A small group of BE. Orlando volunteers joined the region-wide forces of more than 700 volunteers that engaged in service projects all over Central Florida on September 25th. This annual Day of Caring event raises awareness about needs in the community, empowers people to make a difference, educates us about ways we can personally have an impact, and inspires us to continue making a difference. Special thanks to the Heart of Florida United Way for hosting this national celebration in our region and creating this opportunity to join in a major, multi-project effort to make a difference!
The Heart of Florida United Way has served our community for more than 75 years. They are Central Florida’s most comprehensive and largest funder for the region’s most critical health and human service programs. Last year, Heart of Florida United Way raised and managed $26.6 million throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to help Central Floridians in need. The Day of Caring is one of the many ways that HFUW engages the community to create awareness and solutions.
BE. Orlando sponsored and provided volunteers to serve breakfast at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida for our 2015 Day of Caring project. Kitchen Manager Calvin was an amazing host – his jovial spirit uplifts everyone around him, and his dedication to others inspires all. We served more than 50 residents of the Center for women and Families.
Located on the Coalition’s main campus, The Center for Women and Families can accommodate 240 individuals and is made up of three distinct sections – a single women’s dorm; a dorm for single mothers with young children; and individual family rooms for intact families, single mothers with older children, and single fathers with children. It is one of very few shelters with the ability to provide residential services to intact families.
- Women, children and families make up 63% of the Coalition’s residents on an average night. Throughout the nation, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.
- The Coalition serves nearly 200 children with their families each night. The average age of the children at the Coalition is eight years old.
If you, your social group, workplace, or team would like to learn more about the Coalition’s impact on our community, consider joining one of their More Than a Meal tours on the second Tuesday of every month.
One of our members also attended two other of the many service projects going on around Orlando on 9/25. All of these agencies are Heart of Florida United Way funded partner agencies, with programs and services that have a documented impact on individuals and measurably improve a need in our community.
At the Osceola Council on Aging, volunteers enjoyed a morning with the residents, served snacks, provided give-aways and gifts, and hosted an amazing BINGO session. With more than 70 attendees, the BINGO game was fabulously raucous for both the participants and the volunteers – everyone had an amazing time. The Osceola Council on Aging is dedicated to providing services to enable independence and self-sufficiency for seniors, disabled adults, the disadvantaged and families in poverty. They host Meals on Wheels, adult day care, case management, in-home services, nutrition counseling, and many more ways that they work towards building a community without hunger, without sickness, without homelessness, without isolation.
At the BETA Center, volunteers played games with children of various ages and assisted in sorting donations. We were also treated to a tour of the facility by someone who has been a staff member at the facility for more than 20 years – a position she began after she graduated from the BETA program. Her unique perspective demonstrated the impact of this organization. BETA gives children and parents the knowledge and support needed for strong and healthy families, with a focus on teen moms and at-risk families. Parents learn about prenatal attachment, baby brain development, child development, infant mental health, school readiness and adolescence. Pregnant and parenting teens are embraced with comprehensive programs designed to meet their special needs. Youth learn coping skills and the other developmental assets needed to successfully navigate school and life. Infants thrive under developmentally stimulating care. BETA Center promotes positive parent/child interaction, and helps children and parents grow together.
Mark your calendar for the 2016 Day of Caring event, which is held every September. Be part of this tradition and sign up to sponsor or participate in one of the many fun and impactful projects that will be going on in our local community.
In the video above from the Coalition for the Homeless, Brent Trotter, President and CEO, reminds us to “run toward that which disturbs us”. We may avoid issues that make us uncomfortable, choosing remain ignorant rather than reaching out and working to understand. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about issues in our community; while making a difference we develop understanding not only of the needs, but of how we are each empowered to address those needs.
Positive Humanism means taking personal responsibility for making a difference in the world and turning integrity into meaningful action. Social and personal differences and challenges are not barriers to action if we are solution-focused and believe we can make a difference. Our gratitude to everyone who took the time on September 25th at Day of Caring projects across our region to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other to work toward making the world a better place. THANK YOU.
- Photo Album from this event
- BE. Orlando project calendar
- Heart of Florida United Way
- Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
- Coalition’s More Than a Meal Tour info & registration
- Osceola Council on Aging
- BETA Center