Issue 172, April 03

This week at our lunch meeting, we heard from Ernie Hamilton, Regional Executive Director of Children’s Home Society of Florida. Ernie shared some great information about his nonprofit organization and got us excited about helping them to clean up their large campus at the corner of Spring Park Road and San Diego Road. The organization has been around since 1902 and the campus, from 1906.

Historically, The Orphan Train brought children through Florida and Jacksonville was the last stop. The kids were “put up” for adoption because they were put up on a stage to be viewed by potential parents. The Jacksonville property was started as a group home and orphanage.

Today, one in five children live in poverty. CHS continues to serve children from cradle to career. CHS offers over 25 programs to help strengthen families and keep children healthy and safe. Many of their programs deal with mental health.

Also, CHS has a strong partnership with schools to offer services to children and families in the community. Currently, they are 36 Community Partnership Schools in Florida, and CHS has 27 of those contracts. The organization is a firm believer in letting the teachers be teachers and let the programs take care of the heath of the child.

Incidentally, with their presence at Ed White High School, graduations went from 67% to 95%. They believe the CPS program had a major impact on those numbers.

Currently, the CHS campus houses teen mothers with their babies, and educates them on parenting skills and how to get ahead. Also, the campus has many business offices and an adoption pre/post office there, but it has been determined by the courts that children do best being in foster care or biological homes.

At our SBMC Community Service Day, we had seven wonderful volunteers who helped to clean up the campus. We helped with yardwork and the overall appearance to enhance the property.

Please join us this week when we hear from Mark Van Loh, CEO of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. Our airport has a lot of plans in the works, and we will have a front seat to see the exciting changes. Bring a door prize and your bottle donation for our Wine Raffle and get recognized. See you this Wednesday!


Jeanne Maron
2023 President

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