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United Way of the Florida Keys
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We are very grateful to our partners who have workplace campaigns that enable their employees to donate regularly to United Way. For a list of the top 20 workplace campaigns, click on Campaign Central at the top of the page.

 
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IBERIA BANK FOOD DRIVE
 

IBERIA BANK EMPLOYEES POSE WITH SOME OF THE FOOD THEY COLLECTED FOR CLIENTS OF STAR OF THE SEA OUTREACH MISSION IN KEY WEST. STAR OF THE SEA IS A UNITED WAY PARTNER AGENCY.


 
WORTHINGTON HONORED
 

UWFK Board Treasurer Trich Worthington was recognized as an "Unsung Hero" at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys' recent annual luncheon honoring volunteers. Worthington is a Senior Vice President with Iberia Bank who lives in Marathon with her husband Pete. Margie Smith, President of United Way of the Florida Keys, praised Worthington for her hard work as Board Treasurer. "Trich never hesitates to spend the time it takes to review the details and get it right," Smith said. "Her professional integrity is very high and she is the type of person who does what she says she is going to do." 

 
MARGIE SMITH RESIGNS AS UNITED WAY PRESIDENT
 

Margie Smith, President of United Way of the Florida Keys since January 2010, will leave the agency at the end of this year to join her husband’s investment management firm in Islamorada. Smith said she is excited about her new position but sad to leave a job that has been so much a part of her for almost five years. “As President of United Way I’ve had the unique opportunity to see a detailed picture of who we are as a county, and to interact with so many public service-minded individuals,” she said. “What we have here is special.  I’ve never felt so profoundly connected to a community as I have here in the Keys.”

Smith will join her husband Cale’s firm, Islamorada Investment Management. “This was Cale’s own creation,” she explained. “He’s an independent, registered investment adviser and a fiduciary, which means he’s required by law to act solely in the best interest of his clients. His firm has grown a lot in the past few years and he’s ready now for a major expansion. I’m going to help with that.”

MARGIE SMITH, CENTER, POSES WITH CURRENT BOARD CHAIR LEAH MAKI, LEFT, AND PAST BOARD CHAIR CANDY FINCKE, RIGHT.

United Way of the Florida Keys has been raising funds to support nonprofit agencies in the Keys for more than 30 years. The funds are raised primarily through payroll deductions in the workplace, and all funds raised in the Keys, stay in the Keys. “We’re very sorry to see Margie go,” said Leah Maki, United Way Board Chair, “and very grateful for her outstanding service.” Maki noted that United Way’s annual revenue has increased substantially since Smith became President. “Margie’s workplace presentations about United Way—and her ability to connect with such diverse audiences—have been a big reason for that,” she said.

When Smith arrived in 2010, United Way had raised $245,000 the previous year. Last year, the agency raised more than $400,000.

In addition to providing funds for local nonprofits, United Way of the Florida Keys plays an important role in convening discussions between the nonprofit, private and public sectors to address critical community needs—for example, providing more and better quality food to local food pantries Keys-wide.  Smith made this “community impact” work a priority for the agency, also launching efforts to increase childcare options for Keys parents, expand summer food programs for children, and collect school supplies for needy Monroe County students in the annual “Stuff the Bus” drive.

As a result of these efforts, United Way has become more visible and well regarded in the Keys. “One of the things I’m proudest of,” Smith said, “is that now people all over the Keys know who United Way is and that we have a unique role to play in addressing community needs. While we’ve been supporting the community for over 30 years, we are doing more now and engaging more people in our work than ever before.”

Smith has a Master’s in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University. When she moved to the Keys from Washington, D.C. in 2005, she left behind a career in aviation that started in the field but became increasingly focused on advocacy and organizational reform.  She staffed a Congressional commission that wrote legislation to both restructure the way the aviation industry is financed and regulated and create the federal government’s first Performance Based Organization at the FAA. Smith also represented the nation’s public airports before the federal government at the American Association of Airport Executives, while simultaneously volunteering as the Executive Director of a local nonprofit.  She was a finalist for the prestigious White House Fellowship in 2001. 

