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- 2013 - December - 25th -

Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville’s Philanthropic Community

From Staff

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.

Bank of America helps at children's party

More than 120 associates from Bank of America volunteered last week at the Children's Christmas Party of Jacksonville where more than 6,000 children received holiday gifts. Bank of America has supported the party for three years. The Children's Christmas Party of Jacksonville, a nonprofit organization, was founded in December 1999 by Travis and Margaret Storey to provide toys for Jacksonville children who otherwise might not receive toys during the holiday season.

Arc Village project gets major award, still needs $4 million

The board of The Florida Housing Finance Corp. approved an award of almost $10.8 million in affordable housing tax credits plus $4.5 million in state funds (including a $1.5 million developmental disability grant) for construction of The Arc Village.

The village is a planned neighborhood for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be located near the intersection of Hodges and Beach boulevards.

That money will be added to $2.4 million pledged to secure the $17.7 million necessary for The Arc Jacksonville to move forward with The Village project.

A gap of $4 million in additional philanthropy is needed to complete The Arc Village campaign.

Groundbreaking for the project is anticipated in late spring.

Private philanthropy raised during The Arc Jacksonville's capital campaign "silent phase" was critical to accompany the tax credit award and additional state grant funding in order to provide a total of an estimated $17.7 million necessary for initial construction and development for The Arc Village.

The additional $4 million being sought will fund furnishings for common areas, vehicles, equipment, core staff training, start-up operations and an endowment.

The Arc Jacksonville is a 501(c)3 nonprofit advocacy and assistance organization established in 1965 to serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Approximately 400 adults benefit daily from day programs, residential homes, young adult experiences and services in employment, mental health and behavior modification.

Police, firefighters take 100 kids shopping

On Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department partnered to take more than 100 children from the Police Athletic League, the Sulzbacher Center and Gateway Community Services shopping for Christmas.

Eight children who were displaced because of a fire in their Westside apartment two days before Thanksgiving were special guests during the shopping spree.

"PAL learned of several children who, along with their families, were severely impacted by a fire at the Victory Pointe apartment complex," said PAL Executive Director Lt. Mathew Nemeth. "We reached out to them through the media and are pleased to provide the children with clothing, other necessities and Christmas gifts through this event."

Before the event, each honoree provided a wish list to Santa so he can deliver one item from the list to the child when the guest arrives.

After meeting with Santa Claus, each child is accompanied by a police officer or firefighter to shop for clothes, toys, personal hygiene items and more using a Walmart gift card.

The event was organized by PAL board member Stephen Vining and retired Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Steve Weintraub.

It was made possible through the support of the Walmart on 103rd Street, PAL, the sheriff's office, the fire department, the Demetree Family Foundation, Cecil W. Powell & Co., the Ramallah American Club and private donors.

Law firm, Clara White Mission work together

The Terrell Hogan Law Firm partnered with the Clara White Mission to provide support through donations, volunteering to serve meals and retaining its catering service — Ashley Street Catering – for the firm's holiday party.

"It was a win-win," said Wayne Hogan, president of the Terrell Hogan Law Firm. "They do a great job in their principal mission and took great care of us as we celebrated the holidays and helped support the very important work they do for low-income families, the homeless and veterans in our community."

The Terrell Hogan staff donated a large truck loaded with items, including professional clothing for job interviews, household goods, toiletries, toys and monetary donations for haircuts and other necessary items to help individuals get back into the job market.

Founded in 1904, the Clara White Mission provides 500 meals a day, seven days a week, to the area's homeless. It provides transitional housing — for up to two years — during their search for a job and home. The organization helps individuals re-enter the workforce through vocational training programs in culinary arts and janitorial-construction.

Culinary arts program graduates work at Ashley Street Catering and Clara's at the Cathedral, a weekly upscale lunch event at the St. John's Cathedral, both operated by the Clara White Mission. To date, 703 students have graduated from the vocational programs and 65 percent of those placed in employment remain in the workforce.

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