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Sheila Clifton Delongis  (back row, far right), mother of Maddie Clifton, and Glen Mitchell (left of Delongis), co-founder of Compassionate Families Inc., recently accepted a $1,000 grant from Community First Credit Union's Investing in You contest t...
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jun. 26, 201212:00 PM EST

Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville's Philanthropic Community


As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this feature that each week reports the efforts of local nonprofit organizations and the individuals and businesses that support them.

Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to email news, announcements and success stories to: [email protected].

We also encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they continue to provide valuable services with reduced resources.

400 books given for summer reading program

Jacksonville-based employees of The Main Street America Group donated 400 books to support a summer reading program for primary grade students (kindergarten through second grade) at Woodland Acres Elementary School in Jacksonville’s Arlington neighborhood.

The summer reading program is a new component of the longtime partnership insurance carrier Main Street America has established with the University of North Florida’s Urban Schools program that supports public schools throughout Duval County.

Through the program, Main Street America “adopted” Woodland Acres in 2009 and has provided year-round support to the school the past three years.

During a book fair held recently in the media center at Woodland Acres, students selected the book they want to read this summer. The book fair came on the heels of Main Street America hosting the entire fifth-grade class at Woodland Acres for a field trip. During their visit to Main Street America’s Southside headquarters, the 70-plus students learned some of the fundamentals of property/casualty insurance. The field trip also included an office tour and brief interactive presentations by members of the company’s information technology, product, claims and underwriting teams.

Teachers take off for Turkey trip

The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville is sending three teachers on a two-week enrichment program to Turkey, sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation. 

As part of the council’s 2012 Spotlight on Turkey Teacher Outreach Initiative, Ethan Dombkowski (Yulee), Elizabeth Gentry (Douglas Anderson School of the Arts) and Elisabeth O’Donnell (Ribault) left for Istanbul on Sunday.

Together with educators from 67 cities across the United States, their journeys began in Istanbul and will take them through Gallipoli and Troy, Canakkale, Bursa, Kusadasi, Catalhoyuk and Ankara, visiting world-famous cultural, archeological, architectural and natural sites of Turkey and meeting with local educators and representatives of Turkish civil society.

The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to promoting understanding of world affairs by sponsoring public programs for all ages, fostering discussion of international issues and opportunities, and providing a venue for people to meet others with similar interests.

Costco, Miracle Network raise $44K for hospitals

Costco Wholesale recently partnered again with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for the annual May is for Miracles balloon icon campaign. 

Jacksonville is home to one Costco Wholesale, at 4901 Gate Parkway. 

Throughout May, the location worked to raise more than $44,000 for UF & Shands Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the area Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 

This year marked 24 years since the partnership began in 1988. Nationally, Costco Wholesale locations across the United States raised more than $16 million in this year’s icon campaign.

Website helps start cancer conversation

Kids Together Against Cancer, a free program offered by St. Vincent’s HealthCare through a grant from the Rice Family Foundation and St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation, has posted a new website,, to help families start the conversation regarding their cancer journey. 

The website features information about the programs, resources for families, a photo gallery and a link to the St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation for donations. 

The site also gives families the chance to sign up for newsletters or follow the organization on Facebook. 

Families interested in signing up for the next workshop, which starts July 10, should contact Jennifer Maggiore at 308-5822 or email her at [email protected]

The workshop’s six sessions serve children ages 5 to 17 and their parents. Parents do not have to be a patient at St. Vincent’s Healthcare for the free program. 


Jaguars players and staff work to build HabiJax home

The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing hard work and team-building off the field and onto a construction site, partnering with EverBank and HabiJax to build a house for a Jacksonville family of five.

Construction began from the ground up on June 6. Jaguars players, coaches, staff, mascot Jaxson de Ville, members of the Roar cheerleaders and EverBank employees will work on the house throughout the building process, with a tentative completion date of early September.

The chosen family, parents Roderick and Twane and their three children ages 12, 9 and 3, have been working for two years completing more than 150 hours of volunteer service, participating in educational workshops and saving money for a down payment to meet HabiJax guidelines and qualify for a home.

