Skip to main content
Dreamer Ella Brink (front row, second from left) with the Student Council at Gamble Rogers Middle School. Through Dreams Come True's Kids Helping Kids program, the students sponsored Brink's Disney Dream this summer.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jun. 24, 201512:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: Students help make dreams come true for children

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Dreams Come True and more than 25 public and private schools participated in the Kids Helping Kids program during the 2014-15 school year.

Funds raised totaled $55,908 and sponsored the dreams of 20 local children.

Kids Helping Kids is a program of Dreams Come True that brings together young people and dream recipients. Money is raised to sponsor the dreams of local children who are battling a life-threatening illness. Fundraising projects can include car washes, bake sales, dances, talent shows, coin collections and other activities.

All of the funds raised by Kids Helping Kids go directly to dream fulfillment. Each group is given the chance to host a Celebration of Life dream party, which provides an opportunity for the students to meet their sponsored dream child.

Through the program, students experience the satisfaction that comes from helping others and the dream child meets the students who made his or her dream come true.

Schools, youth groups, clubs or any service/religious organization interested in participating in the Kids Helping Kids program can contact Kate Wirz, development coordinator, at [email protected] or (904) 296-3030.



Salvation Army provides summer camp

Children ages 6-14 living at The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Lodge shelter for women and families have no excuse for summer boredom.

With funding from the George Baldwin Foundation through the United Way of Northeast Florida, The Salvation Army has created an eight-week full-day summer camp for the children, who are at high risk for second-generation homelessness.

The camp also is open to low-income and homeless children not living at the shelter who are at risk for second-generation homelessness.

Each week includes activities intended to not only be fun, but also to give the kids a well-rounded educational experience.

A highlight of the day camp will be twice-weekly music lessons provided by the League of Florida Orchestras. Each child will be loaned a violin to use for the summer and the experience will culminate in a recital at the end of the camp.

Field trips include the Marine Science Center at Jacksonville University, the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Jacksonville Public Library and swimming at the YMCA.

“We realized that with expertise in both education and social services on our staff, and a group of kids in our own shelter who could benefit from intentional summer activities, we could make something really wonderful here,” said Jodie Cetnar, Salvation Army social services director.


Jacksonville joins ‘Youth in the Great Outdoors’

Jacksonville was selected by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a priority city for its new Youth in the Great Outdoors initiative.

The program is designed to engage the next generation of outdoor stewards and inspire young adults to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors. Jacksonville was chosen as one of the first 50 cities to participate in the nationwide movement.

The initiative is funded through a $5 million national commitment by the American Express Foundation and will provide two years of funding for the Florida’s First Coast YMCA to create a community coordinator position in Jacksonville to help coordinate efforts, grow resources and increase participation in outdoor programs on public lands.

The funding will also support efforts to encourage young adults and military veterans to serve on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and recruit new volunteers during next year’s National Park Service centennial.

“American Express has seen how America’s parks and public lands contribute to our sense of national and local identity, and we are proud to lead an effort to mobilize a new generation of volunteers to protect, conserve and revitalize America’s public lands and treasured national parks,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation.


Realtors raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network

More than 100 Realtors, partners and guests attended Re/Max WaterMarke’s Second Annual Realtor Island Party on June 10 to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The fundraiser, held at Re/Max WaterMarke’s Queen’s Harbour office, raised $2,135 that will help purchase life-saving medical equipment, child-life activities, and pediatric educational resources for Wolfson Children’s Hospital and UF Health Jacksonville.

Since 1992, Re/Max affiliates in the U.S. and Canada have raised more than $138 million for CMN Hospitals. Last year alone, Re/Max Affiliates raised $8.75 million to help 170 member children’s hospitals provide the best care for young patients.

After reaching its goal of raising more than $2,000 for CMN Hospitals in one calendar year, Re/Max WaterMarke’s Queen’s Harbour office is now a designated “Miracle Office.”

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an organization dedicated to improving the health and welfare of all children by raising funds and awareness for Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the pediatric programs at UF Health Jacksonville.

A founding principle of CMN Hospitals is that all funds raised in a community stay in that community. Therefore, all donations made in Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia are used to purchase medical equipment, child life activities and educational resources for both local pediatric programs. Learn more at


Rethreaded celebrating 4th anniversary Aug. 8

The 2013 One Spark winner Rethreaded invites the community to its four-year anniversary party as the organization celebrates its impact and shows what is next by introducing a new line of “team-themed” accessories.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug 8 at the Rethreaded retail store at 820 Barnett St.

It will feature live music from local bands, food and drink, tours of the company warehouse and retail space and a raffle for Rethreaded products.

There also will be opportunities to support Rethreaded’s movement to break the cycle of the sex trade by offering work to those affected by human trafficking and prostitution.

Rethreaded has released a limited selection of its most popular accessories in team colors for the Jacksonville Jaguars, University of North Florida, University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Georgia and others.

The goal of the anniversary event is to bring the community together to create opportunities for those affected by the sex trade to start new lives through business initiatives.

“It takes a community to get a woman into the sex trade and it will take a community to get her out. Jacksonville is a community that is putting an end to the exploitation of women and creating opportunities for new beginnings,” said Kristen Keen, Rethreaded founder and president.

To learn more, visit




Related Stories