Easterseals Northeast Central Florida Among Beneficiaries of MacKenzie Scott Philanthropic Gifts Announced December 15thRead Now
Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced yesterday that she has made an unrestricted transformational gift to Easterseals Northeast Central Florida. Easterseals Northeast Central Florida is one of 22 Easterseals Affiliates from across the country to benefit from Scott’s philanthropy, in addition to its National Office, to support life-changing services and powerful advocacy for the one in four Americans living with disability today . Ms. Scott outlined her giving in a post called "384 Ways to Help." You can read Ms. Scott’s announcement of her 2020 giving and selection process here.
In announcing the 384 organizations to benefit from her philanthropy, Ms. Scott indicated that she’d asked a team of advisors to accelerate her 2020 giving to immediately support people suffering from the economic effects of the pandemic. “We do our research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached,” said Ms. Scott. “Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft. Not only are non-profits chronically underfunded, they are also chronically diverted from their work by fundraising, and by burdensome reporting requirements that donors often place on them. These 384 carefully selected organizations have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards, and hotlines and front lines of all types and sizes, day after day after day. They help by delivering vital services and also through the profound encouragement felt each time a person is seen, valued, and trusted by another human being. This kind of encouragement has a special power when it comes from a stranger, and it works its magic on everyone.”
She continued, “The response from these organizations in talking with us often included personal stories and tears which invariably made me and my teammates cry. This kind of chain reaction was captured perfectly by a longtime advocate for people with disabilities: ‘We work with people who have been marginalized for many reasons. Some of our greatest moments of success come through small gestures when a client’s hope is restored. Feeling valued is an amazing sensation. I see the eyes of our clients light up when their efforts are appreciated. Good begets good. I have always believed this, but I have been sorely tested over the past few years.’ Scott added, “Me too.”
Easterseals Northeast Central Florida offers life changing supports and services for over 5,000 local children annually, partnering with their parents and physicians to improve lifetime success. Children receive early intervention and developmental screening, early childhood education, autism diagnoses and functional assessment, pediatric specialty therapy interventions and family supports such as respite, wrap around care and adaptive technology focused on helping children reach their full potential in how they live, learn and play.
“This gift from Ms. Scott represents a transformational gift for Easterseals and we are humbled and honored to advance the dreams we have for our clients,” said Easterseals Northeast Central Florida President & CEO Bev Johnson. “With the input of leading experts across specialties and diagnoses, Easterseals Northeast Central Florida has the people, capacity and passion to redefine how our community addresses disability services. We are overwhelmed with the anticipation of accelerating our progress, and the limitless possibilities in creating a community where:
Ms. Scott signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, a project that encourages billionaires to promise to give away at least half of their wealth throughout their lifetime. Wealthy individuals including Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin have also signed the Giving Pledge.
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About Easterseals Northeast Central Florida
Easterseals Northeast Central Florida has advocated for people with disabilities for 70 years. With the input of leading experts across specialties and diagnoses, Easterseals Northeast Central Florida has the people, capacity and passion to redefine how our community addresses disability services. We achieve this by creating and managing programs and services, and by strategically partnering with our community’s most respected and prominent medical, educational and social-service organizations. We are dedicated to creating a community where every child with special needs in our community is 100% empowered with the services and supports they need to thrive. Learn more at www.eastersealsnecfl.org.
Driven by its purpose to change the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, including veterans and seniors, as well as their families and communities for more than 100 years. Together, its national network of Affiliates serves 1.5 million people annually through high-quality services and powerful advocacy. Its services include early intervention; autism services; medical rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and speech therapies; behavioral health; workforce development; adult day programs; and more. In schools, workplaces, and communities, Easterseals is fostering environments where everyone is included and valued – making a real and positive impact on us all. Join us in ensuring that everyone – regardless of age or ability – is 100% included and 100% empowered to fully participate in life. Learn more at www.easterseals.com.
My name is Diana Martin and I am the new Early Childhood Education Director for the Daytona location. I am coming from the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA where I was the District Executive Director for over 13 years. I have a long background in Childcare and training of childcare personnel for the association. I supervised a staff of over 150, assisted families with financial aid and ran all day to day operations of both facilities.
I received my Childcare Directors credential in 2012 then went onto earn by BS degree in Business management all while being a mother of 5 and working as Executive Director. I am always up for a good challenge and love working with children.
I had a dream of having 10 children and when that was cut short at 5 from a difficult delivery that ended my chances of ever having another child I knew I needed to devote my life to working with children. My goal is to make every child in my center feel wanted, loved and provide them the opportunity to excel and provide them the confidence to conquer any challenge with pride.
If you are interested in our Early Childhood Education programs at our Daytona campus, please contact me directly at 386-944-7831 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to getting to know all our current and future Explorers!
Easterseals is proud to introduce a NEW resource for local families in our Pediatric Navigator, Ashley Ingram, MSW. Through a partnership with the Early Learning Coalition, the lead agency for a County of Volusia CFAB grant for Family Supports and Services, Easterseals Pediatric Navigator will offer Targeted Case Management Services to children ages 1 yr to 22 yrs with complex mental, emotional, developmental, and behavioral disabilities.
Ashley is excited about her new role and career at Easterseals along with the opportunity of building relationships and helping families identify their strengths. She mentioned her excitement in "Watching families meet their goals and thrive. Watching fearless mothers advocate for their children. I’d like to be known for being a strong advocate for children and families who feel helpless.."
"An advantage I have" says Ashley, "is my ability to see things on the “ macro” level; and piece together information like a puzzle to assist families from all walks of life. It is an advantage to those I serve because it allows them to focus on maximizing their strengths while building a foundation on dignity and self-worth."
