First Lady Casey DeSantis Awards Hope Florida Funds to Five Northwest Florida Organizations Giving Hope to Florida Families

First Lady Casey DeSantis awarded five outstanding Northwest Florida organizations with $5,000 each through the Hope Florida Fund. She also awarded each organization with the First Lady’s Medal for Courage, Commitment & Service, which honors Floridians who are creating positive change in their communities. To watch the press conference, click here.
The First Lady recently launched the Hope Florida Fund to harness the charity of the private sector to give funds to deserving local non-profit entities through her Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative. She presented today’s awards to organizations in the area that are serving children and families in need, families going through a crisis, and families that have children with unique abilities.
Hope Florida, created by First Lady DeSantis and implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families, utilizes ‘Care Navigators’ to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, nonprofits, and government entities to break down traditional community silos in an effort to maximize support and uncover opportunities. These ‘Care Navigators’ are essential in helping individuals identify their unique and immediate barriers to prosperity, develop long term-goals, map out a strategic plan, and work to ensure all sectors of the community have a ‘seat at the table’ and are part of the solution.
Recipients recognized by the First Lady were: Westonwood Ranch; C.A.L.M. Organization, Inc. – Crisis Aid for Littles and Moms; Emerald Coast Exceptional Families; Hiland Park Baptist Church Ministries; and NextStep at Endeavor Academy. 
“Thousands of Floridians have made the selfless decision to dedicate their time and talent to help others through life’s challenges. We are grateful for their service,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Today I was honored to award five deserving organizations with Hope Florida Funds which we hope will allow them to continue their mission of helping those in their community. This further highlights how our Hope Florida model is working beyond government to unite the private sector with faith and community-based organizations to support those in need.”
“I was proud to join First Lady DeSantis today to help community organizations provide students and families with the resources they need to get ahead,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. “When we all work together to best support our students, we can give them every opportunity to achieve success both in and out of the classroom.”
“Collaboration with partners, stakeholders, and non-profit organizations is vital to serving our local communities,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. “Working together we are able to leverage resources and work towards building strong and resilient families. Through First Lady DeSantis’ leadership we have the opportunity to recognize these organizations and award funds to further their work in the community. I applaud the groups highlighted today for taking initiative to support families and look forward to expanding our partnership in the future.”
Last week, First Lady DeSantis announced the creation of the Hope Florida Fund and awarded the first two recipients in Tampa. The First Lady made this announcement as part of a roundtable discussion focused on how the State of Florida is working to support and empower Florida’s foster and adoptive families through the Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative. To read more about the fund and other major initiatives to support Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity

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