Circle K Furniture brought holiday joy to one Dreams Come True dream family. The Deer family on Dec. 19 was greeted at Dreams Come True by representatives from the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, including Patches the mascot, and Circle K Furniture.
The family was presented with four tickets to the Northwestern University versus Mississippi State University football game Jan. 1. In addition, the family also received a Broyhill dining room set and a $250 gift certificate from Circle K Furniture.
The surprise was part of Dreams Come True's "Special Times" program, which focuses on providing special moments for dreamers and their families before and after a child's dream.
The Deer family is one of nearly 3,000 families impacted through Dreams Come True of Jacksonville since 1984. Dreamer Elijah, now 16, was sent on his dream in March 2011 to meet the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team in Nashville.
The Gator Bowl game and events are a 67-year old Northeast Florida tradition. Its mission is to provide Northeast Florida with the best in college athletics and related activities in order to maximize positive impact on the area's economy, national image and community pride. For more information, visit gatorbowl.com.
Circle K Furniture is a family-owned, Christian-based company, committed to serving the community since 1985. For more information, visit circlekfurniture.com.
'Hope for the Holidays'
"Furyk & Friends, Hope for the Holidays" was presented by the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation. The hands-on charity event provided more than 900 children and their families food over the holidays.
Families and children packed and loaded meals for children participating in the "Blessings in a Backpack" program.
The "Hope for the Holidays" event provides food for three Duval County public elementary schools: John Love, Seabreeze and Hyde Grove, along with five schools in St. Johns County: The Webster School, Crookshank, Sebastian Middle, PVPV-Rawlings and Ocean Palms Elementary Schools.
The packing efforts also had the support of PGA Tour golfer Jim Furyk, his wife, Tabitha, and their family, Jacksonville Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville and Jaguars fullback Greg Jones.
"I couldn't be happier to help such a great cause like Blessings in a Backpack. I can't wait to get more involved with Jim and Tabitha Furyk and all the people from Blessings to make sure our local children don't go hungry," said Jones.
Seabreeze Elementary student government President Hunter Reid donated $1,000 he raised helping other young people at his school in support of Blessings in a Backpack.
"It's exciting because I know this is going to go to some families who need food over the holidays," he said.
Charity auction for Daniel
Members of the Northeast Florida Builders Association and its Sales and Marketing Council showed their giving spirit by taking part in charitable activities to benefit local children during the holiday season.
The 8th annual Holiday Auction, held during the monthly NEFBA/SMC breakfast program, offered a range of items contributed by members. A portion of the auction proceeds benefited the children and youth at Daniel, a multiservice agency that assists children, adolescents and families.
Individual members and companies also donated gifts for Daniel's Christmas Wish List Collection so that every child had gifts to open during holidays. Guests attending the event also donated teddy bears to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
"Community service has always been fundamental to NEFBA's mission," said Barbara Moore, 2012 NEFBA president and Jacksonville division president of Lennar Homes.
"During the holiday season, it is especially important to remember the needs of children. It has been inspiring to see the philanthropic support demonstrated by our kindhearted members," she said.
Law firm donates to Foster Closet
For the holiday season, Terrell Hogan attorneys and staff joined together to support the Foster Closet.
Foster Closet is a free resource for Northeast Florida's foster parents and relative and non-relative placements to access clothing, children's accessories, toys and children's furniture to help take care of the foster children entrusted to them.
The Terrell Hogan firm donated gently used clothing, blankets, toys, diapers, winter essentials and other items to help support the resource for area foster children and also provides resources for adult foster children as they begin their adult life.
Visit fostercloset.org for more information.
PGA Tour supports Head Start program
Community First Credit Union collected toys and treats to stuff nearly 200 stockings for children in Northeast Florida. The stockings were donated to The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida, which distributed them to
children and families in need.
"The Salvation Army helps to bring the miracle of the season to more than 15,000 people in our area each year, and we are pleased to help make the holiday a little brighter for our neighbors along the First Coast who may have fallen on hard times," said John Hirabayashi, Community First president and CEO.
"The employees at Community First are always eager to participate in charitable activities and personally embrace our organization's desire to improve the quality of life where we live, work and play," he said.
PGA Tour supports Head Start program
PGA Tour employees and The Players Championship celebrated the holidays by providing Christmas gifts for nearly 350 children in the St. Johns County School District Head Start program.
Trucks delivered 1,800 wrapped packages for the students and their siblings.
Head Start is a child development program that offers comprehensive services for eligible, low-income children and their families.
The PGA Tour is committed to making a positive impact on the community, summarized by its "Together, Anything's Possible" campaign.
Since 1977, when the tournament moved to Ponte Vedra, more than $52 million has been contributed to Northeast Florida charities, including a record $6.5 million in 2012.
Arts awards nominations open
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is seeking nominations for the 37th Annual Arts Awards.
Awards will be made in the categories of corporate, individual, educator and innovator. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 15.
Awards are made by a selection committee of local arts and business leaders, educators, past recipients and council board members.
Winners will be announced April 12 during the Arts Awards at the Main Library.
The committee will review nominations based on criteria such as community outreach, service to the underserved and the development of innovative programs and collaborations.
Innovators may be businesses or individuals. Nominations are open to artists if their contributions demonstrate outstanding service to the community; if accomplishments have exceeded professional responsibilities; and if the quality of their work has heightened awareness of an artistic discipline in the community.
Nominations can be made by the nominee or a second party. For a complete set of criteria or a nomination form, visit culturalcouncil.org.
As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this page that will each week chronicle the efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and any other information they believe would be of interest to our readers. Email to: email@example.com.