TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Volunteer Florida reflects on another successful year strengthening Florida’s communities through national service as well as fostering volunteerism.

“We would like to send our thanks to the Governor, First Lady, our Commission and Foundation, stakeholders and partners for being a part of our continued success in engaging and transforming the lives of Floridians through volunteer service,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Corey Simon. “With their generous support, we were able to continue providing the quality services that have benefitted communities around the state.”

Volunteer Florida started the year by hosting the sixth annual Suits for Session service project with a new partner, Simply Healthcare. The curbside drop-off event resulted in the collection of more than 670 pounds of professional clothing, shoes and accessories.  Collected items were donated to organizations that support job-seekers in Florida who are striving to enter or re-enter the workforce.

Volunteer Florida’s emergency management department concluded the Michael Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) in April.  Overall, DCMP Michael connected with more than 127,990 individuals and provided support for 1,546 families.  Over 1,000 households received referrals for services from Volunteer Florida, 62,945 volunteers were mobilized and they contributed 707,663 hours (valued at $17 million) of services in response to the storm.

In July, Volunteer Florida CEO Corey Simon deployed to Surfside to support the state’s response efforts. Volunteer Florida assisted in coordinating volunteers and resources following the Champlain Towers tragedy.

October’s virtual Volunteer Engagement Leadership Series provided essential insights and tools for developing and positioning volunteer engagement as both an indispensable and enterprising element of organizations.  More than 100 individuals participated in the four sessions, which were led by national experts.

During the year, Volunteer Florida maintained its high commitment to serving Florida’s communities. In August, Volunteer Florida welcomed over 1,600 AmeriCorps members who will serve in 37 programs in 28 counties during the 2021-2022 program year. In October, Volunteer Florida’s Volunteer Generation Fund program welcomed 24 Florida nonprofits who spent the grant year recruiting skills-based volunteers to serve Florida communities. Our Emergency Management department awarded 18 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) grants.  The Volunteer Florida Foundation also provided funding to nine organizations supporting long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma and ten organizations supporting long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Michael.

In partnership with First Lady Casey DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education, Volunteer Florida helped to establish 100 Hope Ambassadors Clubs in 39 school districts. Through these clubs, middle and high school students can volunteer, mentor their peers, and help foster kind and compassionate environments. Each participating school received $500 to develop and launch a Hope Ambassadors Club.

As Volunteer Florida moves into 2022, the continued efforts in volunteerism and service will be evident in all three legs of our service stool. To learn more about the agency, please visit www.volunteerflorida.org or sign-up for our newsletter here.
Media Release: Volunteer Florida

Featured Image: CEO Simon presents Volunteer Florida’s Champion of Service Award, alongside Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer,
to Jacob Dikenson serving with Keep Orlando Beautiful, October 2021. Volunteer Florida