Florida's Hometown USA was organized in 1986 as an educational endeavor to instill in the youth of Florida the importance of volunteer service. Students are selected each year to participate in this program. They are from different cities in the state. They are active in volunteer programs in their hometown and also throughout the state. The focus on the volunteer work is with children and the elderly. Our program inspires, encourages and empowers students to become leaders through volunteerism and community involvement. We support students who are making a difference in the state of Florida through their selfless acts of giving.
The students visit, entertain, and take gifts to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando, Shriner Children's Hospital in Tampa, All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay and Orlando, and the Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville. A special project each year at Christmas is collecting gifts for the Santa program at the hospitals.
We are partnered with over 30 facilities where volunteer programs are set up.
- Terra Vista Rehab & Health Center
- Westminster Towers Assisted Living
- Brookdale Retirement Center - 2 locations
- Head Start /Early Head Start Daycare programs
- Children’s, Women’s and Men’s Shelters
- Pregnancy Care Center
- The Taylor Home Assisted Living Center
- River Garden Nursing Center
- PACE Center for Girls
- Daniel residential home for children
- Wolfson Childrens Hospital
- Children's Home Society
- James A. Haley Veterans Hospital
- St. John Knox Village Retirement Center
- Shriners Hospitals for Children
- Arnold Palmer Childrens Hospital
- Ronald McDonald House - Tamp Bay and Orlando
- American Heart Association
- Social Services Adopt a Family Program
- Give Kids the World
- Make a Wish Walk-a-thon
- All Children's Hospital - St. Petersburg
- Relay for Life – American Cancer Society
- House of Hope for Teenagers
- Life Care Center
- Heart Gallery of Central Florida (Foster Children)
- American Heart Association
- Needy Family Assistance Network through churches and schools
- Children’s Miracle Network
- Salvation Army
- House of Hope
- WESH TV Share Your Christmas Food Drive
- Local schools Mentoring Program
- Adopt a Grandparent Program throughout Florida
- Kids of Distinction Day Care Center
Florida's Hometown USA has been involved with some of the above facilities for 30 years. We also collect food, toys, make baskets for needy families and collect food for Leesburg Food Bank and other food drives. We also have a School Supply Drive and a Diaper/Baby Items Drive for needy babies and Moms. We have organized an Adopt a Grandparent Program in each hometown at a local nursing home. Each student is assigned an elderly person to visit monthly who has no family nearby or needs special attention. This is just some of the many things they do each year.
The focus in the educational area is to work closely with our Legislators focusing on youth volunteers. Each year the students go to the state capitol in Tallahassee and to Washington, DC or New York City to learn more about the importance of giving back to their state and nation. The students are recognized by our state and national leaders for their service work and as future leaders of tomorrow. One year, on the trip to Washington, DC the group visited and entertained at a Retirement Center while there. This was a great opportunity to represent Florida.
Another educational outreach is the Scholarship Program that awards ten thousand dollars each year to high school students. Our desire is to add to this fund and award more scholarships. The scholarships are paid directly to the college and must be used within one year of graduation. The same focus of community involvement is stressed in the scholarship program.
Since 1986, we have had hundreds of students who have given many hours of volunteer service to our state. These young people have shown the commitment of values such as kindness, helpfulness, personal responsibility and respect for others – qualities that we believe are essential to leading productive lives in our society.
Florida's Hometown U.S.A. Program is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization.