Community Spirit

Residents Invited to Donate Gently Used Shoes to Support Disaster Relief in Japan

In the wake of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, Jane Nation is calling upon local residents in its drive to collect at least 100 pair of shoes for Soles4Souls. The effort is part of the charity’s “11 IN 11” campaign to collect and distribute 11 million shoes in 2011 to people living in extreme poverty and recovering from natural disasters.

“Shoes are perennial favorites of most women — we love shopping for and commenting on each other’s shoes — online and off,” said Karen Moran, community manager for, an online opinion-sharing community for women. “When we learned about the great work being done by Soles4Souls, we knew we could count on our Janes to literally step in to help. We all have a few pair of shoes taking up valuable closet space, and knowing that someone in need could benefit from them makes it easy to donate.”

Local United Way Announces 2010-2011 Turnaround Campaign Results of more than $25 million

Local United Way Announces 2010-2011  Turnaround Campaign Results of more than $25 million

United Way of Northeast Florida announced today 2010-2011 Annual Campaign results of over $25 million – a turnaround campaign with a three percent increase over the previous year. This marks a significant improvement in giving since the economic downturn began in 2008.  These strong results will help address the human service needs across our community including United Way’s focus on keeping more than 10,000 students on track to high school graduation.

Holiday Donations by Publix Customers Totals Over $100,000

Holiday Donations by Publix Customers Totals Over $100,000

The Salvation Army of NE Florida has been awarded a check for a whopping $100,169 from Publix Supermarkets for its hunger-serving programs. The donation will be presented to The Salvation Army by Dwaine Stevens, Media and Community Relations Manager for Publix, Jacksonville Division, at a luncheon at Metropolitan Park on Thursday, April 21.  The funds were donated at the holidays by Publix customers in an ongoing drive to support charities fighting hunger in the community.

Neiman Marcus is Coming to Jacksonville

The glamour, attitude and hype of the fashion world comes to Jacksonville April 7th when Neiman Marcus Orlando stages Runway to Dignity 2011 to benefit Dignity U Wear.  The event by the upscale retailer will feature spring fashions by some of today’s most notable designers, including Escada, Dolce Gabbana, and Roberto Cavalli, among others.

Runway to Dignity will create a high fashion environment under the stars with a clear tent overlooking the St. Johns River, directly in front of The Florida Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Event co-chairs, Nan Coyle, Sallyn Pajcic and Jeanne Ward, promise a special evening, with both a pre-show and post-show reception, flowing champagne, great music and extraordinary fashions.

Comfort food, Syrian Style

Comfort food, Syrian Style

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In a brightly painted building on Main Street, Wafaa & Mike’s Cafe serves delicious Middle Eastern food in a friendly and warm atmosphere. The Cafe’s name itself adds to feeling that you are coming to dine at a friend’s home. In Wafaa & Mike’s Cafe, Springfield has another eatery which is truly a neighborhood gem. On the whole, Middle Eastern cuisine is full of flavorful dishes that are not only tasty, but pleasing to the eye. The food here does not disappoint.

Paks Gym Brings Korean Flavor to Springfield

Paks Gym Brings Korean Flavor to Springfield

Paks Gym, which is situated at the Corner of East 7th and Walnut Streets, is bringing some Korean flavor to the Springfield community through its martial arts and exercise programs. Operated by Springfield resident Don Justice, the small gym has become a popular spot for many neighborhood residents and children looking to add some exercise and discipline to their lives.

First Coast No More Homeless Pets Needs Donations

The first Food Bank distribution event was held on March 13, 2010. Every month since, food has been given to pets who owners have experienced financial hardships. To date, almost 175,000 pound of dog and cat food has been given, feeding thousands of pets on the First Coast.

This program uses NO taxpayer dollars. All food is raised through donations and food drives. All of the staffing is by volunteering, and the program operates on a very small budget, buying the few necessary supplies from cash donations.