Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville's Philanthropic Community

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  • | 12:00 p.m. June 19, 2013
Community Hospice of Northeast Florida celebrated the conclusion of its $20 million Community of Care capital fundraising campaign at its "Picnic in the Park" evening of appreciation. Donors to the campaign established endowments to support pediatric ...
Community Hospice of Northeast Florida celebrated the conclusion of its $20 million Community of Care capital fundraising campaign at its "Picnic in the Park" evening of appreciation. Donors to the campaign established endowments to support pediatric ...
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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. Email to: [email protected]. We encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they continue to provide much-needed services with reduced resources.

Attorneys donate to 20 organizations for children

The Holland & Knight law firm has awarded $69,400 in grants to 20 local community organizations assisting at-risk children.

For the third year, attorneys and staff in the firm's Jacksonville office contributed money as a part of the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Local Donor Advised Fund.

The office's Committee for the Public Good prepared and distributed grant applications and met over three weeks to determine which organizations would receive the awards. The committee received requests for funding such services as a "Kids in the Kitchen" program to help prevent obesity, camp scholarships for children with special needs, an anti-bullying program, a scouting program for urban youth and hospice care for low-income children.

Local organizations that will be receiving funds from the firm include Angelwood; Boy Scouts of America, North Florida Council; The Bridge of Northeast Florida Inc.; Catholic Charities; Community Connections of Jacksonville; Community Hospice; Downtown Ecumenical Services Council; Grand Park Athletic Association; Jacksonville Children's Chorus; Jewish Family & Community Services; Junior League of Jacksonville; Lutheran Social Services; Mental Health America; One Hundred Black Men of Jacksonville; Operation New Hope; R.V. Daniels Elementary School; U-Turns; Waste Not Want Not; Wolfson Children's Hospital; and Youth Crisis Center.

"Once again at Holland & Knight it feels like Christmas in June. Our community partners are providing extraordinary services for Jacksonville's at-risk children and we are pleased to support them year after year. We are very proud of our local grant-giving program, which is funded entirely by the attorneys and staff in the office, and we look forward to continuing in 2014," said Holland & Knight partner Suzanne Judas, who serves as chair of the Committee for Public Good.

Carrabba's raises funds for hospice program

For the fifth year, Carrabba's Italian Grill in Baymeadows hosted the Kelsi Young Gift of Care Luncheon. Through ticket sales, server tips and individual donations, the event raised more than $23,000 to support respite care for Community PedsCare, the pediatric palliative and hospice care program of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.

Sponsored by the DuBow Family Foundation and the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, Community PedsCare advisory board member Dan Hicken hosted the 18 celebrity servers and 200 guests.

The Kelsi Leah Young Respite Care Fund provides rest to parents or guardians of children in the Community PedsCare program.

Realtors support arts program

Prudential Network Realty sales professionals Dennis and Kathy Lang, a husband-and-wife team from the office in Atlantic Beach, participated in The Art of Yoga at the J. Johnson Gallery in Jacksonville Beach.

The event raised more than $600 to benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville's Special Needs Tours.

"Prudential Network Realty professionals are very passionate about charitable giving and supporting the communities in which we work and live," said Christy Budnick, executive vice president of residential real estate.

With a backdrop of paintings by J. Johnson Gallery featured artist Emilio Perez and accompanied by musician Arvid Smith, the Langs led a multilevel yoga class.

The Art of Yoga supported MOCA Jacksonville's Special Needs Tours. MOCA Jacksonville customizes guided tours, programs and art workshops to meet the special needs of individuals and groups of all ages, offering tactile bags for the visually impaired, iPods for sound amplification, sign language interpretation for all programs and tours and adaptive materials for art projects. The Art of Yoga donation will help MOCA Jacksonville provide accessible and appropriate entry points into contemporary artwork and encourage participants of all abilities to engage in meaningful dialogues within the museum.

Komen for the Cure awards grants

The North Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has funded two more grants totaling $32,630 for the 2013-14 funding year in addition to the five grants previously awarded to local organizations that provide breast cancer screening, early detection and related support services to underserved North Florida women and men.

The funding is made possible by contributions to the organization and funds raised through the North Florida Race for the Cure and other events.

The two added grant recipients are Bosom Buddies, $25,000, and In the Pink, $7,630.

"We're very pleased to fund the additional grants to these valuable local resources. Their programs make a critical difference in the lives of people right here in our community who have been impacted by breast cancer," said Delores Wise, executive director of Komen North Florida.

Grants were awarded in April to the Baker County Health Department, the Way Free Clinic Inc., Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville, the UF Health Jacksonville Breast Health Program and Baptist Health's Hill Breast Center.

With the grants to Bosom Buddies and In the Pink, Komen North Florida has funded programs totaling $174,558 for the 2013-14 year.

Wise said the organization will be making additional smaller grants of $5,000 or less, as it receives applications.

Those grants, totaling $20,000, will be awarded throughout the remainder of the year until the allocated small grant funds are exhausted.

Foundation Financial Group volunteers for foster children and parents

Employees from Foundation Financial Group's Jacksonville regional sales center have volunteered to help Family Support Services of North Florida Inc.

"My grandparents were foster parents and I remember them giving so much to kids who basically had nothing," said Foundation Financial Group event coordinator Megan Nau.

The mission of Family Support Services is to provide safety, stability and quality of life for all children by working with the community to strengthen the family unit. Among additional support services for families in crisis, the organization provides emergency shelter, in-home protective services, relative care placements, foster care, case management, residential group care, family reunification and adoption.

HabiJax builds 25 homes in 7 days

Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville turned the dream of homeownership into reality for 25 families that applied for its homeownership program in the historic neighborhood of New Town.

The organization partnered with the Northeast Florida Builders Association, along with hundreds of volunteers, to complete 25 homes in seven days.

"This year's event was more than I could have ever hoped for," said HabiJax President and CEO Mary Kay O'Rourke.

"Volunteers and builders showed up during a tropical storm and demonstrated an overwhelming amount of support, both monetarily and through donated materials. We are so grateful for the support that the community showed us during this week. It would not have been possible without them," she said.

Since 1988, HabiJax has helped more than 1,850 families realize their dream of homeownership.

HabiJax is a partner in the New Town Success Zone, a partnership of public and private organizations that are developing a continuum of services to help children and families living in the New Town neighborhood achieve their goals of healthy development, academic success and well-being of the neighborhood's children.

For information about volunteering, contact Angie Leatherbury at (904) 208-6664 or visit