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Volunteer Florida

Florida Wildlife officers save hundreds trapped by Harvey floods, rescue continues

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Florida volunteers have reached out to Texas in its time of need. The state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, including hundreds of volunteers from the Sunshine State, are continuing disaster response efforts in Texas, rescuing hundreds of people trapped by floodwater in the Houston area.

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Personnel note: Chester Spellman tapped to lead AmeriCorps

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Chester Spellman, the long-time chief executive officer of Volunteer Florida, has appointed by the White House to serve as the director of AmeriCorps for the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I believe there is no greater calling than the calling to serve,” said Spellman. “I am deeply honored to be appointed by the White House and thrilled for the opportunity to lead AmeriCorps at the national level. National and community service changes lives every day, and I look forward…

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Rick Scott praises AT&T for $25K donation to Florida Disaster Fund

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott applauded AT&T Monday for a $25,000 donation the telecommunications giant made to the Florida Disaster Fund. “I want to thank AT&T for its incredible generosity. Hurricane Matthew impacted communities from Palm Beach to Nassau [counties] and now thousands of families along the East Coast are focused on recovery and returning to their normal routines,” Scott said. “The Florida Disaster Fund, through generous contributions from individuals and corporations alike, will provide critical funding to disaster relief organizations…

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Chester Spellman named chair of America’s Service Commission

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Chester Spellman has been named chairman of America’s Service Commission. Spellman, the CEO of Volunteer Florida, was elected as the chairman of the national, nonprofits organization during its annual membership assembly. “We are pleased to have Chester continue his service to the network of state service commissions as our new board chair,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions, in a statement. “Chester has shown exceptional leadership as our Second Vice Chair and Chair of Resource Development for the…

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Rick Scott announces $100k in tornado disaster relief for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Charlotte

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Gov. Rick Scott announced the governor’s office would pitch in $50,000 in state funds to help with relief efforts in three Florida counties damaged by recent tornadoes. The money – administered through Volunteer Florida, the governor’s commission on volunteerism and service –  will be matched by local authorities for a total of $100,000 overall for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Charlotte counties. Scott also announced he re-upped on a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help with debris removal in Escambia and Santa…

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Uber, Volunteer Florida team up to provide #SuitsForSession for the needy

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The popular ride-booking app Uber is teaming up with Volunteer Florida to help provide gently-used professional attire for unemployed or underemployed Floridians looking for a leg up when it comes to job interviews. The groups announced the new initiative – dubbed “#SuitsForSession” – in partnership with Dress For Success Tallahassee, Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend Inc., the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Blind Services. The well-dressed denizens of the Florida Capitol are encouraged to drop off surplus suits, dresses, and shoes from 9…

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Volunteer Florida awards Gwen Margolis, Marlene O’Toole with Champion of Service honors

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Volunteer Florida, the governor’s commission on volunteerism and community service, gave its official Champions of Service award to two lawmakers Thursday. Sen. Gwen Margolis of Miami and Rep. Marlene O’Toole of The Villages were honored with the award in a ceremony in the state capitol. “It is an honor to recognize members of the Florida Legislature who have demonstrated a true commitment to volunteerism and service,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman. “Sen. Margolis and Rep. O’Toole are passionate about volunteering and serving with non-profit organizations in…

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