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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 9, 201412:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: CIT employees collect 25 tons of food and personal items

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

CIT Group Inc.,  a provider of commercial lending, leasing and advisory services, and employees from its Jacksonville office collected more than 25 tons (50,073 pounds) of food and personal items during its ninth annual Employee Food Drive, and is expected to provide approximately 38,000 meals to local families as part of its Shared Harvest global food drive program.

“There’s a great need to support our Jacksonville area food banks and social service organizations as the issue of hunger is growing all the time,” said Nick Small, managing director of CIT Equipment Finance, U.S. “The overwhelming support for this food drive from our employees and from our surrounding communities allowed us to surpass last year’s total by nearly 700 pounds.”

During the past nine years, the CIT Jacksonville annual employee food drive has collected and donated more than 137 tons of food and toiletry items for local area charities. The items collected this year will be donated to City Rescue Mission, Sulzbacher Center, Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine and Mandarin Food Bank.

Spicer new CEO at The Bridge of Northeast Florida

The Bridge of Northeast Florida board of directors promoted Shariffa A. Spicer to CEO. Spicer celebrated her one-year anniversary with The Bridge, a nonprofit that offers academic opportunities for middle and high school students, as vice president of external affairs in June. The promotion leads Spicer to become just the second CEO in the organization’s 32-year history. Davalu Parrish, founder of the nonprofit, was the first CEO.

“As a proven leader, Shariffa brings a wealth of hard-core skills, vision and nonprofit experience to confront important community issues and ensure continued success in the future,” said Brian King, chair of the board of directors for The Bridge and chief strategy officer for Acosta Sales and Marketing. “The board of directors is looking forward to seeing Shariffa thrive in her new position, continue to bring people together to promote sustainable programs and explore new alternatives so that The Bridge can advance children and families who are most vulnerable in our community.”

Before joining The Bridge in 2013, Spicer served as the executive director at The Guardian Catholic Schools in Jacksonville and as mental health administrator at the DeKalb County Community Service Board in Atlanta. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social work from Tuskegee University and a Master of Science in alternative dispute resolution from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.

The Bridge of Northeast Florida is a nonprofit that has been offering academic opportunities for students ages 5-18 for more than 30 years. The Bridge is known for leading efforts with its educational programs that instill values in students and that have proven to increase their chances of obtaining a successful future.

For additional information on programs, volunteer opportunities and giving, visit

Dignity U Wear collects 200,000 pieces of underwear

The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, Brumos Automotive and Wells Fargo hosted an event for Dignity U Wear to celebrate the milestones reached in the mission of serving those in need in Jacksonville community and the United States.

Dignity U Wear, a Jacksonville-based national nonprofit, provides new clothing to women and girls in crisis, veterans and school children.

Dignity U Wear has completed its annual Undie Campaign, collecting more than 200,000 units of new underwear from national manufacturers including Hanes, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Delta Galil Industries, Maidenform and many individuals and local community organizations who collected new undies in Northeast Florida. The Undie Campaign also reached its financial goals through contributions from Brumos Automotive, The Father’s Day Council, CSX and Publix Super Markets Charities.

The achievements include serving more than 600,000 people, with 8 million pieces of clothing at a value of more than $140 million dollars.

To learn more about Dignity U Wear, visit

Bank of America supports workforce development

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded $94,000 in Workforce Development and Education Grants to eight nonprofits serving Northeast Florida.

The grants support groups that provide job-skill training, employment placement and education programs, all of which help individuals and families build better financial lives.

“When people in the Jacksonville metropolitan area gain access to education and employment, the whole region succeeds,” said Greg Smith, Northeast Florida market president, Bank of America. “We are working to provide access to job training and education because we know they’re critical parts of helping people start down a path to financial stability while meeting their immediate needs.”

The Jacksonville Chamber Foundation received $30,000 to aid the group’s Entrepreneurial Growth Division. The division provides entrepreneurial assessments, business counseling, education, mentoring and connections for business startups, emerging and existing small businesses and midsize companies.

Communities In Schools Jacksonville was awarded $12,000 to help fund a four-week summer STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program that addresses the transition for rising ninth-grade students who will be attending the Asa Philip Randolph Academies of Technology in the 2014-15 school year.

Other recipients are: Jacksonville Symphony Association ($5,000), Police Athletic League of Jacksonville ($10,000), Junior Achievement of North Florida ($10,000), The Bridge of Northeast Florida ($10,000), Catholic Charities Bureau ($7,000), and Edward Waters College ($10,000).

For more information on nonprofit programs and services that may qualify, visit

Christian Foundation chapter steps up

The National Christian Foundation Jacksonville, an affiliate of the National Christian Foundation, will joined 27 other NCF offices across the country this week to help launch a new online giving platform at

The platform was developed in response to the needs of donors who are seeking a more meaningful experience rather than a transaction-based service. NCF’s new site is designed to encourage greater generosity for those who use NCF Giving Funds (donor-advised funds) to accomplish their charitable giving.

Features include a cleaner, streamlined look and the ability to set annual and lifetime giving and granting goals.

Celebrity softball Aug. 21

Some of the most influential local leaders are joining the roster for the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition’s, Rounds at the Grounds, “All Stars” exhibition softball game.

The fundraising event is scheduled Aug. 21 just before the Suns take on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The competition will highlight the importance of getting the community to work together to reduce the area’s high infant mortality rate and improve the health of women, children and families in Northeast Florida.

This year’s theme “All Stars” celebrates the work of supporters the coalition’s efforts.

To date, community leaders taking the field will be: Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools Nikolai Vitti and his wife Rachel, morning co-host on 99.9 Gator Country Eden Kendall and former WNBA Commissioner and founder of Generation W Donna Orender.

For more information about the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, go to or for information about tickets, contact Sara Rieger at (904) 723-5422, ext. 124 or [email protected].

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