Volunteer Florida Announces 2013 BEST Neighborhoods Grantees

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida-- October 13, 2012

Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman today announced 12 organizations across the state that are participating in Volunteer Florida’s 2012-2013 BEST Neighborhoods initiative. The BEST program, which stands for Build-Engage-Sustain-Transform (BEST), is based on “neighboring,” a model concept of community engagement that uses volunteering as a tool to facilitate positive community change.

“BEST Neighborhoods has been a great success for communities across Florida, and I am thrilled to announce this year’s grantees,” said CEO Spellman. “This program recognizes that every resident in a community has something to offer that can help a neighbor. It’s an excellent model of civic participation and I look forward to working with our 2013 participants.”

Organizations who were awarded grant funds were selected based on their abilities to address one or more of the following areas in qualifying counties: economic recovery, education, disaster preparedness, environment and human needs. The 12 participating organizations are receiving a combined total of $233,069 and will serve recipients in 25 counties across Florida.

Volunteer Florida’s BEST Neighborhoods program is a three-year program contingent upon federal funding. Volunteer Florida created the program in 2010 as one of 19 state commissions to receive a Volunteer Generation Fund Grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds the BEST program’s administration and implementation.

2012-2013 Recipients & Counties Served

Chautauqua Learn and Serve Charter School – Bay County
Volunteer Services of Manatee County - Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Collier, Lee, Lake, Sumter, Highlands and Hardee Counties
Chain Reaction – Escambia County
HandsOn Broward - Broward & Miami-Dade Counties
Community Vision - Osceola & Polk Counties
Flagler Volunteer Services – Flagler County
United Way of Suwannee Valley - Suwannee, Columbia, Hamilton, & Lafayette Counties
Carrfour - Volunteer Verde - Miami-Dade County
Franklin's Promise Coalition - Franklin, Gulf, & Wakulla Counties
VolunteerLEON – Leon County
Faith Family Services – Leon County
Tampa Metropolitan YMCA – Hillsborough County

Visit the BEST webpage for more information.


Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; coordinates volunteers and donations in a disaster; and inspires all Floridians to serve their communities. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

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