As the holiday season draws near, the spirit of giving is in the air! Lake Nona is known for lots of things. It is a technology hub. It is Medical City. But you may not know it is also home to people doing incredible community outreach and non-profit work. Let’s look at some great organizations doing great work in Central Florida as you consider your year-end giving.
A Hero for Kids is an all-volunteer 501c3 organization dedicated to helping those in need, primarily focusing on kids, Veterans, and First Responders. They donate school supplies, books, holiday meals, hygiene items and more to those who need a hand. Of course, they love cash donations but also accept donations of gently used children’s books, backpacks and more. The best part is that with no employees, all their contributions go directly to fulfill their mission.
Let’s learn a little about Rebuild Yourself, Inc. This charity is based in the Lake Nona region and works to rebuild self-esteem, confidence, and empathy in adolescents. Many teens struggle in these areas, and this program offers them activities, classes, and other educational opportunities to help them learn about mental health, reduce stigma and access resources. By creating peer groups, teens are in a safe environment where they can connect with others facing similar challenges. It may sound simple, but if you’ve ever known a teenager, you understand that emotions are complex and often difficult to understand. These programs can literally save a life.
If you are a horse lover, you will want to learn about the First Nature Ranch Foundation. This 501c3 public charity offers programs for children, teens and adults to evoke more of their innate leadership potential for improved success in school, career, relationships and the community. The foundation also works with leaders and organizational teams to develop leadership skills that enhance engagement, collaboration, and generative outcomes. And they do it all with horses! Horses are very sensitive and responsive to human emotional cues.
It is impossible to deal with your emotions until you identify and fully understand them. Working with horses helps participants be more in tune with their emotional and mental well-being, leading them to make real progress in other parts of their lives.
As with any charitable giving, it is essential to do your homework. Research the organization and know how much of your contribution is going to charitable programs versus overhead costs. Whether your passion is STEM education, the arts, fulfilling basic humanitarian needs, or medical causes, there are many great organizations to support. You may feel that one person alone may not be able to do much, but when we work together, we can make a huge difference!
For information about how to join the chamber or get the most out of your chamber membership, please reach out to the Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org