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Carnival Inspires Volunteering - The Park PressThe Park Press

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Carnival Inspires Volunteering Posted on May 22, 2013 | Leave a comment

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) recently held its third annual Step Right Up! Volunteer Carnival to celebrate National Volunteer Week, which took place last month. The free, family-friendly event brought more than 250 participants and included over 30 game booths, free food and prizes. Event Chair Orlando Police Department (OPD), Chief Paul Rooney, brought resources including SWAT and K-9 teams, mounted patrol and officers for the “Dunk-a-Cop” tank. Special guest, Orlando Magic Community Ambassador Nick Anderson, also joined and provided games and activities. STAR 94.5 broadcasted live from the event as participants enjoyed donated food from Sedano’s Supermarkets. “Volunteering can be a fun and rewarding experience,” said Traci Blue, director of the HFUW Volunteer Resource Center. “Through this event we wanted to thank our community for their volunteer service and also wanted to emphasize the importance of these activities for local nonprofits. Without the help of volunteers, these organizations would not exist.” Participants had the opportunity to take part in on-site volunteer projects supporting HFUW’s focus on alleviating hunger & homelessness, developing healthy families, building safe communities through education, and improving financial stability. Projects included:

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Sending customized emails to local representatives, encouraging them to support educational programs. Constructing 150 hygiene kits for children and veterans. Assembling nearly 100 weekend snack packs with nutritious shelf-stable foods for hungry children. Writing encouraging letters to middle school students. Assembling 100 “Teacher Appreciation Treats.”


Carnival Inspires Volunteering - The Park PressThe Park Press

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Representatives from 30 local nonprofit partner agencies – such as 4C-Community Coordinated Care for Children, Catholic Charities of Central Florida, PACE Center for Girls, and City Year Orlando, among others – were in attendance to share information about additional volunteer opportunities throughout Central Florida. “Volunteering not only impacts local nonprofits that need the help, but it ultimately benefits the economy as well,” said Robert H. (Bob) Brown, President & CEO of HFUW. “Last year, Heart of Florida United Way volunteers accumulated more than 59,000 hours across Central Florida, valued at more than one million dollars.” Through external efforts, HFUW organized nearly 23,000 hours of group volunteer work benefiting its partner agencies through its Volunteer Resource Center in 2012. Participants helped with meaningful projects like serving meals to hungry Central Floridians, hosting baby showers for families in need and doing free tax preparation for low-income households. Volunteers and interns also provided about 37,000 hours of administrative support at HFUW offices. Each hour is worth $22.14, according to Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofits – which translates to more than $1.3 million in donated time. For more information about volunteering through Heart of Florida United Way, call (407) 429-2136 or visit

This entry was posted in News, Orlando events and tagged Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Chief Paul Rooney, City Year Orlando, Community Coordinated Care for Children, Heart of Florida United Way, National Volunteer Week, Nick Anderson, PACE Center for Girls, Robert H. (Bob) Brown, Sedano’s Supermarkets, STAR 94.5, Step Right Up!, Traci Blue. Bookmark the permalink.

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