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Five Polk County Nonprofits Awarded $50,000 from First Lady DeSantis

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis recently surprised five Polk County nonprofit organizations with $10,000 each through the Hope Florida Fund. During the check presentations, First Lady DeSantis and the nonprofit representatives discussed the Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative and how to better collaborate to break down traditional silos and better meet the needs of Floridians.

Recipients recognized by the First Lady were: Everyday Christians Helping Orphans (ECHO) Ministries; Top Buttons, Inc.; Bikes for Christ; Dream Center of Lakeland; and Take a Kid Fishing, Inc.

“Florida’s nonprofits work selflessly to uplift and alleviate the needs of their communities,” said First Lady DeSantis. “Today, I was honored to award funding to these deserving organizations. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are for caring nonprofit leaders and volunteers who step in to support children and families through life’s challenges. We hope that today’s funds help these good people continue their impactful work.”

The First Lady launched the Hope Florida Fund last July to harness the charity of the private sector to give funds to deserving local nonprofit entities through her Hope Florida initiative. She presented the awards to organizations in the Polk County area that are serving children and families in need through mentorship, material support, and educational programs.

Hope Florida, created by First Lady DeSantis and implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, utilizes ‘Care Navigators’ to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity and economic self-sufficiency by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, nonprofits, and government entities to break down traditional community silos to maximize support, and uncover opportunities. These ‘Care Navigators’ are essential in helping individuals identify their unique and immediate barriers to prosperity, develop long-term goals, map out a strategic plan, and work to ensure all sectors of the community have a ‘seat at the table’ to be a key part of the solution. In addition, the Care Navigators help identify and organize opportunities for Floridians who wish to help their neighbors by connecting community members, including Florida seniors, with volunteer and mentorship opportunities.

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