2019 has some big shoes to fill. Last year, CDS was fortunate in being able to serve 992 youth through our Family Action Counseling, Interface Youth Shelters, and SNAP program, as well as 3,776 students who completed our Prevention curriculum in Alachua and Levy counties. Just by looking at the sheer numbers, the data is astounding. This year, we plan to make an even larger impact. As the Community Outreach Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator, I am fortunate to have quite a bit of contact with the Gainesville community. After sharing our mission and impact at events, I am often asked, "how can I help? What can I do to contribute?" The great news is that for all of the individuals. organizations, and businesses who have asked those questions: this is your year. In March, we will be participating in the largest fundraising campaign event of the year - the Amazing Give. The Amazing Give is a 24-hour period during which the community mobilizes to donate to their local nonprofit organizations. We are proud to be a part of this effort for the second year in a row. Last year, through the help of many individuals who gave what they could, as well as the generous donation matching from State Attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit, Bill Cervone, we were able to raise over $32,ooo. This was a HUGE contribution towards building our new youth shelter in Gainesville. This year, we have an even bigger goal of $50,000 and here is exactly how you can help:Follow us on Facebook by clicking here. Social media likes, follows, and shares play a crucial role in program referrals, visibility, and fundraising. Create a peer-to-peer fundraising page for the Amazing Give by emailing me here. Peer-to-peer fundraising allows you to recruit your friends and acquaintances to rally for your cause. Even imploring 10 of your contacts to make a $5 donation can have a tremendous impact. Last year, organizations who had a higher number of peer-to-peer fundraisers were more successful in fundraising that those who did not! Donate between March 11th and March 21st by clicking here. Any amount helps! Our current shelter has been active for decades and our participants deserve to have the highest quality shelter we can offer them, which is only possible through the support of the community. Thank you for taking the first step in improving our day-to-day operations. For all of those who are eager to help: THANK YOU! Now, let's take the next steps and do something amazing together.