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  • 23 Jun 2022 10:55 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Locally and around the nation, families have seen the cost of childcare soar as the number of slots for age-eligible children have become scarce. As Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services, Children First continues to work with key community partners to combat the childcare crisis.

    The agency has received nearly $45,000 in support of its comprehensive services for children and families living at risk. Recent funding includes $15,000 from The Libertore Fund for Children, $5,000 from the Venice Golf and Country Club Foundation, $3,500 from the Annette J Hagens Memorial Foundation, $3,500 from the Plantation Community Foundation, and $1,000 from the Sarasota Yacht Club Cares Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in support of scholarships for children in need.

    Other grants awarded include $12,094.94 from the Martha Leiter and Nancy Streetman Fund II at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County as a reimbursement for the Partners for Green Places sustainability initiative, $2,478 from Suncoast Charities for Children for 7 pack & play cribs, 1 evacuation crib, and 16 toddler cots and an additional grant of $1,500 from Suncoast Charities to support a Job Skills Training class for parents and caregivers through the agency’s award-winning Families First Institute.

    Scholarships support comprehensive services including early childhood education, nutrition, emotional and behavioral support, and family strengthening services for the most vulnerable children and families living in our community. By providing scholarships for full-day infant and toddler care and pre-school education, parents also receive the opportunity to strengthen their finances and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency.

    “We’ve noticed that the overall trend is toward fewer families with children but more who are struggling. Our waitlist for young children and families in need of service in Sarasota County continues to grow, with 71% of families served through our agency being single parents,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “We are deeply grateful for our community partners who help us to provide the quality care and education necessary for our children and families.”

    About Children First:

    Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.

  • 21 Jun 2022 3:04 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    After 50 years of service to the Goodwill, longtime leader Bob Rosinsky to retire and Donn Githens to become President and CEO

    SARASOTA, FL – Goodwill Industries Manasota will complete their leadership transition on July 1, 2022. Longtime president and CEO Bob Rosinsky – who has worked in the Goodwill system for 50 years – will step down and veteran Goodwill leader Donn Githens will assume the title of President and CEO.

    After a comprehensive nationwide search by a committee appointed by the organization’s Board, Goodwill Industries Manasota (GIMI) named Githens, Vice President of Operations, as the new president effective July 1, 2021. Rosinsky remained CEO to assist Githens and the Board of Directors with strategic planning, organizational development, project management, and the succession plan over the past 12 months.

    Githens, who has worked in the Goodwill system since 2006 – was formerly responsible for the successful execution of GIMI’s mission integrated donated goods retail social enterprise. In recent years, he also assumed oversight of marketing and communications, real estate, facility maintenance, property management, and mission development (training) activities in support of other Goodwill groups across the country.

    Githens has traveled extensively in his role of President to meet Board members, leaders and teams of Goodwill organizations nationwide to assist in enhancing the impact of their social enterprises. He has also worked to develop the local leadership team as they transition into new roles and responsibilities.

    “Our leadership – board and professional – has been extremely proactive and methodical to ensure that the transition would be as seamless as possible and the organization’s forward momentum would be uninterrupted,” said Steve Boone, chair of the board of directors. “We consider ourselves very fortunate not only to have benefited from the incredible expertise, guidance and compassion of Bob Rosinsky but also to have a proven leader like Donn Githens at the ready to carry the baton for us in the coming years.”

    Githens expects addressing the current challenges with readjusting the workforce, and further expanding its services to veterans – through the American Veterans and Their Families program – to be two areas at the forefront of Goodwill’s attention in the coming years.

    “We hope to leverage upskilling and educational opportunities to enhance career opportunities for everyone we serve,” said Githens.

    GIMI provides an array of services, from job readiness to skills training, which includes digital skills and various certifications and credentials, and employment placement.  GIMI also facilitates connections to holistic wraparound services such as emergency financial assistance, housing, financial literacy, and transportation. Goodwill works with hundreds of community partners to increase its impact while reducing duplication in service offerings.

    “One of the biggest challenges on the horizon is housing – specifically affordable housing and the infrastructure that requires – so that we have the workforce necessary to continue to serve our community,” Githens said. “We all need to find new, innovative ways to impact this tremendous barrier to the workforce.”

    GIMI, whose territory includes Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties, has three Job Connection offices, three Community Resources Centers and two American Veterans and Their Families program offices. In 2021, Goodwill served 5,346 individuals, including 381 veterans, employed over 700 team members (of whom nearly 70% have self-identified disabilities or disadvantaging conditions), placed 170 in jobs throughout the region. They also diverted more than 57M pounds of waste from area landfills, provided 102,608 hours in on-the-clock education and training for its team members, and collected 212,436 pounds of food for local food banks.  

