By Josh Cohen
Aug. 25, 2017
ORLANDO – There is a tremendous effort to combat hunger and homelessness throughout Central Florida. Children and families suffering from food deprivation and unsafe living conditions are benefitting from some local assistance.
Compelled by its devotion to faith and spirituality, the Christian Service Center has a wonderful impact on underprivileged youth and families. Part of the mission is to fight poverty, cultivate self-sufficiency and directly address physical, emotional and spiritual needs for individuals struggling in the community.
With some recent financial assistance from the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), more people are living happier and healthier. The Christian Service Center was one of 17 organizations to receive grant money this year from OMYF, which has donated $22 million over the past 27 years to those most in need throughout Central Florida.
“It’s great, it goes to one of our programs that helps families and children and that has an incredible impact,” Christian Service Center Executive Director Robert Stuart said about the $20,000 gift from OMYF. “Also, it’s good to be part of this general community. We want to grow it. So, we also want the entire foundation to grow because we know the impact it has on people. We are really thrilled about that.”
Founded in 1971, the Christian Service Center offers a variety of resources to help diminish problems tied to poverty and hunger. Family and Emergency Services (FES) helps relieve families dealt a sudden and unexpected financial crisis. For many of these programs, the Orlando Magic offers assistance.
The Love Pantry program helps keep kids energized and fueled. Food packs are supplied to participating schools.
Daily Bread, similarly, was designed to make sure nobody struggles with hunger in Central Florida. Through this service, anyone who is hungry can eat for free. A lunch is served for families and individuals in the community six days a week.
Combatting hunger and homelessness is also a major concentration for the Magic. In addition to offering local organizations financial support, OMYF hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. They raised more than $1 million combined during their annual golf tournament, the OMYF Open, and the Black Tie & Tennies Gala.
To learn more about the Christian Service Center, visit http://www.christianservicecenter.org/. For more information on OMYF, go to http://www.omyf.org.
2017 OMYF grant recipients: Adult Literacy League ($40,000); Aspire Health Partners – Zebra Coalition ($100,000); Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida ($75,000); Central Florida YMCA ($75,000); Christian Service Center ($20,000); Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida ($50,000); Early Learning Coalition of Orange County ($65,000); ELEVATE Orlando ($60,000); Foundation for Foster Children ($60,000); Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida ($50,000); Hope CommUnity Center ($55,000); IMPOWER ($50,000); Junior Achievement of Central Florida ($100,000); The Nemours Foundation ($50,000); Orlando Science Center ($50,000); University of Central Florida Foundation ($50,000); Valencia College Foundation ($50,000).