JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Today, Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris and the Governor’s Liaison for Faith and Community Erik Dellenback distributed Hope Florida funding to local non-profit and faith leaders who have provided support to their communities following the tragic racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville. At the event, $10,000 checks were distributed to the following pastors and organizations: Morning Glory Fellowship Church, Mercy Support Services, and the Patric Young Foundation.
“Through the Hope Florida initiative, today we awarded $30,000 to Jacksonville non-profits and faith leaders who are helping to make a difference in their communities,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “The Hope Florida Fund is comprised solely of private sector donations – they support non-profits who are helping people in their communities. We appreciate what these organizations are doing to make a difference.”
“It was an incredible honor to present financial awards to these organizations which served as beacons of comfort during a time of immense grief for this community and our state as a whole,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. “Today’s announcement accentuates the role of the Hope Florida Fund in strengthening our local partners’ ability to offer a personal approach to Floridians’ most pressing needs. I am grateful for all they have done and will continue to do as this community heals, and I commend First Lady Casey DeSantis for helping to ensure they have the necessary resources.”
“One of my favorite parts of the First Lady’s Hope Florida Initiative is the way it recognizes that the groups best equipped to serve a community are the incredible churches, faith institutions and non-profits in those communities, and this was true once again after the recent tragedy in Jacksonville,” said Erik Dellenback, Governor’s Liaison for Faith and Community. “Today, through the Hope Florida Fund, we were honored to recognize a few of those great faith and community organizations in Northeast Florida that stand on the front line serving Florida families each and every day.”
“The Jacksonville community is so grateful for the support we have received from Governor and First Lady DeSantis following the horrific shooting that took place near Edward Waters College just a few weeks ago,” said Representative Kiyan Michael. “This funding will help our faith institutions as they continue to help students at the college and the families of the victims who are grieving and in need of our support. Thank you, First Lady, for caring for Jacksonville.”
In August, Governor DeSantis vehemently condemned the horrific, racially motivated murders in Jacksonville near Edward Waters University. Governor DeSantis announced an initial, immediate award of $1 million through the Volunteer Florida Foundation to bolster campus security at Edward Waters University, in addition to an award of $100,000 to help the impacted families of this tragedy.
Through the Hope Florida Fund, the First Lady continues to recognize local organizations across the state that are instilling hope and meeting needs in their communities. Hope Florida, created by First Lady Casey DeSantis, utilizes ‘Hope Navigators’ to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity and economic self-sufficiency by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, non-profits, and government entities to break down traditional community silos to maximize support and uncover opportunities. Floridians who are in need of services can connect with Hope Florida by visiting HopeFlorida.com or calling the Hope Line (850-300-HOPE).