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Britton Gallagher, St. Nicholas volunteer from Wells Fargo, visited students at Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Dec. 7, 201612:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: HandsOn Jacksonville plays Santa Claus for Duval County students

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Wilkinson, North Shore, Whitehouse, Windy Hill, Carter G. Woodson, Arlington Heights, Susie Tolbert and Sallye B. Mathis elementary schools were selected by HandsOn Jacksonville to be the recipients of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

More than 4,700 students received backpacks filled with toys, books and heath and wellness items Friday during visits from St. Nick.

The project was made possible by nearly 200 volunteers from GE Oil and Gas, PGA Tour, Regency Centers, University of Phoenix, Medtronic, Intrepid, Citi, Mainstreet America Group, Inn at Mayo, Papa John’s Pizza, Prudential, Synovus, TD Bank, Suddath, Swisher, Miller Electric, Black Knight and Wells Fargo.

Since 2003, HandsOn Jacksonville has served more than 100,000 students, distributing $5 million in goods and services into some of the most challenged schools.

For more information about volunteering opportunities, visit



Bryan first female chair of YMCA

Peggy Bryan has been elected chairwoman of the Metropolitan Board of Directors of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast.

She is the first female to lead the organization’s board.

Bryan, a Jacksonville native, has been involved in local philanthropic causes and has won numerous volunteer awards, including The Florida Times-Union’s 2014 EVE Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was instrumental in fundraising efforts for the new Winston Family YMCA, as well as the building of Gateway’s new outpatient/administration facility.

In addition, Bryan is a past president of Learn to Read, PACE Center for Girls, Greenscape of Jacksonville, Leadership Jacksonville and Youth Leadership Jacksonville.

She serves on several other local boards, including the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and Tiger Academy, the Y’s charter school.

For more information, visit


Rethreaded Christmas party is Saturday

Rethreaded, the nonprofit with a mission to break the cycle of the sex trade by offering victims meaningful employment, will host its annual Christmas party Saturday at its retail store and warehouse at 820 Barnett St.

Portraits with Santa begin at 10 a.m. The Berry Good Farms food truck will be on-site 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and two bands will perform Christmas music beginning at 5 p.m.

For more details, visit


Ability Housing seeking housewarming gifts

Ability Housing, a nonprofit committed to ensuring everyone has a safe and stable home, seeks community support for a crowdfunding campaign to raise $13,880 for move-in kits that will help 40 families exit homelessness.

Each kit provides basic household items, including beds, linens, personal care and cleaning items, bathroom supplies and kitchenware.

Kits cost an average of $347, depending on family size.

Donations can be made through Jan. 1 at

All donations are tax deductible.

Any surplus funds will be reserved to purchase move-in kits for households in the future.

“These households will be coming straight from the streets and shelters; they have very few possessions,” said Shannon Nazworth, executive director of Ability Housing.

The organization raised more than $14,000 through Crowdrise last summer to purchase move-in kits for residents of Village on Wiley, a 43-unit development that opened in August 2015.

For information, visit


Tax collector partnering with Toys for Tots

Duval County Tax Collector Michael Corrigan renewed his annual partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

This is the sixth year tax collector branch offices will serve as official toy drop-off sites.

Donors can drop off any new, unwrapped toy in the designated box located in the lobby of all branch offices through Tuesday.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 with a mission to collect toys and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children.

For more information, visit

For more information on the Duval County Tax Collector or to find a branch location, visit or call (904) 630-1916.


$420,000 grant for Communities In Schools

The Jim Moran Foundation awarded Communities In Schools of Jacksonville a two-year grant totaling more than $420,000 to support case management services at four Duval County schools.

Students at Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology, A. Philip Randolph Academies of Technology, Lake Forest Elementary School and Raines High School will continue to receive support from four full-time Communities In Schools site coordinators.

The coordinators connect struggling students with resources to help them achieve academically and succeed in life.

The foundation is a long-term partner of Communities In Schools and has provided more than $1 million in support since 2010.

Operating within schools since 1990, the Jacksonville affiliate of Communities In Schools serves more than 6,900 students in 37 schools with nationally recognized mentoring, literacy, case management and after-school programs.

For more information, visit


Brentwood Elementary receives Hyatt grant

As a part of Hyatt Community Grants, a philanthropic program that empowers Hyatt colleagues to guide charitable giving, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront awarded Brentwood Elementary School of the Arts a $10,000 grant toward building an on-campus student social area that will support integrated play.

The donation will further the school’s efforts in maintaining its educational program that develops the whole child by integrating a rigorous curriculum with an introduction to the arts.

A campaign organized by the school’s staff will help raise additional funds needed for the project.

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is among 26 Hyatt hotels around the world that will award grants totaling $350,000 to nonprofits in their communities in 2016.

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