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- 2013 - December - 18th -

Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville’s Philanthropic Community

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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: nonprofitnews@baileypub.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.

Quilts donated for proton therapy patients

Sixty quilts were donated by the River City Piecemakers Quilt Guild to the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute's pediatric program. The quilts will benefit children who are being treated for cancer and rare tumors.

An average of 20 children receive treatment there each day.

Guild members toured the UF Proton Therapy Institute and voted to give the quilts to the cancer treatment facility as part of their ongoing service project to donate quilts to organizations that benefit those in need.

"We sincerely thank the River City Piecemakers Quilt Guild members for their generous donation," said Stuart Klein, executive director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute. "Many of our children and their families are here from other cities and countries and these beautiful quilts will be a welcoming comfort to them."

For information about the UF Proton Therapy Institute, visit floridaproton.org or call toll-free (877) 686-6009.

Jaguars, Pepsi and Publix team up for Second Harvest

The Jacksonville Jaguars, PepsiCo, Publix Super Markets and Second Harvest North Florida food bank partnered for "Taste of the NFL," a program to provide food for 1,200 families, seniors and veterans in time for Christmas and the holiday season.

Team executives, players, cheerleaders and mascot Jaxson de Ville joined vendor and food bank representatives Tuesday at EverBank Field to distribute the first 200 meal packages to local nonprofit organizations. The remaining 1,000 meals will be delivered by Thursday.

The Jaguars Foundation, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo and Publix also made a $25,000 donation to Second Harvest North Florida.

"Our support of Second Harvest through the Taste of the NFL at EverBank Field provides thousands of meals for families throughout the year. However, it is especially important for the Jaguars to be of help to struggling families, seniors and veterans during the holiday season. We're blessed to make Jacksonville our home and it's a privilege to do our part through Second Harvest to help make the holidays a little brighter to those less fortunate in our community," said Jaguars President Mark Lamping in a news release.

The Jaguars Foundation coordinated with the following non-profit organizations to distribute the food: 5 Star Veterans Center, Andrew Jackson High School, Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, The Bridge of Northeast Florida, Cathedral Residences for Seniors, Communities In Schools of Nassau County, Communities In Schools of St. Johns County, Community Connections, daniel Inc., Exchange Club

Family Center, Families of Slain Children,  Fresh Ministries, Heart for Children, The Independent Living Resource Center, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, Metro Kids Konnection, The Sanctuary on 8th Street, St. Gerard Campus, Team-Up at Oak Hill Elementary, Touchstone Village at the Youth Crisis Center and Wounded Warrior Project.

Schultz Center looking for One Spark participants

The Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership and International Studies Abroad are partnering to help find participants for #EDSPARK, the official venue that will host creators with ideas in education April 9-13 at the One Spark crowdfunding festival.

One Spark showcases the future in the areas of art, innovation, music, science and technology.

The Schultz Center's #EDSPARK venue will house projects proposed by students under age 18, along with projects featuring innovations in education and learning proposed by educators, families and others interested in student learning.

ISA, headquartered in Austin, Texas, provides international education opportunities in 35 cities and 20 countries. Information about One Spark and the #EDSPARK initiative will be shared with alumni and current enrollees, bringing a broader pool of individuals and teams with ideas and innovations that could transform education.

Registration for One Spark creators is open through Jan. 31. Creator guidelines and other information can be found at beonespark.com/participate-creator.

Information about #EDSPARK can be found at edsparkjax.org.

Winn-Dixie fighting hunger this holiday

Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. launched its Holiday Hunger Relief Program aimed at helping Second Harvest North Florida solve hunger this holiday season.

Through Tuesday, Winn-Dixie customers can help provide meals for families in need by donating at any store register when they purchase items.

Second Harvest Executive Director Bruce Ganger said he expects Winn-Dixie's program to make a significant impact on the organization's ability to reach hundreds of thousands of hungry and food-insecure families this time of year.

"Winn-Dixie is a year-round partner in our fight to solve hunger," Ganger said. "For every dollar donated through the Holiday Hunger Relief Program, Second Harvest can provide seven meals to those in need."

Winn-Dixie's customers donated more than $120,000 during the grocer's Summer Hunger Relief Backpack Program, helping fill children's backpacks with fresh, healthy foods.

Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie's senior vice president of marketing, said the company's hunger relief programs are designed to build stronger, healthier communities.

"We want the holidays to be a time of joy and thankfulness for everyone we serve," she said.

For more information about Winn Dixie's Holiday Hunger Relief Program, visit wenourishhope.org.

400 children attend 'First Coast Nutcracker'

Through the Jacksonville Children's Commission, in partnership with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the First Coast Nutcracker, 400 children had an opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of a ballet and symphony orchestra. The classic story of the Nutcracker was told through four ballet performances Dec. 14-15 at the Times-Union Center. 

The First Coast Nutcracker ballet has been a holiday tradition in Northeast Florida for more than 40 years. The Children's Commission is one of three child-serving agencies selected to participate in the symphony's community service program. This year, 1,200 tickets were distributed.

Sleeping bags needed in St. Johns County

Home Again St. Johns, a nonprofit that provides services to the homeless, has a wish list it's hoping the public can make come true by donating to the organization.

One of the needs this time of year is sleeping bags for those living in the woods and in their cars. The sleeping bags must be in new or gently used condition and adult sizes are being requested.

Home Again St. Johns also requests items for its outdoor shower and laundry facility for the homeless. Donations of towels, washcloths, body wash, shampoo and laundry detergent are needed.

Home Again St. Johns needs volunteers to help with clerical work in the office, at special events and at the shower and laundry facility.

Anyone interested in supporting Home Again St. Johns by donating any of these items to the organization or by becoming a volunteer may call (904) 881-1167.

The mission of Home Again St. Johns is to promote, foster and support a collaborative approach among social service and governmental agencies, community groups, faith-based organizations and dedicated private citizens for resolving issues related to homelessness in St. Johns County. The support has resulted in coordination of homeless services, a daily meal served to 100 people each evening and identifying and acquiring the right place for a location that can house multiple agencies providing services.

Auto dealer supports party for children

Subaru of Jacksonville took the car manufacturer's national "Share the Love" event a step further in order to benefit the Dec. 14 Jacksonville Children's Christmas Party.

This year, the dealership presented more than $5,000 in toys and a $10,000 cash donation to the party.

"Subaru of Jacksonville cares deeply about Jacksonville, and we 'Share the Love' throughout the year by working with organizations that have a track record making a difference in the lives our neighbors," said Phil Porter, owner of Subaru of Jacksonville.

As a part of the national Subaru "Share the Love" event, now through Jan. 4, customers purchasing or leasing a Subaru can choose the Jacksonville Children's Christmas Party as the recipient of a $250 donation that will be matched by Subaru of Jacksonville.

HabiJax to host summit

Habitat for Humanity International is scheduled to host three Affiliate Summits in 2014, and has chosen Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville (HabiJax) to host the second event.

The summit will take place Jan. 8-9 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront and will highlight the efforts being made by HabiJax to revitalize the historic neighborhood of New Town.

More information about HabiJax is available at habijax.org or by calling (904) 798-4529.

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