“I’m so happy for this family. They’ve worked hard to earn this,” said Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

The Jaguars Foundation has sponsored the development of a community field at Flossie Brunson Eastside Park used for youth football and cheerleading programs and it has provided support for summer internships or employment for local youth.

The foundation also has adopted Andrew Jackson High School in efforts to support higher graduation rates and student preparation for entering the work force or continuing education. 

19 schools make dreams come true

With graduations coming to a close and the summer starting, Dreams Come True announced that 19 schools participated in the Kids Helping Kids program during the 2011-12 school year.

The schools raised $38,431 and sponsored the dreams of 19 local children battling life-threatening illnesses.

Kids Helping Kids is a signature program of Dreams Come True and brings together students and young people with dream recipients. Through the program, money is raised to sponsor the dream of a child who is battling a life-threatening illness. Fundraising projects can include car washes, bake sales, dances, talent shows, coin collections and many more activities.

Following the events, 100 percent of the funds raised by Kids Helping Kids are directed to dream fulfillment. Each group then hosts a Celebration of Life dream party, which in turns provides an opportunity for the

students to meet and spend time with their sponsored dream child. Kids Helping Kids groups include schools, clubs, youth groups, and civic, religious and service organizations.

Credit union grant given to Camp Maddie

Community First Credit Union awarded its fourth $1,000 Investing in You grant to Compassionate Families, Inc., to benefit Camp Maddie, its therapeutic camp that provides grief recovery and support services to children affected by homicide. The grant will help the camp expand its capacity for campers and continue its support in aiding children who have lost loved ones due to violent crime.

Komen receives $100K Weaver grant

The North Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has received a matching grant from the Weaver Family Foundation, which will match other donations and contributions dollar for dollar — up to $100,000 — made before March 31.

“The Weavers have long championed women’s health in North Florida and now, thanks to them, local underserved women — and men — at risk for breast cancer will receive the screening, education and treatment they need,” said Bruce Grob, executive director of Komen North Florida.

“One hundred percent of the Weaver grant will stay in the local Northeast Florida community,” he said.

The Weaver grant is being offered as Komen gears up for its North Florida Race for the Cure, scheduled for Oct. 20 at Metropolitan Park.

Registration has begun and teams are being formed for the Race, which attracted more than 5,400 people and raised $475,000 in 2011. Funds raised as part of the race will qualify as matching funds for the grant.

Bank of America chooses 5 students for leaders program

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced that five Jacksonville area high school students have been selected for the 2012 Student Leaders program, which awards a total of 225 high school juniors and seniors from around the country with paid eight-week summer internships at local nonprofit organizations.

The student awardees also will travel in July to Washington, D.C., to take part in a national Student Leadership Summit.

The local students are interning at Woodland Acres Elementary School. They are:

• James Wheeler, a rising senior at Bartram High School.

• Marissa Canady, a recent graduate of Paxon School for Advanced Studies.

• Brianna Jordan, a rising senior at Paxon School for Advanced Studies.

• Jerron Wheeler, a recent graduate of Stanton College Preparatory School.

• Russell Grim, a rising senior at Sandalwood High School.

Students will be working at summer camps, leading art projects, sports programs and academic activities for local area children.


Children affected by MS connect at Kids’ Camp

The National MS Society’s Kids’ Camp brought together more than 100 children with relatives living with multiple sclerosis to share their experiences.

The children gathered from May 15-18 at YMCA Camp Immokalee in Keystone Heights as part of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, North Florida Chapter’s MS Kids’ Camp Program.

This annual weekend retreat was held with the society’s Mid Florida Chapter and provided learning for children ages 7-13 who have a parent or relative with multiple sclerosis.

To address their need for support, the North Florida Chapter hosts MS Kids’ Camp annually and children can be registered to attend for free.

The camp featured water sports, MS education, art therapy from Art with a Heart and a carnival-themed dance party with food provided by Panda Express.

The children also participated in educational activities such as the MS Experience, which simulates what it can be like to have multiple sclerosis.

This year, Rotaract of Florida’s First Coast raised $4700 for the North Florida Chapter through its Bounce MS event in March to help send kids to camp.

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