Community Update


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Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived
Through Jan. 4
Florida Museum of Natural History
Gainesville

The largest shark ever known has returned to Gainesville. The exhibit features megalodon, a dominant marine predator that once cruised the world’s oceans. The display includes fossils and family-friendly activities. More information available at www.flmnh.ufl.edu.



Christmas Light Recycling
Arc of Alachua County
Ongoing

The Arc of Alachua County’s Gone4Ever Full-Service recycling Program is seeking Christmas lights to recycle. Donation of non-functioning, discarded or old lights will be accepted at The Arc, 3303 NW 83rd Street, across from Santa Fe College. More information available at www.gone4eversheredding.com.


 


Fire & Ice Festival
Dec. 31, 2 to 7 p.m.
YMCA Sports Facility
9315 Archer Road
Gainesville

The second annual festival will feature snow, ice slides, bounce houses, a variety of games and a fireworks display at sunset. The event is open to families of all ages and is a benefit for the Gainesville Northwood YMCA and the Week3end Backpack Program of Catholic Charities. Advance ticket information available at www.NewYearsForKids.org



Cooking Oil Recycling
Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection
Ongoing

The Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Program will recycle used peanut, corn, canola or olive oil into biodiesel fuel. The biodiesel is combined with standard diesel and used to power County fleet vehicles and a biofuel electrical generator. Oil should be cool, and placed in a metal or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. The oil cannot mix will other fluids such as water, petroleum products or soaps. The collection center is located at 5125 NE 63rd Ave. in Gainesville. More information on hours or operation and other rural collection centers at 352-334-0440.



Free English Classes
Beginning Jan. 27
Millhopper Branch Library
Gainesville

Free adult English classes are available to newcomers to Alachua County. More information available at www.latinawomensleague.org



AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Volunteers Needed
Feb. 2 – April 15
Alachua County

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide needs volunteers to help with tax preparation and e-filing. The Tax-Aide services helps low-to- moderate income tax payers of all ages, especially those 60 and older. Training is provided in January for Tax Prepares and Client Facilitators. More information available www.aarp.org/taxvolunteer or 352-665-0807.



Written and Spoken Language Study
UF Aphasia and Bilingualism Lab
Ongoing

The Aphasia and Bilingualism lab is currently recruiting healthy adults age 50 to 80 for a study on written and spoken language. Participants should have English as a primary language and have normal or corrected vision and/or hearing. More information available at ufaphasialab@gmail.com or 352-273-3715.



UF Environmental Horticulture Gardening Study
Ongoing

The University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Department is seeking healthy women between the ages of 30-45 without gardening experience. Volunteers will undergo an MRI and participate in gardening session over an eight week period. For more information contact Christy at 352-273-4576.



AYA Needs Host Families for Students
Ongoing

The Academic Year in America program matches students from more than 40 countries with an American host family for a semester or academic year. Families can choose their student and must provide room and board. More information available at academicyear.org or 352-237-3966.



AARP Tax-Aide Volunteers Needed
Apply through November 2014

Volunteer as an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Technology Specialist. Want to do something meaningful and fun? AARP Foundation Tax-Aide needs a Technology Specialist to coordinate technology related issues in northern and central Florida counties. Visit www.aarp.org/tavolunteer to register online, or call Rebecca Bachman, State Coordinator at 352-212-7188.



Alachua County Wage Recovery Ordinance
Ongoing

The Alachua County Wage Recovery Ordinance began on January 1, 2014. The ordinance provides Alachua County employees a method for collecting unpaid or underpaid wages. For details on the ordinance or how to file a wage theft complaint call the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at (352) 374-5275.



Institute for Workforce Innovation
Ongoing

The Institute for Workforce Innovation (IWI) is dedicated to improving the communities’ quality of life through education, employment and advocacy. For more information or to volunteer call 352-225-3307 or online at www.iwionline.org



Savvy Caregiver Training
Elder Options
100 NW 75th St., Suite 30
Gainesville

Ongoing
Elder Options in conjunction with the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs offers free six week training programs designed for family caregivers who assist persons with Alzheimer’s and or dementia. More information available at 352-378-6649.



Operation PetSnip
Ongoing

Spay and neuter pet services available for qualifying low-income Alachua County and surrounding rural county residents. The cost of surgery, pain medication and anesthesia for pets spayed or neutered is covered. More information available from No More Homeless Pets’ Operation Petsnip at http://www.nmhp.net



The Salvation Army Thrift Store
Ongoing
Gainesville

The Salvation Army thrift stores are funded by generous donations of material goods. The stores accept gently used merchandise to be refurbished and resold. The Gainesville store is located at 55 NW 23rd Ave. More information on hours of operation available at 352-373-7597 or https://www.facebook.com/SalArmyGville



Children’s Home Society Adoption Program
Ongoing
Gainesville

There is a significant need to find adoptive homes for children in the foster care system. Currently there are many children wanting and wishing to find a home to call their own. More information available 352-334-0955.



Gone 4 Ever Shredding
Ongoing
The Arc of Alachua County is a local not for profit that provides employment services to adults with developmental disabilities through several small business it has created. One of its businesses, Gone 4 Ever shredding, offers a free paper shredding service to all residents of Alachua County every Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at its main location at 3303 NW 83rd Street. Gone 4 Ever shredding hold a AAA certification in document destruction so all paper is safely and securely destroyed. For more information please call 352-334-4060 ext. 132 or visit www.gone4evershredding.com



Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve- Supporting our Nation’s Service Members
Ongoing

Today, nearly half our nation’s fighting forces are members of the Guard and Reserve. When they are called is called to active duty, they leave behind a family, a community, and a job. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency, honors and products the bond between service members and their civilian employers. Whether serving our country or supporting those who do, we all serve. To learning more about ESGR, call 1-800-336-4590, or www.esgr.mil.