Since the Pediatric Navigator resource is new to Easterseals, Ashley has asked for help from our community partners to identify clients who may otherwise fall through the cracks, "Many believe my position is based on resource and referral, however I am the navigator of resource and referral from start to finish. I not only connect families with service providers, I also manipulate the referral to ensure our families receive supportive services through to the finish line."
Ashley encourages families to reach out to her, "I’d like to be known for being a strong advocate for children and families who feel helpless. I’d like to also be known for accepting children and families for who they are, being limitless with the help I provide, and building lasting relationships with those with limited support systems."
For more information about Pediatric Navigator services, contact Ashley Ingram, MSW, Pediatric Navigator at email@example.com or by phone at 386-255-4568, ext 308.
Sheryl Cook, Easterseals Honorary Life Director, was named Easterseals 2020 Agency Champion recently during the National Philanthropy Day event sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Volusia/Flagler Chapter. AFP President Hardy Smith presented this award and nomination from Easterseals.
"In her early childhood years, Sheryl was an Easterseals client, receiving physical therapy for a short time while in elementary school. Her parents, Tom and Gloria Cook, were Easterseals champions, locally and nationally for over 60 years. She grew to become an ardent supporter and well-spoken advocate for her community, especially Easterseals.
Sheryl says she supports Easterseals because the organization makes such a profound difference in the lives of so many people in our community. Over the span of her life-long relationship with Easterseals, Sheryl has consistently revealed a strong, lifelong commitment to families with disabilities and /or disadvantaged families. As a 40+ year participant and leader on the Rotary Easterseals Golf Committee, Sheryl has helped Rotary raise nearly $1 Million for children with special needs, and the families who love them.
On average, Sheryl dedicates at least 10 hours per month towards stewardship, advocacy, direct planning and board/committee participation for Easterseals. As a member of the Board, she is consistently active on several committees. As a fundraiser on the Gift Planning committee, she opens doors routinely by introducing new persons to Easterseals mission with personal invites, stewardship and follow-up.
When customers to her family business are thrilled with their level of personalized service, she encourages donations to Easterseals as a means of expressing appreciation. She offers personal thanks, cards, notes, phone calls and such every month to Easterseals donors, large and small, which provides an opportunity for her to share her passion and enthusiasm as a volunteer, and ultimately helps to cement new donor relationships."
Easterseals is proud to have captured the affection of this incredible lady towards our mission! Many, many lives are made better because of YOU, Sheryl! We adore you and your Tom Cook family.
You could say Sheryl Cook became a volunteer for Easterseals while still in the womb. Cook’s mother, Gloria Cook, became involved as an Easterseals volunteer and advocate before Sheryl was born, even serving as the National Chairman of the Board of Easterseals.
Her father, Tom Cook, also was a supporter of Easterseals and founded the highly successful Rotary-Easterseals Golf Tournament in 1979 to honor his wife, Gloria, and her extraordinary efforts as an Easterseals advocate.
The Rotary Golf Tournament has become a local tradition, and in its 40th year, the Rotary Golf Tournament benefiting Easterseals has raised just shy of $1,000,000.
Sheryl and her family at Tom Cook Jeweler have given tremendous gifts to Easterseals and many other community agencies to support special events in the form of prizes, sponsorships, cash and volunteer time.
On Friday, November 20, 2020, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Volusia/Flagler Chapter held their annual National Philanthropy Day event and named Sheryl Cook and Tom Cook Jeweler as their Corporate Philanthropist of the Year! Earlier during the event, Sheryl Cook was also named Easterseals 2020 Agency Champion. Thank you, Sheryl and Tom Cook Jeweler!
Introducing Easterseals new project supervisor for our SOAR (School's Out Afternoon Recreation) Program, Jennifer Reilly! Join us in welcoming Jen to SOAR, a program for teens with special needs, designed to encourage and support whatever level of independence they are capable of in important areas such as life skills, social skills, health and wellness and successfully preparing for the workplace. Jen is recruiting now for a Winter Mini-Session on December 28, 29 and 30th between 1-5 pm at Easterseals Daytona Center. Financial assistance available!
Jen, a COTA/L in Volusia County Schols is enthusiastic about her new role, "I will be building community relationships in an effort to recruit kids (teens) to participate in this incredible after-school program that will teach life skills while building social skills while having fun! So many people don’t even know what SOAR is! SOAR stands for School’s Out Afternoon Recreation. It’s an after school program where teens of ALL levels can come together to learn about life skills, nutrition and wellness, do activities and build social skills in a safe environment with ample, professional leadership."
Jen says what she enjoys most about working with families through Easterseals is the opportunity to work with all levels of abilities in the pediatric population, and Easterseals affords the ability to do so while involving parents/guardians in the process. There are so many expert clinicians and educators that help guide what is the best environment for teens with special needs.
A little more about Jen: "I’m grateful for the opportunity to work for such an amazing non-profit, and to have the opportunity to be a part of such a dynamic team. Children and families are my passion – they have been my whole life. I’m a mom of three amazing children, ages 16, 18 and 19 – the two eldest serving in the US Air Force and US Army. I have traveled all over the world on various mission trips working with underprivileged children & families in Costa Rica, Uganda, Haiti and Namibia.
I’m looking forward to seeing SOAR grow to serve a whole new population in Volusia County. If you are a therapist working with a teen in any of our schools and you think SOAR would be a good fit for them, please spread the word – we’d love to have them join us!"
For more information about SOAR, contact Jen Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-871-5086. 386-290-4101386-290-4101