Nearly 900 pets are in new homes after the Mega Pet Adoption event last weekend. Several nonprofit groups, including First Coast No More Homeless Pets and the Jacksonville Humane Society, and the city’s Animal Care & Protective Services participated in adoption fair.
Meeks joins Monique Burr Foundation
The Monique Burr Foundation for Children has named Antoinette Meeks as outreach and grants manager.
“She is the ideal choice to successfully expand the MBF Child Safety Matters program throughout the State of Florida due to her extensive experience with the Florida Department of Education and passion for our mission,” said Lynn Layton, executive director.
Meeks is completing her tenure with the Florida Department of Education as project manager for district-developed assessments in hard-to-measure content areas for the Office of Race to the Top Assessments. Meeks is a former teacher, department head and district-level coordinator for health education, safe and drug-free schools, athletic coach and district wellness team leader.
“My work with the foundation is perfectly aligned with my belief that before children can be open to learning and achieving, they need to feel safe. I am passionate about extending our mission throughout the state because prevention education works and is a more effective option than reactive intervention.”
Caring Chefs raises more than $138,000
The 31st annual Caring Chefs was a success for children and families as Children’s Home Society of Florida raised more than $138,000 in sponsorships alone to benefit local programs.
Northeast Florida’s biggest food-tasting event Sunday featured nearly 70 restaurants, caterers, wine vendors and local brewers showcasing their specialties and fine wine selections at the Avenues Mall.
Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Buckner Division serves 10,000 children and families in Northeast Florida each year through prevention and intervention programs. Services include foster care, adoption, child development, parent education and counseling.
Major sponsors for this year’s event were Acosta Sales & Marketing, the Avenues Mall, Black Knight Financial Services, The Francis and Miranda Children Foundation, Mrs. C. Herman Terry, Belk, CSX and JM Family Enterprises.
“The continued success of Caring Chefs helps CHS empower families to overcome obstacles, grow stronger together and break the generational cycle of abuse,” said Jodi Burns, volunteer event chair.
Casino cruise supports The Donna Foundation
Victory Casino Cruises is extending Play it Forward, a program developed to give back to the community and its causes. The program helps the business to raise awareness and funds for designated local charitable organizations on a monthly basis.
During November, Victory will partner with The Donna Foundation, a local nonprofit that raises money for the critical needs of women and men living with breast cancer.
“Anyone who’s ever had a serious illness knows that even if one is fortunate enough to have good insurance, it doesn’t cover everything,” said Julie Terrazzano, director of The Donna Foundation. “We are privileged to have the opportunity to assist those living with breast cancer, and it is programs like Victory’s Play It Forward that allows us to continue our support and raise awareness in our community.”
For each guest aboard the Victory II at 7 p.m. Nov. 7, Victory will donate $5 to The Donna Foundation. For a sold-out cruise, that equates to up to $3,000.
“Every day on the First Coast four women are told they have breast cancer,” said Lester Bullock, CEO for Victory Casino Cruises. “This program gives us the opportunity to support one unique and worthy local group each month. When we learned of The Donna Foundation, we knew they would be a perfect beneficiary for this program.
The Donna Foundation is a nonprofit developed by Donna Deegan, a three-time breast cancer survivor. The foundation partners with Catholic Charities Jacksonville Regional Office, the largest social service agency in the area, to administer the funds. The foundation has helped more than 7,000 people who are living with breast cancer. To learn more, visit thedonnafoundation.org.
Sleeping bags needed at Home Again St. Johns
Home Again St. Johns, a nonprofit that provides services to the homeless, has a wish list.
Besides donating monetarily to the growth and operations of the organization, one of the biggest needs Home Again has throughout the year is sleeping bags for those living in the woods and in their cars. With the weather beginning to turn cooler, there is a need for new and gently used, adult sleeping bags.
Home Again St. Johns also needs volunteers at their Drop-In Center, an outdoor shower and laundry facility for the homeless.
The center is open 2-6 p.m. Wednesday.
Home Again hopes to get enough volunteers to open Sunday afternoons, as well.
Donations of laundry detergent, insect repellant, sunscreen, disposable razors, hand sanitizer, dandruff shampoo, men’s and women’s deodorant, men’s shirts and jeans, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, combs and brushes are needed.
The organization is partnering with the St. Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau on the Flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast Top Chef Cook-Off on Oct. 23 and Nov. 22.
Home Again also will be the recipient of funds from the Mayor’s Holiday Lighting and Gala. The organization is responsible for coordinating the silent auctions at both of these events and could use more volunteers and auction items.
To volunteer or donate, call Diane Machaby, director of development, at (904) 687-6043.
Holiday shopping Saturday at Rethreaded
Rethreaded, a local nonprofit that helps those affected by human trafficking, will be open for holiday shopping.
The organization’s retail store will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at 820 Barnett St.
Rethreaded invites the community to “shop for freedom.” In addition to original Rethreaded products, hand-dyed Ombre’ scarves will be available.
Rethreaded’s up-cycle products — The Grace Scarf, Freedom bands and Threads for Hope — also will be on display, along with other merchandise sold by Rethreaded.
Shoppers can browse new fall colors and purchase gifts for the family. When items are purchased, buyers help break the cycle of the sex trade and offer healing to the women affected by it.
“This holiday season, give a gift that not only blesses your loved ones but can also change a life,” said Kristin Keen, Rethreaded founder and president.