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: email@example.com. We encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they continue to provide much-needed services with reduced resources.
Local union to award scholarships
The Jacksonville chapter of the International Longshoremen's Association, ILA Local 1408, will award $45,000 in scholarships today to more than 30 local high school seniors and college students.
The ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Fund was founded in 1995 by Charles Spencer, executive vice president of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, International Longshoreman Association vice president and former president of Local 1408 in Jacksonville.
Local 1408 connects longshoremen, dock workers who are skilled in loading and unloading cargo ships, with jobs at the Port of Jacksonville and provides benefits for its members. There are currently 1,200 members associated with the chapter.
Students vying for awards from the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Fund submitted an essay answering the question, "As the United States begins transitioning beyond the fiscal cliff, what are the most significant issues still impacting our economy and how would you begin correcting these issues?" Additional requirements included a minimum 2.75 GPA and community service activities.
"As future leaders in our community, it's important for students to start thinking about the issues they will be faced with once they are out of school," said Spencer, who serves as chairman of the scholarship fund.
"Our scholarship program not only rewards students for academic achievement and community involvement, but also for their willingness and ability to begin constructing a plan for the future," he said.
The scholarship program has awarded more than $500,000 to more than 600 students in the past 18 years. The scholarships are funded by proceeds from Local 1408's annual golf tournament as well as corporate sponsorships.
"As college tuitions continue to increase, high school and college students need community support to achieve their higher education goals," Spencer said.
The International Longshoremen's Association is the largest union of maritime workers in North America, representing 65,000 longshoremen on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Great Lakes, major U.S. rivers, Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada.
Sulzbacher Center and FSCJ partner for education
In spring of 2012, Florida State College at Jacksonville and the Sulzbacher Center, Northeast Florida's largest provider of comprehensive services for homeless men, women and children, forged a partnership to encourage Sulzbacher residents to earn their high school equivalency diploma.
The Pathways to College-High School Equivalency Program serves 20 Sulzbacher Center residents per semester with the goal of improving their access to the local job market.
The Sulzbacher Center and FSCJ recently celebrated the first graduate of the joint program when Eleshia Oldham received her diploma.
"This amazing partnership with FSCJ's GED program has given Eleshia the chance to change her life. It was such a thrill to have her come back to the classroom and for her fellow students to be able to celebrate this exciting milestone with her," said Suzanne Bonafanti, senior director for business development and career education at the center.
"It showed all of her classmates that with hard work and determination they could also obtain their high school equivalency. We, at the Sulzbacher Center, are so proud of her and know she is on her way to achieving great things," she said.
Oldham plans to continue her education at FSCJ in September, entering the college to begin work on her degree toward her ultimate goal of becoming a social worker.
"I thank God that I was able to participate in the Pathways GED program and that Ms. Randall was my teacher. She did an amazing job and inspired me to keep going even though I faced a few setbacks," said Oldham.
"A wise person once said, 'If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.' That is how I view my life, if I want change I have to be that change," she said.
Charity golf tournament Aug. 26 at Hidden Hills
Community Rehabilitation Center, a provider of social services for mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDs, has scheduled a fundraising golf tournament and golf club drive for youth players of The First Tee Aug. 26 at Hidden Hills Country Club.
This year's golf tournament also features a golf club drive for youth players of The First Tee, an initiative to provide positive youth development through the game of golf. Jacksonville's First Tee facility is located in CRC's community.
Celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year, CRC provides social services for mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. CRC is often a last resort for our community's most chronically ill patients. CRC provides services and care, some of the most complicated and costly, for some of the lowest fees and reimbursements. Most of the population CRC cares for is considered indigent and rely on public assistance for their care.
For more information or to register for the tournament, visit communityrehabcenter.org.
Creek cleanup scheduled Sept. 28
North Florida Land Trust and its partners are hosting a creek cleanup and festival on Sept. 28 at Hollybrook Park.
"Moppin' Up McCoys" is a community-driven restoration initiative made possible by a grant from Wells Fargo through its Environmental Solutions for Communities program.
Sept. 28 is National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort to improve, educate and value public lands.
"North Florida Land Trust and its partners are committed to the goal of revitalizing McCoys Creek, and also Hogan's Creek, to Henry J. Klutho's historical vision of urban blueway parks," said Bonnie Barnes, executive director of North Florida Land Trust.
"Our September cleanup is one of three volunteer cleanups signaling the beginning of an exciting time for our city to reclaim and restore the creeks known as Jacksonville's Emerald Necklace," she said.
To volunteer, call St. Johns Riverkeeper at (904) 256-7613 or for more information, call NFLT at (904) 285-7020 or visit northfloridalandtrust.org.
Following the cleanup, volunteers and the community are invited to learn about Klutho's vision for Jacksonville's urban blueway from noon-4 p.m. at the Emerald Necklace Festival where partner organizations will share their expertise on the environment, history and healthy living. There will be children's activities, live music and food.
Founded in 1999, NFLT spans seven counties, protecting more than 2,500 acres including land at Big Talbot Island, the River Branch Preserve, Pumpkin Hill State Park, Moccasin Slough, and along the St. Mary's River.
Led by 2013 Board of Directors President Adam Hoyles, the community-based organization operates as a 501c3 nonprofit and serves Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties.
The organization relies on fundraisers and the contributions of supporters to acquire preservation lands. NFLT's mission is to cultivate a legacy for our children through the protection of natural and cultural resources in North Florida. NFLT is a member of the national Land Trust Alliance.
For more information, visit northfloridalandtrust.org.