Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville’s Philanthropic Community
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Challenge grant awarded to Senior Life Foundation
The Weaver Family Foundation Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville awarded a $12,500 challenge grant to the Senior Life Foundation to fund the services offered through the Emergency Help Line at (904) 268-9128.
The challenge requires a one-to-one match, and the Senior Life Foundation will raise $12,500 through donations from the community.
The Senior Life Foundation's clients are Duval County seniors, age 60 and older, who live in their own home or apartment and have incomes less than $1,000 per month.
Services for seniors include paying rent or mortgage to forestall eviction, purchasing life-sustaining food and prescriptions, buying propane for heating and cooking, replacing broken and unsafe appliances to save energy and lower utility bills, providing vision screening and prescription eye glasses and more.
"We are very proud to be recognized for our work in the community by the Weaver Family Foundation Fund. This generous gift is a blessing in many ways," said Senior Life Foundation CEO Mari Terbrueggen.
"First, it provides a great incentive for new donors to support the Senior Life Foundation. Also, it provides incentive for past or existing donors to renew or increase their support. Most importantly, this gift will provide much needed assistance to a greatly underserved and deserving segment of Duval County's population — seniors who live below the poverty level," she said.
The mission of the Senior Life Foundation is to help meet the urgent needs of low-income seniors in Duval County with a rapid response time and to help them live independently and with dignity. The Senior Life Foundation is all-volunteer and 98 percent of its income is paid out in direct assistance to seniors.
Coach Foundation supports Communities In Schools
The Coach Foundation has pledged $50,000 to Communities In Schools of Jacksonville in support of the organization's literacy program, Duval Reads.
The program provides intensive one-on-one and small group literacy tutoring for students in kindergarten through eighth grade in 18 Duval County public schools.
The goal of the program is to increase the students' reading comprehension by at least one letter grade. Forty-two AmeriCorps tutors work in the schools on a part- or full-time basis.
"We are very fortunate to have a global company such as Coach supporting our organization," said Communities In Schools CEO Jon Heymann.
"The dedication the company has to education services and philanthropy will be a tremendous benefit to the students we serve," he said.
Along with the financial funding, Coach's employees will be involved with Communities In Schools as volunteers. The Coach Foundation seeks nonprofit partners that encourage participation.
Volunteer opportunities for employees will include tutoring, mentoring and corporate reading days at one of the Duval County schools served by Communities In Schools.
PR firms aids worldwide charity
Water For All Nations now accepts online donations for creating worldwide clean water solutions, following a financial gift from the AXIA Public Relations firm.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 3 million people — 1.5 million of them under the age of 5 — die each year from issues related to a lack of available clean water.
Nearly 1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water and 2.5 billion need improved water and sanitation. The World Bank estimates that by 2035, 3 billion people who currently live in areas with severe water scarcity — especially Africa, the Middle East and South Asia — will not have access to safe water.
"As part of AXIA's corporate social responsibility, our public relations firm wanted to help Water For All Nations solve this great worldwide need," said Jason Mudd, chief executive of AXIA Public Relations.
Grant funds pet services
The Jacksonville Humane Society Animal Hospital has broadened the group of animals eligible for free spay and neuter surgeries through its Fix 32216 program.
Through a $196,240 grant from PetSmart Charities, JHS originally offered 1,800 free spays and neuters to cats and to pit bulls in the 32216 ZIP code.
The program has been amended and now is open to all dogs and owned cats in that ZIP code. Feral cats are not eligible for spays and neuters through the program.
"JHS is encouraging more people to spay and neuter their pets to help make Jacksonville a no-kill community by 2014," said Denise Deisler, executive director.
Spay and neuter packages at the society's animal hospital typically start at $45. The packages include pre-surgery exams and pain medications.
Since starting the Fix 32216 program, the Jacksonville Humane Society has spayed and neutered 427 cats and 40 dogs. The society estimates providing more than 600 additional cat surgeries and more than 700 additional dog surgeries.
The humane society will offer the free surgeries for the next 18 months on a first-come, first-served basis until grant funds run out. Pet owners in the 32216 ZIP code can call (904) 402-8787 to make an appointment for the free spay and neuter surgeries.