Nonprofit News - Highlighting Jacksonville's Philanthropic Community

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As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this page that will each week chronicle the efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and any other information they believe would be of interest to our readers. E-mail to: [email protected].

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

Winn-Dixie supports ’Toys for Tots’
Seven trucks were loaded with toys Dec. 7 at Winn-Dixie’s warehouse for the U.S. Marines. The toys were purchased through the sale of specially packaged bottled water.

The toys will be distributed by the Marines’ Toys for Tots programs in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach; Columbus, Ga.; Baton Rouge and Belle Chasse, La.; Mobile, Ala.; and Gulfport, Miss.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 in Los Angeles and was expanded nationwide the following year. The Marines have conducted nationwide campaigns every Christmas since 1948, distributing more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million disadvantaged children across the country. To learn more, visit

Drink a smoothie, help a hospital
Nemours, one of the nation’s leading pediatric health systems, has founded a holiday partnership with Tropical Smoothie locations in Jacksonville to benefit children being treated by the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville for cancer and blood diseases.

Until Dec. 25, the Tropical Smoothie franchise has volunteered to donate $1 for every customer who purchases a seasonal cranberry truffle smoothie at any of 12 participating locations.

“During this holiday season, it is up to all of us to help kids suffering from cancer and other diseases,” said Lynn Betros, development associate with the Nemours Fund for Children’s Health.

“We applaud Tropical Smoothie in Jacksonville for standing with us as we work to protect the health and joy of these children,” she said.

To learn more about participating, call Betros at 697-4244.

Gifts needed for foster kids
Family Support Services, the lead agency for adoption and foster care in Duval and Nassau counties, has partnered with Toys for Tots, the Junior League of Jacksonville, Talagy and the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters to collect gifts for local children living in foster care.

Through Wednesday, the public is invited to drop off toys and gift cards and at any fire station in Duval County.

“We encourage the community to donate new, unwrapped toys for the younger children and gift cards or certificates for the teens, the largest group in our care,” said Family Support Services CEO Jim Adams.

The City of Jacksonville has made every fire station in Duval County a drop-off site for gift certificates and new, unwrapped toys.

The effort is sponsored by Family Support Services, the Junior League of Jacksonville, Talagy, Toys for Tots, the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, Pepsi, The Florida Times-Union, Winn-Dixie, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and the Florida Department of Children & Families.

Grant for mentoring
AT&T has awarded Communities In Schools of Jacksonville more than $130,000, part of a  $1.5 million grant, to fund the addition of three site coordinators who will provide at-risk-students with academic support, mentoring, counseling, after-school programs, career development, intervention, health care and other resources.

AT&T’s contribution to CIS is being used to fund a one-year re-granting program to help select CIS affiliates throughout the United States hire additional site coordinators through an RFP process. CIS of Jacksonville is one of 14 winning affiliates.

CIS of Jacksonville is using the funding provided by AT&T to place full-time site coordinators in A. Philip Randolph Academies of Technology, Raines High School and Forrest High School.

The site coordinators will pursue the mission of CIS, which is to surround students with a community of support, empower them to stay in school and achieve in life.

As the largest affiliate in Florida, CIS of Jacksonville serves nearly 7,000 students in more than 40 schools.

“We are extremely grateful to AT&T for funding the site coordinator positions,” said CIS of Jacksonville CEO Jon Heymann.

“This is another example of AT&T’s extraordinary commitment to making Jacksonville a better community in which to live. Thanks to the funding, CIS of Jacksonville will be able to provide services to more of Duval County’s most at-risk high school students,” he said.

Homebuilder helping food pantry
For the fourth consecutive year, custom builder J.A. Long Inc. has teamed up with some of its longtime subcontractors and business partners in the homebuilding industry to help the food pantry serving Clay County.

“The Food Pantry’s biggest needs are for nonperishable items, such as canned meats, vegetables and fruits, and peanut butter,” said J.A. Long Chief Operating Officer Randy Long. “In addition to food, we’ll accept grocery store gift cards at our drop boxes.”

J.A. Long will accept food, cash, check or gift card donations for the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs until Dec. 22. Drop boxes are located at eight locations, including J.A. Long’s corporate office at 1677 Wells Road, Suite D, in Orange Park.

For more information about the food drive and drop-off locations, e-mail [email protected].

$290,000 for pediatric hospice
The annual Halloween Doors & More event, sponsored by Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, raised more than $290,000 for Community PedsCare.

About 1,200 people attended the family gala and preview party, both held at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall on Oct. 14 and 16.

This was the sixth year for the main event that was designed for Community PedsCare, the pediatric palliative and hospice program for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

“The majority of services provided by Community PedsCare are not reimbursed expenses,” said Community Hospice Foundation Executive Director DeAnn Collins.

“Therefore, the funds raised by the Halloween Doors & More event are vital to the operation of the Community PedsCare program. To date, the annual event has provided more than $2.5 million in net proceeds,” she said.

Sponsors of this year’s Halloween Doors & More were The Arnold Family, AT&T, Black Diamond Performance Reporting, The Bower Family, the DuBow Family Foundation, The Falloon Family, Tabitha and Jim Furyk, The Gabrielsen Family, the Lazzara Family Foundation, Nemours Children’s Clinic, the Petway Family Foundation, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Wives Association Inc., PRI Productions, Linda and David Stein, the Stellar Foundation, Dannehl and Kevin Twomey, UBS, University of Florida/Jacksonville Pediatrics and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

More information about Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and its Community PedsCare program is available at

Stein Mart hosts holiday party for children
Stein Mart delivered joy this holiday season to Dreams Come True families through its “18 Kids of Christmas” party held Dec. 7.

This year, the celebration started at Christ’s Church on Greenland Road and included food courtesy of CiCi’s Pizza, gifts provided by Stein Mart, a visit from Santa and tours of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office vehicles and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue engines.

Following the celebration at the church, dreamers were escorted in Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office vehicles to Stein Mart stores for shopping.

At the stores they each received additional gifts and a $50 gift card provided by Stein Mart.

Cathedral Arts adds classes
Nearly 1,000 students throughout Jacksonville are receiving instruction in dance, drama, music and the visual arts every week through the Cathedral Arts Project.

This school year, Cathedral Arts has added new classes in choir, drama, percussion and strings.

The new percussion class recently attended a special performance by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra at the Times-Union Center.

Cathedral Arts’ “Best of the Best” student artwork was recently displayed at the Main Library Downtown. The exhibited pieces of artwork were selected from more than 100 submissions and will be displayed in Concourses A and C at Jacksonville International Airport through February.

The Cathedral Arts Project has grown to become the largest provider of free, ongoing and standards-based instruction in the visual and performing arts for public elementary school students in Duval County.

Cathedral Arts is funded in part by the City of Jacksonville, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.



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