Letter from the President, July 2020

Humanists of North Central Florida

President’s Update

Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop a global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life. (Humanist Manifesto III)

I want to update you on the activities of the HNCFL and how your support made these actions possible. Thank you!

The Ten for Them Fund (T4T) continues to allow the HNCFL to serve our community. I took the picture at the beginning of this email of one of the 6 boxes of food (canned meats, soups, stews, pasta & rice) delivered to the food pantry. The pantry, in the Tucker Hill area of Ocala, welcomes all residents experiencing food insecurity. On behalf of you, the HNCFL Board made a commitment to donate food items monthly through December.  Their food distribution is the last Tuesday of the month. Nonperishable items are also needed, however, the decision was made to focus HNCFL resources on food items. If you would like to donate other nonperishable items, personal care items, or cleaning products, drop them off at my home. I will deliver them. 

The HNCFL partnered with the Rural Women’s Health Project (RWHP) to provide masks to the ranch and from workers. The RWHP holds a unique position as the only health justice organization in North Florida working to help farm and ranch workers overcome health and social justice barriers. Before masks were as available as they are now, the HNCFL purchased 200 masks from a young woman who with her mother has a cottage industry making hot-pads and other kitchen items that they sell at craft fairs. COVID 19 brought their traveling to an end so they are making and selling masks. Initially they were making and donating masks to healthcare workers, however as the higher quality personal protective items became more available they continued to make the mask for the general public. The HNCFL partnered with the RWHP who have the outlets for distribution of the masks. When the health department agreed to provide masks to the RWHP, the HNCFL transported and delivered an additional 4,000 masks. Thank you! 

Since March, your generosity made it possible for the HNCFL to provide support to the following individuals, groups/organizations, community centers. This support included financial, volunteer time, produce, and nonperishable food items, personal care and cleaning items to the following:

  • United Way COVID 19 Fund
  • Geathers Food Truck
  • Annie W. Johnson Senior and Community Center
  • Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center
  • Voices of Change Animal League
  • St Paul’s AME Food Pantry
  • Humane Society
  • Estella Byrd Whitman Community Center & Clinic

NEW

Saving Our Daughters and Sons is a program that is a community-driven, grassroots response to the issues of youth violence. This program is a promising start to build trusting relationships among youth, peers, and authority figures. Saving Our Sons and Daughters offers education to young adults in the areas of community engagement, service, and professionalism. Twenty-one students are participating in this work-study program. At the conclusion of the program if all conditions are met each participant received $500.  The HNCFL is sponsoring 2 of the 21 students. 

The Florida Restoration of Rights Coalition (FRRC) is the organization in Florida that worked to get Amendment 4 passed.  As you know the governor and many in the legislature have been tireless in their effort to delay implementation. They have been successful. At this point, the FRRC is raising money to pay the fines and fees of returning citizens who have otherwise met their obligations and responsibilities to the state. The process is simple. Any returning citizen who contacts the FRRC will receive assistance. This means FRRC staff will reach out to the authorities to determine if there is an outstanding financial obligation and if yes, how much is the obligation. Amounts of $1,00 or less will be paid. For amounts over $1,500 FRRC staff will negotiate payment amount. The effort at present is to raise the funds to make this plan a reality. It is estimated that this program could impact over 700,000 returning Florida citizens. 

Update 8/20/2020: The HNCFL sent $5,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to be used to pay fines and fees of returning citizens.

Thank you for supporting the HNCFL doing good for goodness sake! Stay safe. 

Warmest regards,

Allie Gore, President

Humanists* of North Central Florida

humanistsncfl.org

*We believe in reason, intellectual freedom, compassion, concern for each other, and the world.

Humanists are committed to those ideals which make us caring and active in the struggle for human dignity and justice.