Volunteer Florida, AmeriCorps mark 20th anniversary in Jacksonville

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Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps joined forces on Saturday for “Serving Seniors,” a daylong community service project to aid veterans and Alzheimer’s patients in the Jacksonville area.

The project is part of a yearlong series of public service events to mark the 20-year anniversary of both Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps.

“Volunteer Florida is proud to work with our AmeriCorps members to serve seniors in Jacksonville today,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman. “Our members packaged food and hygiene kits that will benefit thousands of seniors across Duval County.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps.”

Aid workers distributed 7,000 pounds of food, 2,000 hygiene kits to veterans and Alzheimer’s patients across Duval County. Passing out hygiene kits was representatives of The City of Jacksonville Independent Living, Elder Care Jacksonville, Aging True, and Meals on Wheels. Nourishment Network, a food bank that provides food to 450 agencies in the North Florida area, distributed the pre-packaged food.

Among the other charity groups participating in Saturday’s event are Duval Reads, Communities in Schools Jacksonville; Teach for America Jacksonville; Youth Transitions, ARC of Jacksonville; City Year Jacksonville; North Florida Health Corps, Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition; and Retired Senior and Volunteer Program of Duval County for the City of Jacksonville.

Florida House Democratic Deputy Whip Rep. Reggie Fullwood was also on hand for the swearing-in ceremony for participating AmeriCorps members to join Volunteer Florida.

“This is a great opportunity to highlight 20 years of Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps’ work, while also serving our Jacksonville community,” Fullwood said. “I am proud to help Volunteer Florida achieve its mission of making Florida’s communities safer, healthier, and a better place to live and work.”

Sponsors of the Volunteer Florida anniversary event included:

  • AAA Auto Club Group
  • AT&T
  • CenturyLink
  • Coca-Cola
  • Comcast
  • CSX
  • Duke Energy
  • FAMU Foundation
  • Florida Blue
  • Florida Lottery
  • Florida Power and Light
  • Florida Prepaid
  • Fox Sports Florida Sun Sports
  • Orlando Magic
  • Prudential
  • Publix
  • Tampa Bay Times
  • Tupperware
  • Verizon
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo/Winn Dixie
  • Whataburger

As the governor’s lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida, Volunteer Florida grants funds to educational foundations, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations to administer AmeriCorps and National Service Programs.

In addition to leading the state’s national days of service, such as September 11 and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Volunteer Florida is the lead agency for volunteers and donations during disasters.

For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.