as been a year of adjustments as our community began it’s recovery from the pandemic. Our staff transitioned back to working in our client service center and returning to their pre-pandemic routines. Throughout the Covid crisis, we were blessed by the generosity of many people, local businesses and partners whose support saw us though the challenges and helped us continue to provide our vital services to the most vulnerable in our community.
We held our second annual golf tournament at the Mark Bostick Golf Couse at the University of Florida. We had beautiful weather and raised over $40,000 in funding for our programs.
In May, the U.S. Postal Service brought back their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive and it was a tremendous success. Our thanks to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to help us sort through and stack over 4,000 pounds of food. We also welcomed new board members Kim Schuh and Diane Dimperio to our Catholic Charities family.
September saw some changes to our office as John Barli (Regional Director 2012-2022) retired and Denise Fanning our former Emergency Services Director took over this role. Sabrina Miller, who has been a part of Catholic Charities for over 18 years became the new Emergency Services Director.
The students and teachers at Queen of Peace Academy showed their support by participating in a Can–Construction project. They really put their imaginations to work and raised over 2,500 cans of food for our pantry!
In October, we were thrilled to bring back the Spirit of Charity Gala. Our Board Members and incredibly talented decorating committee transformed the venue (Oak Lane Weddings & Events) into a 1920’s Speakeasy. Guests came dressed in their finest Gatsby style. We were honored by the overwhelming support from all of our sponsors! Our guests had the opportunity to bid on a wide variety of auction items including two baseball lovers dream trips to Boston (courtesy of Dunkin Donuts) and New York City (courtesy of the New York Yankees). 1st class airfare to both cities was provided by Southeast Car Agency & the John Cousins family! University Air and the Lukowski family generously donated a private jet trip to Key West and a boat tour. Pictures of the event are available on our Facebook Page.
On Halloween, we were delighted to participate in the return of the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo’s “Boo at The Zoo” food drive; where we received 3,300 cans of food for our pantry.
The North Central Florida Apartment Association and Two Men and a Truck held their annual food drive and collected 1,900 pounds of food for our Weekend Hunger Backpack Program. We ended the month with donations of assorted Thanksgiving gift baskets filled with food from Queen of Peace Catholic Community, Trinity United Methodist Church and St. Patrick Interparish School. These kind gestures allowed our clients to share in the joy of Thanksgiving Day.
November is National Adoption month and was a perfect time to host a picnic for our families experiencing the life long journey of adoption.
We are extremely thankful to everyone who supports our mission and helps us be there for anyone in crisis or need in our community! We are truly blessed to have so many donors, volunteers and supporters committed to helping us transform lives in our community!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,