Smith resides in Islamorada with her husband and two daughters.

United Way of the Florida Keys will conduct a Keys-wide search for Smith’s replacement, as well as talking to candidates who have led United Ways in other parts of the country.

“We want to find the very best person possible to replace Margie,” Board Chair Leah Maki said. “These are very big shoes to fill. Our ideal candidate will be able to continue the great work Margie’s done and build on it.” The new President will take over on January 1st.

NOTE: UNITED WAY PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED A JOB OPPORTUNITY AS VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT, KEY WEST. THAT JOB IS ON HOLD UNTIL THE NEW PRESIDENT IS SELECTED.

 
DONATE SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK!
 
 
DONATE SCHOOL SUPPLIES TO MONROE COUNTY STUDENTS!
 

To view our "Stuff the Bus" press release, click here.

 
KEYS PARENTS: WEIGH IN ON YOUR CHILDCARE NEEDS!
 

Are you having a hard time finding an enriching, affordable summer program for your children that accommodates your work schedule? United Way of the Florida Keys is leading an effort to address barriers to getting kids quality summer programming, and come up with solutions that work for you. Here’s your chance to weigh in on your childcare needs! The first step to coming up with solutions Keys-wide is to document the need. Just fill out our brief, confidential online survey and be part of this effort to create additional affordable options for Keys families for summer 2015 and beyond. You can find the survey here in English.  For a Spanish version of the survey, click here.  The deadline for filling out the survey is the end of July. Or if you would like to be part of the solution in some other way, contact us at (305) 735-1929. Thank you! 

 
BRUNCH, JAZZ AND NEW FRIENDS
 

UNITED WAY HOSTS JAZZ BRUNCH, KEY WEST 'FRIEND-RAISER' 

United Way of the Florida Keys helped launch the Spring social season with two different events--a Jazz Brunch in Islamorada and a "Friend-Raiser" in Key West. 

The lavish brunch, including everything from sliced smoked salmon to shrimp and grits, was catered by Kaiyo and the Green Turtle Inn. Live music was provided by the Island Jazz Ensemble. The 74 attendees also enjoyed endless champagne and a Bloody Mary bar. Sponsors of this event included: Publix, Marker 88, Ocean Sotheby's International Realty, Community Bank, The MIX, The Reporter, Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, Regan Insurance Agency, CBT Construction, RMB Construction, Postcard Inn, Islamorada Investment Management and Southern Wine and Spirits.

More than 100 people attended our “Friend-Raiser” in Key West to find out about the recent work of United Way and to honor local donors. Community leaders and UWFK leadership donors (giving $1,000 or more annually) gathered at the home of Guy Ross and Michael Ruiter for the evening reception.  Several Key West restaurants and catering companies donated hors d’oeuvres for the event, including Azur, Bistro Sole, Café Sole, Camille’s, Doubletree Grand Key Resort, Great Events Catering, Southernmost Beach Café, Square One – New American Table, Three Fine Cooks Catering, and the Westin Key West Resort.  Historic Tours of America donated the invitation graphics. Host Committee members included Dale Bittner, Andy Griffiths, Rebecca Horan, Debbie Mason, Richard McChesney, Mindy McKenzie and Denise Preuss. UWFK Board Chair, Candy Fincke, and President, Margie Smith, welcomed guests and thanked donors for their support.

See below to view photo albums from the two events.  

Jazz Brunch photos donated by Sandra D. Spaulding Photography

Friend-Raiser photos donated by Roberta DePiero

 
Key West Friend-Raiser
 
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PRESIDENT'S JOB DESCRIPTION HERE
 

United Way of the Florida Keys is now accepting applications for the position of President / Chief Executive Officer, to replace Margie Smith who has resigned effective December 31st. For a complete job description, click here.

 
FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR KEYS KIDS
 

Did you know that any Keys child 18 or younger can get free meals through the Summer BreakSpot program? BreakSpot is part of the Summer Food Service Program which is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered here by the Florida Department of Agriculture. The goal of BreakSpot is to bridge the gap in nutrition during the summer months by serving nutritious meals to children 18 years and younger while school is not in session.

