Cancer Diagnosis Helps Family Grow

The Zrelak family shares their story of how a cancer diagnosis brought them into another family…BASE Camp. A Central Florida Children’s Cancer Foundation, which provides a series of year-round programs for children and families facing the challenge of living with cancer, and other life-threatening related illnesses.

To find out more about BASE Camp click here:

 

Culinary Event Raises $38K for Kids at Second Harvest Food Bank

The 4th annual Field to Feast dinner was held on March 25, 2017 at Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood, Fla. Featuring inventive samplings from Disney’s top chefs.  This year’s lineup included: Chef Dennis Thompson, California Grill; Chef Leonard Thomson, Park Event Operations and Premium Events; Chef Gregg Hannon, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival; Chef Daniel Sicilia, Jiko-The Cooking Place; Chef Dom Filoni, Citricos; Chef Michael Gonsalves, Artist Point; Chef David Njoroge, Tiffins; and Chef Chocolatier Amanda Lauder, The Ganachery.

f2f-8Field to Feast celebrates locally sourced ingredients with cuisine enjoyed in an open-air setting. The casual dine around f2f-2combines country charm with culinary excellence. New this year: Master Sommelier George Miliotes, who paired each dish with specially selected wines, beers, and cocktails.  Guests enjoyed live music, farm tours, a raffle and more.

Tickets were $175 with 100% of proceeds benefitting the Kids Cafe Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, an after-school meal service program that provides food to needy children in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties. The event sold out the last three years.

Field To Feast was presented by Edible Orlando magazine with Walt Disney World Resort as a major sponsor.

Food & Wine Unite To Support Pulse & Orlando LGBT

A group of popular Orlando chefs and hospitality leaders decided to Just DO Something…Anything! by joining together for a barbecue to benefit The LGBT Center of Central Florida (www.thecenterorlando.org). Over 500 people came out to enjoy great food, live music, and a butterfly release and remembrance ceremony in the courtyard. There was no ticket price to attend the event, which ran from 4-8pm at East End Market (eastendmkt.com).

The benefit, Food and Wine Unite Orlando (foodandwineuniteorlando.myevent.com), was organized by chefs Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events. After the Pulse Nightclub attack, chefs Kevin and Jamie wanted to give back to the “The Center,” which has helped so many victims’ families and survivors.

100% of the proceeds were donated to The LGBT Center of Central Florida for assistance in rebuilding resources.

Participating Orlando-area restaurants included; Smiling Bison, Hawkers, Swine & Sons, The Rusty Spoon, Chef Tim Keating and Wild Ocean Market, Se7en Bites, The Courtesy Bar, and all of the merchants at East End Market.

Wines were provided by Craft & Estate: a member of The Winebow Group, Tim’s Wine Market, Stacole Fine Wines, Winesellers, LTD., Augustan Wine Imports, and Breakthru Beverage Group.  Sponsors for the event included K Restaurant, Cuisiniers Catering, East End Market, The Boathouse at Disney Springs, Quantum Leap Winery, Breakthru Beverage Group, Overeasy Events, Platinum Parking, Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals, and Linens By the Sea.

 

The Faine House; A Project of Hope for Central Florida Youth

 

This year in Central Florida, an estimated 400 teenagers in foster care will turn 18, while the state ends its assistance. Without help and guidance many of these kids will face a lifetime of dependency; welfare, jail, and homelessness.

The Faine House, in conjunction with Children’s Home Society of Florida, exists to combat these problems.

Our story above explains why they do what they do, how they do it, and how everyone benefits.

To get involved or learn more about The Faine House click here: https://www.thefainehouse.org

Central Florida Public Schools Tackle Human Trafficking

JDSA recently partnered with the Florida Department of Children and Families, coordinating a project designed to create awareness and educate Central Florida teens about the dangers of Human Trafficking.

Just DO Something…Anything! funded and assisted Appleton Creative in the design of the campaign: a series of 4 colorfully designed posters, each depicting the dangers of modern day slavery, and distributed to every middle and high school in Central Florida.

Created with the youth audience in mind, the posters feature strong graphics, bold text and eye-catching call-to-actions. The campaign will effectively help make human trafficking top-of-mind and remind students of their value and where to go for help.

Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) is the 11th largest school district in the United States, where the posters are now being distributed to over 100 schools, reaching nearly 200,000 students in Orange, Osceola and Seminole County.

Last week, Crimeline displayed the posters at a joint forum at Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute.

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While Lake and Brevard County schools were expressing interest in displaying the posters, news of our project reached the Governor’s office in Tallahassee, where the Florida Department of Education has asked to initiate an extension of our campaign: organizing distribution of the posters to all public schools statewide – reaching more than 2 million students in over 4,200 schools.

JDSA was honored to have worked alongside the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force, their School Awareness Committee and Appleton Creative; an award-winning, full-service advertising agency with long-term ties to supporting community giving and bringing awareness to local causes. Throughout the years, Appleton has worked with many nonprofits such as Kids Beating Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, shining light on their issues through public service campaigns and advertising.

In a similar fashion, Appleton works closely with the Zebra Coalition, a network of organizations that provides services to LGBT+ ages 13 – 24, creating an annual anti-bullying poster series that gets placed in over 100 Orange County public schools. Appleton is also responsible for Zebra’s branding, website, advertising and video work.

 

Hundreds Take Action To Make A Difference For Thousands!

Lending a hand! Volunteers help sort thousands of donated school supplies.

Families picking out school supplies.

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Last week Just DO Something…Anything!, along with Century 21, helped sponsor it’s first Take Action! event at Barnett Park in Orlando, Florida. Nearly 400 residents showed up along with dozens of volunteers, who helped distribute over 3,000 back-to-school supplies: pens, backpacks, clothes, pencils, paper, and other items.

But the event wasn’t just about helping families get materials they need to start the school year. Take Action! was about doing just that … taking action against social injustice.

Local mom finds just the right size.

Finding just the right size.

JDSA, along with some of their Central Florida nonprofit partners: Harbor HouseA Gift For Teaching, and Florida Abolitionist, spent the day talking with residents about the importance of what they do and how they do it!

Also on hand was the Orlando Rowing Club, Orlando Dragon Boat Club, and Dueling Dragons boat team. Dragon’s “Cops and Kids” program is a unique partnership teaming Orlando police officers with at-risk teens, who compete in boat races across the country.  Their story was recently featured on The Today Show.

Orlando Rowing Club President, Johnny Hood and Chairperson, Chris Luciano brought a “skull boat” and an “Erg,” or indoor rowing machine for residents to try out.

Making a difference with hand prints & finger paint.

Making a difference with hand prints & finger paint.

Before the kids picked up their items they were asked to “make their mark” with paint!  “Taking Action!” by writing out – next to their imprint – exactly, what they’re going to do to help make the world a better place.

Clean the World, an Orlando nonprofit, cleaned off the paint with donated soap.  Clean the World and the Global Soap project have distributed over 25 million bars of soap to 99 countries!

We gave away about 75% of all the donated items.  What’s left is going to Haiti for those in need … thanks to Divine Way Ministries.” says Take Action! event coordinator, Anastacha Constant.  Not only did Divine Way help with donated items, they also took care of all the food and drinks.

Affordable Document Service lent their support to those in need.  LA Fitness talked with residents about the importance of exercise and nutrition.  And Orange County Fire/Rescue brought a firetruck.  Where kids (and a few adults) climbed inside and learned about fire safety and injury prevention.

Ideas for next year’s Take Action! Event are already underway…

Orange County Firefighters showing students the inside of a fire truck.

Kids get an inside look!

Orlando Fire Department show off their truck.

Fire truck on display.

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Taking action! with pens, markers, and paint!

Taking Action! with pens, markers, and paint!

Disney & A Gift For Teaching JDSA together! 2.5 Million school supplies donated for over 70,000 Central Florida Students

Mickey Mouse and VoluntEARS from Walt Disney World Resort provided a ringing endorsement for the community’s educators today – 2.5 million back-to-school supplies and cash donations benefiting more than 70,000 local students.

JDSA Attends Central Florida Leadership Forum

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Advocacy drives change.  And change was all abuzz last week at the Central Florida Regional Leadership Forum in Orlando, Florida.

