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Jacksonville Nonprofit Receives Donation On Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

Amy Hadden

A Jacksonville afterschool program is going to get new computers and sports equipment, thanks to a $5,000 gift from the Carnival cruise line.

Youth, volunteers and staff from non-profit Heart for Children celebrated the gift Thursday at a Dr. Seuss-themed birthday party aboard Carnival Elation at JaxPort. Balloons and streamers flew through the air as the guests of honor partied with Dr. Seuss characters Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2. The event kicks off a month of Dr. Seuss-themed festivities throughout the Carnival fleet.  

Founder and CEO Joyce Brinson said the longstanding partnership with JAXPORT has been essential to fulfilling Heart for Children’s mission to inspire, prepare, and provide the environment kids need to succeed.

“What our program does, it impacts the lives of the kids; it brings them to a place where it's home to them,” Brinson said.

Although the kids may not realize it, the excitement of the the event will continue well beyond an afternoon of dancing and cake. Brinson said the donation will aid in sustainable programming, something volunteers and staff are grateful to receive.

Volunteer Cheryl Williams has grandchildren who participate in the afterschool program. She said the money will have a big impact on the organization, but she would like to see more people donate time as well, especially fellow senior citizens. Williams said volunteering gives retirees something to do and greatly benefits the youth who do not have grandparents in their lives.

Heart for Children has been running afterschool programming and summer camps in Jacksonville for nearly 20 years. The organization works with volunteers to offer underprivileged youth services including homework assistance, afternoon snacks and access to a community garden.

To make a donation or to sign up as a volunteer, visit

Contact Amy Hadden at or on Twitter at @AmyNHadden.