During the school year, many children receive free and reduced-price meals through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs. When school lets out for the summer, many of these children are at risk of hunger or poor nutrition. BreakSpot is designed to ensure that children have access to the nutritious meals they need to grow, learn and play during the summer months and to help ensure their bodies and minds are healthy and strong for the upcoming school year. 

In the Keys, any child 18 or younger can go to one of five BreakSpot sites and get a free breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday during the summer months. The only requirement is that the child must eat the meal on the premises. Here are the times and site locations:

Key Largo Elementary School:  Breakfast 7:45 to 8:15 a,m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through August 8th

Stanley Switlik Elementary School:  Breakfast 7:45 to 8 a.m., lunch 11:25 a.m. to noon, through July 11th or 18th, depending on participation

Marathon Middle / High School:  Breakfast 7:45 to 8 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon, through July 11th or 18th, depending on participation

Poinciana Elementary School:  Breakfast 7:45 to 8 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., through August 8th

Horace O'Bryant Elementary School:  Breakfast 7:45 to 8 a.m., lunch 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., through July 11th or 18th, depending on participation

Please pass this information on! And more BreakSpot sites are needed to reach the maximum number of Keys children. If you would like to help us secure more sites, call us at (305) 735-1929. Thank you!

 
UWFK ANNOUNCES 2014-15 GRANTS
 

United Way of the Florida Keys has announced that it will distribute a total of $145,000 in grants to 13 nonprofit agencies in 2014-15.   

“We are so grateful to the many United Way donors throughout the Keys,” said Margie Smith, UWFK President. “They are the ones who make it possible for us to assist these agencies that are providing such critical services to our neighbors in need.” 

The 13 agencies were among 16 that applied in two United Way focus areas: programs that provide access to nutritious food for people in critical need, or early childhood/youth development programs with an educational or positive behavioral component.  

2014-15 grant recipients in the food category include: Burton Memorial United Methodist Church - $15,000 for its Daily Bread Food Pantry;  Domestic Abuse Shelter - $4,000 for food for children in shelter;  Florida Keys Children’s Shelter - $11,000 for food for children in shelter; Florida Keys Outreach Coalition - $8,000 for Loaves and Fish Pantry and Residential Meals Program;  Healthy Start Coalition - $7,000 for food for needy families with pregnant women and children 0 to 3; Independence Cay - $8,000 for its Soup Kitchen and Community Garden; Keys Area Interdenominational Resources (KAIR) - $15,000 for its Food Pantry;  Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens (MARC) - $8,000 for Food and Individual Training (FIT); Star of the Sea Outreach Mission - $25,000 for a Keys-wide food distribution program; and Wesley House Family Services - $10,000 for its Inez Martin Nutritional Backpack Program.

2014-15 grant recipients in the early childhood/youth development category include: Boys and Girls Clubs of the Keys - $10,000 for summer program scholarships for needy children; Marathon Recreation Center - $18,000 for after-school care for children of working parents; and Womankind - $6,000 for its Teen Services Program.     

The 2014-15 grant recipients were selected using a mathematical scoring model based on scorecards submitted by 11 United Way Board members who read all applications, and 15 community volunteers who reviewed applications and visited agencies in each region in person. 

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with these agencies that provide such important services,” said Candy Fincke, UWFK Board Chair.  “We hope these grants will help them do an even better job of serving our Keys community.”

 
2013 WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN
 

BIG PLEDGE FROM PUBLIX

PUBLIX employees Keys-wide have pledged a total of $66,147 for the United Way of the Florida Keys 2013 Workplace Campaign! Thank you, Publix employees, for your generous contributions which will assist Keys nonprofits that do so much for our community. FUNDS RAISED IN THE KEYS STAY IN THE KEYS.

 
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STATE LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY HERE
 

United Way of Florida has provided a summary of the Florida legislature's 2014 session. The summary covers bills that passed and bills that died which were of interest to United Way and its partners.  To view the summary, click here.

 
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