Hundreds of advocates and over 150 business and community leaders gathered to connect their shared values with a shared future. The event, was presented by the Central Florida Partnership and sponsored by the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, in partnership with the Central Florida Foundation and MetroPlan Orlando.  JDSA received a special invite, along with a host of other community partners, who spoke on updating their business plans to help Central Florida’s “family of communities” move toward a more prosperous future.

Dee Allsop, Ph.D., CEO and Managing Partner of Heart + Mind Strategies, released the findings of a multi-phase research project to better understand the hearts and minds of residents of Central Florida. Specifically, as they relate to the values, priorities and future of the region.

Click on the link below to view the report, Understanding the Values and Priorities of Central Floridians

A 2005 myregion.org’s initiative, entitled, “How Shall We Grow?” was what helped commission this latest study to better understand what, exactly, has changed over the last ten years.  “With new developments and business centers being constructed across the Central Florida Region, it’s important for us to know if and how these dramatic changes to the economy have shifted the priorities and values of Central Floridians.” said, Jacob V. Stuart, President of Central Florida Partnership.

Getting the public engaged to create social capital is a top priority for Mark Brewer, President and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation, who called last weeks Forum, “a pivotal moment in the history of our community.”

The Central Florida Partnership serves nearly 4 million people throughout 86 cities in 7 regional counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia.  We were proud to have been in attendance and are already engaged in working and Just Doing Something…Anything! with the leaders of each county.

Imagehttp://www.centralfloridapartnership.org/clientuploads/regionaleadershipforums/EnvisioningtheFutureofCentralFlorida.pdf

 

Hundreds ‘Walk A Mile in Her Shoes’ to Help End Domestic Abuse

Last week, men, women, families, advocates and survivors all took a stand against domestic abuse by taking a walk. Strutting through downtown Orlando … in heels.

What started out – in 2001 – as a small group of men daring to walk around a park in heels to raise awareness of domestic violence, has become a world-wide movement. Where tens of thousands of men have raised millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs.

Harbor House CEO, Carol Wick – who hosted the event for the 2nd year in a row – said women aren’t the only ones who suffer from sexual abuse. “Right now we have 35 males and 60 females in our emergency shelters. Most of those males…are little boys.”

Thanks to those who decided to Just DO Something…over $20,000 was raised!

Changing The World, One Cup Of Coffee At A Time

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ORLANDO —

By Ed Heiland

In bustling College Park, a passerby might view Downtown Credo as just another little coffee shop.  But inside, where baristas grind, filter and then pour the steaming blend, a philosophy is also brewing.

“I wanted to serve a city in a way that challenged people to think about who they are becoming rather than just what they have,” Ben Hoyer said.

When Hoyer returned to his Central Florida roots after college, he wanted to serve up something to make a difference. He worked to establish a non-profit first and then cultivated it through buying coffee from South American growers at higher than fair trade prices.

“So the coffee growers we work with in Guatemala were friends of a friend basically, that’s how we got there and that’s one of the things we want to encourage people to realize is that you’re not that far away from anyplace in the world, you can live a life of global impact,” Hoyer said.

Each cup helps makes a local impact through Downtown Credo’s partnerships with four organizations in Parramore, Holden Heights and the Callahan neighborhoods. Among the many projects every month, elementary school kids join a community trash pickup. There’s also an annual kids bike rally, “get fit weeks” and classes in gardening and sewing.

At Credo, it’s pay as you go coffee. There is no set price. It’s what you feel you should donate.

“So rather than just be a consumer and buy something, they get to start thinking about how am I living a life of global impact with small choices,” Hoyer said. “I donate and become part of something rather than just buying, a consumer and being divorced from the problems of the world.”

Disney and others have recognized Downtown Credo for investing in kids. But, Ben and his team believe what’s important is giving something to the community that’s more precious than money — their time.

“A life of meaning, impact and community starts with steps so small that they almost seem silly but that’s where it starts,” Hoyer said. “You’ve got to take the small steps before you take the large steps.”

Ben is hoping Downtown Credo will be able to start another community headquarters in Orlando, serving coffee and helping additional neighborhoods.

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