It wasn’t exactly the day they had planned, but the weather allowed a few hours of fun on the water for a group of young adults from the Daniel Foundation.
Freedom Boat Club, based at Julington Creek Marina, worked with Daniel to reward the group of eight young people with a boat trip.
Freedom Boat Club originally planned to take them from Julington Creek Marina to Green Cove Springs and Cunningham Creek, but the weather altered those plans. Instead, the group cruised down Julington Creek and Durbin Creek for a ride to look at nature. The group saw an alligator, birds and scenic waterway homes.
In order to qualify for the program, the young adults must be in school full-time, work a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend groups and therapy, as well as workshops on budgeting and life skills.
Many of the clients aged out of foster care without ever being adopted, some were found homeless and others were separated from their families due to a death.
The Daniel Foundation offers health and social services to help children with emotional, social and behavioral issues.
If you know a charitable group or nonprofit in the Jacksonville area that deserves a day out on the water, contact the Freedom Boat Club at (904) 588-2417.
Local student wins Arthur Ashe essay contest
Rising seventh-grader Alfredo Reyes from Kirby Smith Middle School was named one of 10 winners in the 17th Annual Arthur Ashe Essay and Photo Contest.
The contest is open to National Junior Tennis and Learning participants. Reyes is a MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation program member.
Students answered the following question: “Who is a local NJTL hero in your community that resembles what Mr. Pasarell (NJTL founder) did through NJTL?”
National essay winners receive a trip for two to New York City on Aug. 29 and will be guests at the 2015 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
$28,000 from Walmart to Feeding Northeast Florida food bank
Feeding Northeast Florida received a $28,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to fund retail infrastructure that will help secure and distribute more food for families in need.
The grant will support investments in equipment necessary to handle perishable products including refrigerated vehicles, coolers and freezers for transporting, storing and distributing food.
Since 2009, the Walmart Foundation has invested in more than 170 refrigerated vehicles so that Feeding America member food banks and their partner agencies can get more food to people struggling with hunger. This year, the Walmart Foundation expanded the scope of the grant to offer a broader variety of equipment options that will meet the needs of more food banks and agencies.
In addition to boxed items and canned goods, the food bank secures fresh food from retailers in Northeast Florida. The Walmart Foundation has been instrumental in helping build the capacity of food banks to rescue and distribute more perishable food from retailers across the United States in a sustainable, cost-effective way.
In Northeast Florida 322,300 people in 17 counties rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families; 29 percent are children under age 18; and 15 percent are age 60 or older.
To donate, volunteer or learn more about eliminating hunger in Northeast Florida, visit feedingnefl.org or call (904) 513-1333.
Backpacks filled with supplies for foster children
Backpacks and school supplies donated by employees of Florida Blue, JEA, Mercedes-Benz USA, Office Depot Foundation and Adams & Reese LLP will be distributed Saturday at First Baptist Church Downtown to more than 150 local foster children at the annual Family Support Services backpack giveaway.
Employees from CarMax, JEA and Adams & Reese will volunteer at the event to distribute backpacks to the children.
Donated book bags and supplies will be provided before school begins by their case managers to an additional 650 local children in foster care. More than 1,500 filled backpacks will be given to children receiving in-home supervised care.
Lee Kaywork, Family Support Services CEO, said the donations ensure foster children start the school year with the supplies they need to be successful, while relieving foster parents of the expense of providing those materials.
Family Support Services of North Florida is the lead agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in Duval and Nassau counties.
Dollar Tree collecting for Back to School Brigade
Thursday is the last chance to purchase school supplies at area Dollar Tree stores to benefit families of military personnel served by Operation Homefront’s Back to School Brigade program.
Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree partner through the program to provide military families with school supplies that Dollar Tree customers donate.
More than $5 million worth of school supplies were provided to more than 30,000 military children last year. Now in the seventh year of partnership between Dollar Tree and Operation Homefront, the program depends on the generosity of the retailer’s patrons to support military families.
Donations may be made at Dollar Tree stores along University Boulevard, Edgewood Avenue, Merrill Road and New Kings Road.
Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its founding in 2002. For more information, go to OperationHomefront.net.
Community First Credit Union sponsors Community Nutcracker
The Community Nutcracker announced Community First Credit Union as the 2015 Principal Sponsor for The Nutcracker Ballet.
The Community Nutcracker will present its 24th annual production Dec. 10-12 at the Florida Theatre.
Through its performances, more than $475,000 has been raised for local charities. The Community Nutcracker has worked with Dreams Come True since 2005 and has assisted in bringing joy and comfort to more than 30 children battling life-threatening illnesses.
Auditions for the production are scheduled Sept. 11-12 at Jacksonville University. Interested dancers and performers must register online beginning Friday at jaxnutcracker.org/2015-registration.
$310,000 for North Florida Land Trust
North Florida Land Trust will be able to protect even more land after receiving two donations totaling more than $310,000.
The Edward F. Hicks family donated $100,000 to the trust which brings the organization a step closer to acquiring Bogey Creek Preserve, one of the few projects the state is helping to preserve this year.
The land is located on Clapboard and Bogey Creeks, neighboring Pumpkin Hill Preserve State Park and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
Ed and Sherry Hicks have fond memories of fishing and boating in the creeks, streams and rivers with their three sons.
“We just wanted to do something that our sons and grandchildren can look at someday and say ‘our family made that possible’ and be proud.” said Ed Hicks.
North Florida Land Trust was approved for a grant from the Florida Communities Trust program for the Bogey Creek Preserve. Under the grant, the state will pay 80 percent of the cost of the property, up to $2.4 million. The trust must fund the remaining 20 percent.
The second donation was from David and Robin Donoho, who gave more than $210,000.
The gift will make it possible for the land trust to undertake acquisition of properties in the Nassau River, along Yellow Bluff Road, in Fernandina Beach and along Six Mile Creek.