Beneficiaries

The Kearney Center (The Shelter)

* Feeds 600 hungry people every day

* Provides overnight safety for 270 men, women and children

* Meets the basic health needs of at least 150 people every night

* The Shelter has been a vital part of this community since 1986. We hope it is here to stay.

For 25 years, our community has reflected a caring heart toward homeless people, many of whom are like many of us: regular folks who are a paycheck or a calamity away from needing some kind of help. While there are some homeless people whose situations seem chronic, most can be effectively encouraged and assisted back toward independence. That’s why it’s good news that Tallahassee is preparing a major breakthrough in its effective approach to dealing with homelessness. Through a coordinated, comprehensive paradigm shift, a full range of targeted services will include short-term housing, counseling and related programs to help our neighbors find stable homes and become productive citizens again. A group of dedicated private sector members responsible for both the Renaissance Community Center and Westgate are spearheading the development of a safe and secure new Comprehensive Emergency Services Center to be built on West Pensacola Street. It is expected to open in December 2014. The Shelter and Renaissance Community Center will move their operations to this state-of-the-art center beside the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, and the three agencies will coordinate with partnering agencies to provide the most comprehensive 24-hour emergency services that Tallahassee has ever seen for the homeless. Your help in making all this happen while the Shelter continues to provide critical services to the people it services remains very important. Visit The Shelter at www.tallahasseeleonshelter.com.

The Refuge House

For over 30 years, Refuge House has been the voice of hope for victims of domestic and sexual violence in our community. Women, children and men escaping violent homes, or dealing with the trauma of rape, find comprehensive Refuge House services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Refuge House is a safe haven with emergency shelters, encouragement and support through its hotline and counseling services, as well as resources for rebuilding lives with dignity, peace, and justice. Children who have been abused are welcomed to their day care and counseling programs with encouragement and love. Every year, over 500 women and children, friends and neighbors, are sheltered from abuse, in the emergency shelters provided by the Refuge House. Over 2,500 hotline callers get support and safety planning from hotline staff every year, and over 1,500 victims and their children receive counseling and advocacy support in the community. As one Refuge House client once said, “You can get your life and your freedom back.” Refuge House seeks to save lives, build hope and end violence! Visit the Refuge House at refugehouse.com.

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Bend offers after-school and summer programs for several hundred kids at four Club locations in Gadsden and Leon Counties. After-school programs run four to five hours per day, Monday through Friday. Some Clubs also offer full-day summer programs. More than your average after-school facility, the Boys & Girls Clubs emphasize the value of education and strive to instill in members the desire to succeed academically. Through five core programming areas and specialized initiatives, the Clubs also help members develop favorable character traits, identify their talents and interests, and provide an outlet for positive and rewarding self-expression. Visit Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend at http://bgcbb.org/ .

America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend

America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend is the food bank that distributes millions of pounds of food every year to hungry families in the 11-county region of the Big Bend. We do this in partnership with over 100 non-profit and faith based organizations who serve individuals, families, children and other low-income persons with special needs. Our food is delivered and distributed to the partner agencies, which provide food pantries, feeding sites and residential programs for those in need.

One in five people in the Big Bend experience hunger on a regular basis. Every month, more than 50,000 people receive our food, one-quarter of whom are children, and 11% are seniors. Ten pounds of donated food provides approximately 8 meals for a family. A $10 contribution allows Second Harvest to obtain 50 lbs. of food or 40 meals for a family.  The numbers of those in need continue to increase, so we are also working to increase the amount of food available. We hope that you will join us as we fight hunger and feed hope!

Gulf Winds Track Club

Gulf Winds Track Club (GWTC) runs this town – well you know what I mean. This great organization is one of the best most active volunteer groups in the land. The club organizes and supports running at all levels in Tallahassee, including 17 races and a summer track series. GWTC encourages and supports runners, race walkers and triathletes of all levels of ability and training, whether they participate for competition, fitness or personal and social enjoyment. The newsletters, social meetings and lecture series inform members of local and regional events and foster the exchange of information about training and other aspects of running, racing and fitness. Among our most valued members are those who promote fitness through service to the Club, primarily on a volunteer basis. Visit Gulf Winds Track Club at gulfwinds.org.

Kent Vann Partners in Excellence Awards The Kent Vann Partners in Excellence Awards provides financial awards to elementary schools and middle schools who bring the most food for give away and have the most students running in one of the races. Schools can receive awards of up to $300 and a total of $1500 is available for this program.