    Rosinsky’s first position in the Goodwill system was with the Milwaukee Goodwill in Wisconsin. He planned to work there temporarily as a break from working on his Ph.D. in psychology, but he was quickly hooked on Goodwill’s mission.

    He has been with GIMI since 1991, and became President and CEO in 2013. Under his leadership, the organization fundraised for and developed a new corporate campus in Bradenton; worked with former CEO Don Roberts on moving to self-funded services at this Goodwill, oversaw the creation of the GoodPartner Coach program, which offers case management and mentoring for all employees; assisted in creating free Job Connection services throughout this area; and launched the American Veterans and Their Families program.

    Goodwill Manasota is seen as a leader in the Goodwill Industries network for other innovations spearheaded by Rosinsky, including its Mission Development Services (MDS) program, a business-to-business service which provides intensive education, training and mentoring services to Goodwills across the country. It also offers Goodwill®U, an online curriculum subscription service, available to other Goodwills to further professional training and development. Another advancement made locally is WESA (Web Enabled Statistical Analysis), a management information system that provides insight into the social enterprise’s performance.  

    “I look forward to continuing to build on the solid foundation established by the Rev. Don Roberts, Bob Rosinsky, and our Board of Directors,” said Githens. “In partnership with the Board, our leadership team will continue to look for new ways to impact mission delivery to both our team members and members of the community, including new and ongoing collaborations with community partners.”

    For more about Goodwill Manasota, visit experiencegoodwill.org.

    About Goodwill Manasota Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.


  • 14 Jun 2022 8:52 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties celebrated 90 graduating seniors from local high schools at the annual Senior Celebration on Thursday, June 9, 2022. Seniors were joined by family and friends, and supported by members of the community such as Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, Chris Renouf; Secondary Schools Executive Director, Steve Cantees; North Port High School Principal, Shannon Fusco; Riverview High School Principal, Erin Del Castillo; Sarasota High School Principal, David Jones; and Sarasota Military Academy Head of School, Colonel Fredrick Fout. The event was held in the Dick Vitale Sports and Fitness Center at the Lee Wetherington Club.

    The 2022 graduating class went above and beyond in their academic achievements and are outstanding examples of what hard work and determination can do in achieving their goals. The evening recognized 17 graduating seniors who have been selected to receive scholarship awards, including the Shannon Staub Excellence in Leadership Award, The Club’s Post-Secondary Transition Scholarship, the Matthew A. Knight Foundation Scholarship, the Robert and Patricia Gussin Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Endowed Scholarship at Duquesne University, the Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Scholarship, and Youth of the Year Scholarship.

    Since their first scholarship in 2018, Steve and Marjolaine Townsend have awarded over 47 scholarships to Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties’ youth. Steve Townsend stated, “We established our scholarship fund as a way of giving back to our community, and we have been touched by the personal successes achieved by so many of our recipients.” When asked why they choose to invest in the lives of young people each year in Sarasota and DeSoto Counties, Marge responded, “We believe education changes lives. Because education is so important to us, we hope these scholarships will empower students to pursue their hopes and dreams and strive to reach their full potential.”  

    Congratulations to our graduating seniors and scholarship recipients! The future is bright for these young leaders as they embark on their great futures and join the incredible list of Boys & Girls Clubs alumni.

    Robert and Patricia Gussin Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Endowed Scholarship at Duquesne University

    • Laura M., RHS 
    • Bryan B., BHS

     

    Matthew A. Knight Foundation Scholarship

    • Quinn O., SHS

     

    Shannon Staub Excellence in Leadership Award 

    • Quinn O., SHS 
    • Giacomo M., BHS

     

    The Club’s Post-Secondary Transition Scholars

    • Bryan B., BHS; 
    • Kennedi B., SHS; 
    • Desmen L., SHS; 
    • Laura M., RHS; 
    • Giacomo M., BHS

     

    Youth of the Year Scholar

    • Bernadette N., RHS

     

    Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Scholars, Class of 2025

    • Aiden B., BHS 
    • Ayanna C., BHS 
    • Ethan C., SPHS
    • Ariyana E., BHS
    • Samuel M., BHS 
    • Aundrayah M., BHS
    • Charlize M., BHS 
    • Melanie M., SHS 
    • Ciara P., SHS 
    • Usman P., NPHS 
    • Angel V., Imagine School at North Port 

     

    Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Scholars, Class of 2023

    • Gabriel B., SPHS
    • Fabian O., SMA
    • Kara P., NPHS
    • Madison S., SHS
    • Daria T., PVS

     

    Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Scholars, Class of 2022

    • Kennedi B., SHS
    • Kenneth D., VHS
    • Francisco H., NPHS
    • Isaiah L., VHS
    • Jasmine M., SMA
    • D’Kai S., BHS

    ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES: Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties have played an integral role in the lives of local youth for more than 50 years, providing daily programs and services to thousands of young people. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The vision is to provide a world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.bgcsdc.org or call 941-366-3911.