The Family Mealtime Project
Ongoing

This spring research at the University of Florida will conduct a research study to learn about families and their interactions during mealtimes. The Family Mealtime Project is available to two-parent families who live within 20 miles of Gainesville and have a child between the ages of 2 and 6. The study consists of three, 45 minute sessions in families’ home in which families will complete questionnaires and two video recordings of their mealtimes. Families will be compensated at the completion of the study. Families interested in participating or who have questions should call the Family Mealtime Project office toll free at 1-866-673-9623.



“Kidney Smart” Education Program
Ongoing

The “Kidney Smart” program educates and partners with people to take control of their health and helps them develop a plan to live a healthy life. The program features medication, diet and nutrition information, stresses the importance of choosing a heath care team, provides continuing education and treatment options. More information available at www.kidneysmart.org



Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. Hosts Meal Site
Open every Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Ongoing

The Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. hosts a meal site at the Bronson Community Church located on Hathaway Ave. in Bronson, FL. The meal site serves seniors age 60 or older. Meals are served at noon. There is no cost, but donations are welcomed. For more information, call 352-490-7055 x1.



Ronald McDonald House Charities NCF Seeks Long-Term Volunteers
Ongoing

Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida, a non-profit organization in Gainesville that assists families with children being treated at local medical facilities, is looking for long-term volunteers to serve as hosts for its two core programs: Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room at Shands Hospital for Children. For more information, visit www.rmhcncf.org or call Dorie Faulkner, Volunteer Coordinator at 352-374-4404 ext. 224.



Visiting Chef Program, Ronald McDonald House
Ongoing

Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida, a non-profit organization in Gainesville that assists families with children being treated at local medical facilities, seeks volunteer groups or families to provide a full-course dinner or weekend-breakfast for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Gainesville. Chefs may come equipped with ingredients to serve approximately 50 people and cook in a spacious, well-stocked kitchen or they may cater a meal from a local restaurant. Meals are served 7 days a week, including holidays. For more information, contact Judy Bates at bates@rmhcncf.org or call 352-374-4404 ext. 299.



The Kindness Cookie Company
Ongoing

In partnership with The Arc of Alachua County, the Kindness Cookie Company bakes homemade cookies with our messages of kindness, gratitude and inspiration inside. In the spirit of these messages, Kindness for Cookies also seeks to raise awareness of the unique gifts of individuals with developmental disabilities and how they can teach us to live with greater compassion, acceptance and presence. The Kindness Cookie Company can bake for any event, or custom orders and gifts. For more information, contact Susan Thiele, founder, at 352-256-8084 or email at Yummy@TheKindnessCookieCompany.com, you can also visit the website at www.TheKindnessCookieCompany.com.



MatchingDonors.com
Ongoing

In the U.S., 19 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant—most of them for kidneys. MatchingDonors.com has become the most successful nonprofit organization improving those odds by finding living altruistic donors for patients who desperately need transplants. Visit www.matchingdonors.com and meet some extraordinary people.



Help a Kid Start a Lemonade Stand
Ongoing

The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., is urging parents to teach their children lessons about entrepreneurship and responsibility by helping them start a lemonade stand. They provide free classroom curriculum and other resources to enable students to learn first-hand about the risks and rewards of operating a small business. This curriculum can be found at http://eitccurriculum.com/. To learn more about the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation, visit www.NFIB.com/YEF.



Red Carpet Customer Service Training Program
Ongoing

This program, launched by FloridaWorks in partnership with Santa Fe College, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Gainesville, has a goal of training 3,000 people in customer service. Each participant earns a certificate from Santa Fe College after completing the 3-hour course. To register, contact Santa Fe CIED at 352-395-5053. To become a community sponsor, contact the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce at 352-334-7100.



Adoption from Foster Care
Ongoing

There are currently more than 107,000 children available for adoption in the U.S. Foster Care System. The Adoption from Foster Care campaign encourages potential parents to adopt and aims to increase the number of potential families inquiring about adoption. You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.



Veterans Outreach Program, Epilepsy Foundation
Ongoing

The Epilepsy Foundation wants to help men and women who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, which are a common form of injury that can lead to seizures and epilepsy in some cases. Symptoms can include confusion, momentary black-outs and uncontrollable shaking or twitching. For more information about the foundation’s Veterans Outreach Program and other services, visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org or call 1-800-332-1000.



Three Rivers Legal Services
Ongoing

Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. is a local, non-profit corporation that provides free, quality civil legal services to low-income, eligible clients in seventeen counties throughout North Florida. Three Rivers is now providing representation to eligible clients who live in Alachua, Levy, Gilchrist, Bradford or Union County for family law cases, regardless of domestic violence. For more information, call the Legal Helpline at 866-256-8091.


To have your event included on Community Update, please send all relevant information to:
Sue Wagner
Community Update
P.O. Box 118405
Gainesville, FL 32611-8405
The e-mail address is swagner@wuft.org, with the words “Community Update” in the subject line.
The Community Update fax number is 352-392-5741. All submissions must be made on organization letterhead at least two weeks prior to the event.

Please include only the basic facts:
who, what, where, when and why and a phone number or website address for more information.

Please note that not all submissions will be on-air due to time limitations.
All submissions will be included in this online listing.


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