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From left, Cheryl Grymes, Duval County Public Schools board member; Parker McCrary, Dignity U Wear board president; Becki Couch, school board chair; and Nikolai Vitti, school superintendent, cut the ribbon at the "New Clothes Closet."
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Oct. 29, 201412:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: Kohl's funds program for infants

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The Daily Record invites the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and other information they believe would be of interest to our readers. Email to: [email protected].

Kohl’s funds program for infants

Educational outreach to help new parents keep their infants safe during sleep hours is in its second year in Northeast Florida with the help of Kohl’s department stores.

Kohl’s Ready, Set, Sleep reminds parents and caregivers of the importance of following guidelines to prevent sleep-related deaths during the first year of life, including sudden infant death syndrome.

Northeast Florida’s infant mortality rate is above both the state of Florida and national rates.

A Kohl’s Cares donation of $107,137 was awarded to The Players Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital to conduct the initiative in counties throughout the region.

The primary target is expectant parents who cannot afford to provide a safe crib for their new-born.

The outreach also reminds all parents, grandparents and other caregivers of the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Since 2007, Kohl’s has donated more than $732,000 to Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

Other Wolfson supported through Kohl’s Cares includes Kohl’s Gear Up 4 Safety, conducted from 2007-12.

Walmart awards $120K in grants to local nonprofits

The Walmart Foundation awarded $485,000 in grants to 18 Florida nonprofits to help fund hunger relief, education, reef restoration and women’s economic empowerment efforts through the foundation’s State Giving Program.

Local recipients were:

•?Community Connections of Jacksonville, $25,000 for feeding the homeless and at-risk families.

• Florida State College Foundation, $25,000 for its College Reach-Out Summer Program.

• North Florida Council Boy Scouts of America, $25,000 for classroom character education.

• Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, $40,000 for the center’s meals program

• The Way Free Clinic in Jacksonville, $5,000 to help with basic medical care for residents in Clay County.

“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are uniquely positioned to help some of the most needy residents in communities we serve across the stat, and we are honored to support organizations that can help us make a significant impact,” said Jim Lewis, Walmart regional general manager for Central and North Florida.

In the past fiscal year, Walmart and its Foundation gave more than $67 million in cash and in-kind contributions to nonprofits in Florida.

New clothes for students from Dignity U Wear

Duval County Public Schools serves nearly 700 homeless students and thousands more identified as low income.

After many years of providing clothing for low-income children in the public school system on a case-by-case basis, Dignity U Wear, in cooperation with the school board, has established a “New Clothes Closet” that will be accessed exclusively by educators, school social workers and guidance counselors.

It will provide new clothing to underserved, at-risk school children.

Social workers will have direct access to

pants, shirts, uniforms, jeans, socks, underwear and other school-appropriate clothing for children.

Founded by philanthropist Henri Landwirth in 2000, the organization has provided more than 8 million pieces of clothing, valued at $139 million, to more than 600,000 people.

For more information about Dignity U Wear, visit dignityuwear.org.

Gamers raise $15,000 for UF Health Jacksonville, Wolfson

Game lovers spent 24 hours Saturday raising funds and playing their favorite games in the Extra Life Marathon in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Local gamers who registered and set a fundraising goal of $100 or more were invited to participate in the event at Corr Digital, 6100 Philips Highway.

Local participants raised more than $15,000 for the pediatric programs at UF Health Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Through their efforts, Jacksonville was named one of the first cities in Florida to reach “guild” status. In order to become a Guild City, at least 75 people must raise $75 through their fundraising pages.

“Extra Life has grown dramatically because it answers a very simple question: How can I use my love of gaming to make life better for kids in my community?” said Jeromy Adams, founder and managing director of Extra Life. “Local gamers are the reason this program has taken off and grown double year-over-year — from families to college students, individuals to teams.”

Gamers can continue their fundraising efforts through Dec. 31. Visit extra-life.org to make a donation to support local children’s hospitals.

Companies sponsor City Year’s service in Duval County schools

At an Oct. 9 ceremony, City Year AmeriCorps members pledged to make a difference in the lives of Duval County Public Schools students.

City Year, an education-focused nonprofit that unites teams of young people for a year of full-time service in the nation’s highest-need schools, launched its year of service in Jacksonville this month at City Hall.

Local education, community and business leaders, including Santhea Brown, wife of Mayor Alvin Brown; school Superintendent Nikolai Vitti; and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman joined City Year AmeriCorps members as they took their pledge.

“City Year inspires children to set high expectations and work hard to achieve their full potential,” said City Year Jacksonville Board Chair Kim Ward. “Their energetic and highly motivated corps members are there for our students every day, all day, year after year.”

On the national level, nearly 50 percent of dropouts come from only 10 percent of schools. In Jacksonville, the average graduation rate in some of the schools where City Year serves is about 69 percent.

Comcast and NBCUniversal sponsor opening day ceremonies at all 25 City Year locations and have provided more than $80 million in cash and in-kind support to the organization since 2001. The number of corps members has quadrupled during that time, from 700 to more than 2,800.

Other sponsors include Aramark (uniform sponsor), Acosta Sales & Marketing, CSX, EverBank, Florida Blue, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sea Best and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about City Year, visit cityyear.org.

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