  • 13 Jun 2022 1:23 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Goodwill receives funding to support GoodPartner Coach program
    Grant of $80,000 from Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation will assist Goodwill in providing career and life coaching to all of its team members

    SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota recently received a grant of $80,000 from the Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation in support of Goodwill’s award-winning GoodPartner Coach program. This is the twelfth year that Goodwill has received funding from the French Foundation for this purpose; the funds awarded will help to defray costs associated with the salaries and benefits of two GoodPartner Coaches.

    The GoodPartner Coach program offers individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment – of Goodwill’s 700 employees, approximately 70% have a self-identified disability or disadvantage – with employability skills training and case management services. The goal of the program is to enable those who may have been overlooked elsewhere to gain positive personal and workplace behaviors and skills, feel the pride of earning a paycheck and move toward self-sufficiency, build a strong work history, and develop the experience and skills to position them for higher-paying jobs within the organization or outside of Goodwill.

    In 2021, a significant number of Goodwill Manasota’s employees represented the following demographics: persons with disabilities, older workers, speaking a primary language other than English, lack of a high school diploma, and those with a criminal background. Individuals with significant barriers require more than just a job to move toward self-sufficiency. Consequently, Goodwill provides each team member with full-time employment, a competitive wage (all employees earn at least $12 an hour) and a life coach.

    The GoodPartner Coaches work with team members to do needs assessments to determine barriers to self-sufficiency and identify areas that could be strengthened through training as well as determine access to basic needs such as housing, food and healthcare. Other program elements include the writing of an individualized development plan, offering case management services to address any issues that might be an impediment to success, financial literacy education, referrals for legal services, referrals for mental health counseling or physical restoration services, ESOL classes, GED or high school diploma programs, digital navigation skills training, assistance in earning training certificates, and/or emergency financial resources.

    “The GoodPartner Coach Program has been instrumental in providing team members with essential training and education that serve to enhance their employability skills, boost their earning potential, and help them to set – and achieve – goals they may not have previously thought possible,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services for Goodwill Manasota. "Thanks to the generous ongoing support from our friends at the Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation, our GoodPartner Coach program can continue to work to boost the career and life prospects for our employees and their families.”

    Goals for the GoodPartner Coach program in 2022 are: to serve 1,200 team members, enroll 45 employees in ESOL classes, assist 10 team members in earning a GED or high school diploma, enroll 375 employees in the Role Model Worker program to enhance employability skills, provide 600 team members with financial education services, provide 300 team members with digital navigation services (equipment, free or affordable internet access and/or digital skills training) and assist 10 team members in earning an industry-valued post-secondary credential.

    For more information about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org.

    About Goodwill Manasota Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.


  • 26 May 2022 9:06 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Yesterday, community leaders gathered for the unveiling of "Integrity" - a replica of the famous photo of the American flag raising during the Battle of Iwo Jima - at Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Services Program office. The artwork, which had formerly been part of the "Testimonies" art installation at Patriot Plaza, was a gift from The Patterson Foundation.

    Through strategic gifts of art, The Patterson Foundation hopes to share the mission of Patriot Plaza - to provide a place to remember and reflect, one that honors veterans, inspires patriotism, and embraces freedom - with the wider community.


  • 25 May 2022 7:50 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Children First Launches College Savings Plans for At-Risk Youth

    Sarasota, FL (May 25, 2022) It’s never too early to plan for college.

     

    While the mission of Children First is to strengthen children and families in our community by providing a strong foundation for children ages birth to five, our work does not stop there.

     

    The CFC College Fund was recently started by two of our very dedicated donors in order to give Children First’s young students a “Head Start” as their families begin planning for their college educations. Already, 20 families have applied for 25 children who would benefit from this fund.

     

    As one parent wrote, “I would like to participate in the College Scholarship Program because I am a young mother and would like to give my children the best education there is… I want them to know that the sky is the limit and they can do anything they put their minds to!”

     

    The founding donors of the fund, a couple who wishes to remain anonymous, explained why they felt the CFC College Fund was important for them to support.

     

    “Our intention is to provide a college fund for as many young people as possible. Children First CEO Philip Tavill suggested that by starting at a young age, the individual will have approximately $5,000 of principal in their fund as they enter the public school system. The hope for the outcome can best be expressed by a quotation from Frederick Douglass, who said, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’  We believe in early intervention and want to encourage others to give.”

