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First Coast Connect: Local Nonprofit Organizations Recognized

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  The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida recently hosted the third annual Local Focus/Local Impact Awards during the Nonprofit Works Conference and a brand new Advocate Award was rewarded.

Rena Coughlin, CEO of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, appeared with the recipients of the  on June 28 award ceremony on Thursday’s First Coast Connect to discuss Jacksonville’s nonprofit community.

Coughlin said the Local Focus/Local Impact Awards developed as result of nonprofits coming together in the heart of the recession and trying to find a way to control their destiny.

“We have to honor collaboration and innovation and we have to figure out — as a sector — examples of best practices,” Coughlin said. “We are already doing this work so let’s talk about it and let’s share it.”

The Advocate Award, which is the newest addition to the award ceremony, recognizes achievements by an individual or entity that fuels positive public awareness and champions the lasting impact of the local nonprofit organizations and the sector.  

President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Dr. Sherry Magill, received the Advocate Award for her vision to take the historic Hayden Burns Library in downtown Jacksonville and completely transform it into a new center for local nonprofits, the Jessie Ball duPont Center.

“In light of the recession, we know what a tough time nonprofits are having fundraising and we know giving is down so we are determined to support our local sector,” Magill said.

The duPont Center building, which currently has 19 tenants and 260 fulltime workers, helps drive down operating costs for nonprofits looking to rent a common place for their organizations.

The Family Foundations for 1,000 in 1,000 received the Social Innovation Award for identifying a solution to the growing rate of family poverty in Duval County.

The foundation looked at nine social, human and financial factors, including transportation, child care and job training, that would lift 1,000 families out of poverty in 1,000 days. After eight years of development, the program officially launched July 1, 2015.

Leadership Council Chair Michael Corrigan said they look to help people by not just simply giving them things, but help them move from a poverty level to a self-sufficient level.

Executive Director of We Care Jacksonville Dr. Susan Nussbaum received the Collective Power Award for the Beaches Health and Wellness Program.

“The keyword in there is collective power,” Nussbaum said. “There are four organizations, plus us, that are working together to improve health but also improve the total quality of life for those who are uninsured or low-income at the beach.”

All of the award-winning projects will be featured in WJCT’s television show “Hometown.” Showtimes are pending.