2018 1st Quarter Bags for Change Nominees – Gainesville


Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua is to enable all young people especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. BGC Clubs provides different clubs for our members that peaks their interest and also has fundamental education elements to them as well. The different clubs provide our members outlets to explore and find themselves. These clubs include and are not limited to BGC incrEDIBLES, Intellectual Explorers, Next Step, BGC Art Connection, Heart & Sole Sports. The clubs help our members by allowing them to prospect who they are and discover a hobby or potentially a career. Donations raised would go to support the BGC incrEDIBLES club with supplies such as food for recipes, mini convection ovens, griddles and more. A total of 78 children are in the club and the goal is $2,000.


Hearoes for Hearing
To provide new test and therapy materials in speech and audiology for habilitation and rehabilitation, audiological tests, and loaner equipment for both children and adult patients. UF Health Speech and Hearing Center Cochlear Implant Fund, which alleviates the financial burden on children and adults who are profoundly deaf and in need of cochlear implants in order to access sound. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted hearing devices that help people communicate between loved ones, allow for children to acquire language, and provide people with awareness to sounds such as alarms, phones, and nature. On a yearly average, 80 people are implanted with over 1,000 mapping follow-ups and 300 evaluations, it costs upwards of $100,000 per ear for the surgery and device to be implanted and activated.


Star Center Children’s Theater
The Star Center’s mission is to “inspire, nurture, educate and empower artists and audiences of all ages through the shared experience of classes, live theatre and performance.” The purpose of the Star Center Education and Community Engagement Programs is to foster and support a direct and passionate engagement for youth, educators, artists, and the broader community in all aspects of the theatre experience. Theatre education provides opportunities for personal growth through drama and theatre training and has been proven to improve grades, interpersonal skills and leadership potential. The SUPER SMART SUMMER CAMP and ACADEMY, provides not only performing arts instruction, but opportunities for the development of the whole child, socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Kids learn lifelong skills in and through the arts. The camp and after school academy exposes the kids to academics, acting, vocal and instrumental music, dance, visual and digital arts. Students develop leadership skills, social skills as they learn to work as a community, esteem building skills that will carry over into any career. The After-school Academy runs throughout the year with 4-term cycles. The intensive all day Summer Camp is a 3-week full-day program taught by certified teachers. They partner with University of Florida, the City of Gainesville and various organizations to provide field experiences for the campers. The Super Smart Camp integrates academics with the arts. Over the past several years they average 55 students per camp, many of whom are on scholarship. The full tuition is $295 per student.


North Central FL YMCA
The North Central Florida YMCA is an inclusive organization of men, women, and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of children, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Donations raised would go to support the after school program. The program includes homework help, activities such as games, reading, science, performing arts, sports and more. The program is geared to get kids moving and making healthy choices. Many parents need financial assistance for their child(ren) to attend the program. On average it costs $190/child for one month of after school programming.


Youth Combine
Youth Combine works to provide youth with the opportunity to be outside with their friends, empowered with a strong foundation of health, education, and mentorship from passionate and inspiring college students. The goal for Bags for Change would be $2,000. Donations raised would go to provide scholarships for 10x underprivileged youth to attend Youth Combine’s full time after school program at Howard Bishop Middle School through the 2018 school year. It costs $50/month per child for the program. This funding would also provide a little bit of extra money to purchase a STEM education activity for the after school program. STEM education materials may include robotics, basic engineering and architecture materials, or art supplies and a 30-minute art lesson from an art instructor.