     

    “We selected Children First because it is a highly efficient organization, similar to the Early Learning Coalition, where a donor can see the effect of his or her contribution now and as a child moves forward through high school and beyond.”

     

    The initial goal of the plan was to fund 20 children to start – a goal which has been quickly met. The funds have been set up as 529 College Savings Plans as part of a three-year pilot program with the founding donors, with each child accruing $25 per week.

     

    Moving forward, the hope is that through private philanthropic support, additional donors will enable the creation of even more 529 College Savings Plans for Children First students.

     

    To be considered for one of the savings plans, the family must have been engaged for a minimum of one academic year with Children First, with the children in the family between 6 months and 2 years of age. Parents are encouraged to contribute what they can to the fund, though it is not required.

     

    If you are interested in learning more about the CFC College Fund, contact Jessica Rogers, Vice President of Philanthropy, (941) 953-3877 or at jrogers@childrenfirst.net.

    About Children First:

    Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.


  • 23 May 2022 8:32 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Icard Merrill Shareholder and President Telese L. Zuberer was a guest speaker at the Law Firm Alliance (LFA) Spring 2022 Meeting in Sonoma, California. She participated in a program called, “Insights on Culture Development and Talent Retention and Acquisition,” which focused on issues that member firms are facing as the nation emerges from the COVID pandemic. Icard Merrill is a member of LFA, which is a strategic, international network of more than 50 firms and 2,500 attorneys.


  • 18 May 2022 11:09 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Sarasota, FL (May 17, 2022) – Children First is proud to announce the naming of the agency’s Teacher Resource Room for long-time supporters Katherine and Frank Martucci. In a special ceremony with board members and staff, the couple was recognized for their most recent gift of $150,000, directed by Frank in honor of Katherine’s board leadership and volunteerism.

    The Martucci's philanthropic spirits has them deeply invested within the nonprofit community. Through their support of Children First, the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, the couple have transformed the lives of our area’s most vulnerable young children and families, many of whom live at or below the Federal Poverty Level (just $23,030 for a family of 3).

    After starting as a classroom volunteer in 2015, Katherine became further empowered to make a difference in the lives of others by joining the Children First Board of Directors. In 2021, she was elected as Chair of the Board where she displayed trailblazing leadership during a time of extreme duress, and since stepping into the newer role of Chair Emeritus has continued her deep commitment to the agency’s mission alongside Frank. Throughout the agency’s 60th anniversary, the couple came together with a dedicated group of extraordinary supporters to form Children First’s Diamond Circle, raising over $2.3MM to help ensure equal access to opportunities for all.

    “Frank and I have a deep love and respect for the Children First mission. To be recognized as having made positive changes in the lives of those who are in need means the world, but not quite as much as knowing that families are happy and healthy as they reach their goals and find success. As a volunteer, having those kids light up when they see me and run up to give me a hug, knowing their lives are improving—it means more than anything. Having three wonderful children and five equally wonderful grandchildren of our own, I know Frank feels the same.”

    “Our teacher resource room was designed to increase the available space for our staff, as well as create an environment of collaboration, networking, and planning that is crucial to the success of our children and families. With nearly one third of our staff members also being Children First parents, those we serve are fully enveloped in our mission, as are those who support them, like Katherine and Frank. Thank you for working with us to envision a community where everyone, regardless of circumstance at birth or in life, can thrive beyond their wildest imagination,” says CEO Philip Tavill.

    About Children First:

    Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.


  • 18 May 2022 11:03 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Goodwill partnership with Gulfcoast Legal Services expands to North Port
    Legal clinics to determine if individuals quality for free legal services to be available at Goodwill's North Port location

    BRADENTON/NORTH PORT FL – In 2018, Goodwill Manasota and Gulfcoast Legal Services launched a partnership in order to provide monthly legal clinics to Goodwill employees and the public at Goodwill's Corporate Campus in Bradenton. Through these monthly offerings, participants with legal questions have been able to take advantage of free consultations – up to half an hour each – with attorneys from Gulfcoast Legal Services. These consultations determine if participants are eligible for free representation in the following legal areas: family, housing, immigration, elder, consumer and/or victims of crime.

    Now, with the opening of a new Gulfcoast Legal Services office in Venice, the organization has agreed to present similar offerings at Goodwill's North Port location. The first session will take place on Thursday, May 26, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; future sessions will take place on the third Thursday of every month.

    These monthly clinics are geared toward residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties who have limited income and assets and who are not able to afford a private attorney. Gulfcoast attorneys will meet with every person and determine what legal services may be available.

    “We are dedicated to serving vulnerable individuals, offering high-quality comprehensive civil legal services provided by Florida Bar licensed attorneys,” said James Clegg, Esq., staff attorney for Gulfcoast Legal Services. “Often, our most vulnerable residents go without legal representation due to an inability to pay. We thank Goodwill for providing a venue and access to individuals who would benefit most from our services.”

    “We are grateful to Gulfcoast Legal Services for recognizing that Goodwill employs and serves many people who have legal concerns but who may not be able to afford an attorney," added Goodwill Manasota vice president Margie Genter. “We urge community members to call and make an appointment so that they can address pressing legal concerns.”

    Clinics take place in the Community Resource Center on the Goodwill Manasota Corporate Campus (2705 51st Ave. E., Bradenton) the second Wednesday every month, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Goodwill's North Port location (14879 Tamiami Tr.) on May 26 and then the third Thursday of each month, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Participants are required to bring a photo ID and proof of income (paystub, SSI/SSDI statements, W-2 or bank statements showing deposits).

    While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are strongly recommended. To schedule in Bradenton, call Margo at 941-355-2721, ext. 190. To schedule for North Port, call Deshane at 941-355-2721, ext. 515.

    For more information about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org. To learn more about Gulfcoast Legal Services, visit gulfcoastlegal.org.

    About Goodwill Manasota Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.


  • 04 May 2022 1:27 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Goodwill Manasota receives grant for financial literacy training
    Funding of $10,000 from Wells Fargo Foundation to support financial literacy skills training for Goodwill employees

    SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota is proud to not only provide jobs for team members who may have barriers to employment but also offer on-the-clock coaching, training and education to boost employees’ job skills and earning potential. One area of concern for Goodwill is that many team members lack financial literacy skills. To address this issue, the Wells Fargo Foundation has recently awarded a $10,000 grant in support of Goodwill’s efforts to provide financial literacy skills training to its team members, through its GoodPartner Coach program. The funds will pay a portion of the salary of one Goodwill GoodPartner Coach.

    Every Goodwill employee is assigned a GoodPartner Coach. These coaches work with team members to do needs assessments to determine barriers to self-sufficiency and identify areas that could be strengthened through training as well as determine access to basic needs such as housing, food and healthcare. Other program elements include helping to write an individualized development plan and offering case management services to address any issues that might be a barrier to their success.

    Financial literacy is a key component of the GoodPartner Coach program, with information to help team members become banked, develop a personal budget, guidance on improving credit scores, and even assistance – through its Homebuyer’s Club – for employees seeking to purchase a home for the first time. When emergency financial needs emerge, coaches are able to direct the team member to a resource – whether internal or community-based – to help meet the need.

    “Financial education and guidance is an important factor in bringing more people who are unbanked into the formal banking system,” said Jeff Ospina, Wells Fargo Regional Banking Director. “Working with Goodwill Manasota is one important way that we can remove barriers to financial inclusion and help empower people with education, resources and tools to manage their money, improve their credit and achieve their financial goals.”

    Coaches assign online financial literacy skills training to employees using Goodwill’s Learning Management System. In-person budgeting classes are also available to those who want more in-depth training.

    GoodPartner Coaches also provide training regarding the benefits of filing taxes, utilizing VITA (free tax assistance) sites, and how the Earned Income Tax Credit works. In partnership with United Way Suncoast, Goodwill hosts VITA sites at its offices and trains its coaches to provide support at these sites.

    Goodwill utilizes partnerships with local banks, including Wells Fargo, to “train the trainer,” so that its coaches can update their skills regularly and have the most current information regarding community resources and best practices in delivering financial literacy training.

    Goodwill Industries-Manasota, Inc. employs over 700 people in the four counties the organization serves: Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto and Hardee counties. Nearly 70% of these team members have a barrier to self-sufficiency. Examples of barriers include a disability, history of incarceration, those who do not have a high school diploma, are not proficient in English, older workers, at-risk youth, and/or individuals who are homeless.

    “Earning a paycheck is just the first step to financial stability. If someone has never learned how to budget or been taught financial literacy, the chances for self-sufficiency are greatly reduced,” said Goodwill Manasota president Donn Githens. "Thanks in part to the grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, our GoodPartner Coach program will continue to work with Goodwill team members so that they can achieve financial stability and get on the path to career and life success."

    For more about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org.

    PHOTO ID: Goodwill Manasota GoodPartner Coach Dana Knuuti (left) with team member Dennis Burton

    About Goodwill Manasota Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.


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Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 | info@lwrba.org

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