Your Donation – Making A Difference

We want to share the stories of how your donation is making a difference in our community.  Here I will post stories of the people we help, updates on activities we currently support, information on new programs and announcements about upcoming events.

You CAN make a difference!

Monday May 11, 2020

Hope you all had a good Mother’s Day!   I touched base with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson through facebook.  Different than previous Mother’s Days but still a good visit!

On behalf of our donors, I took a single rose with a note attached for each of the women residents at Island Health and Rehab.  A small token letting them know we have not forgotten them even if no in person visits can happen.  Also included the staff – they are doing a tremendous job taking care of the residents under the most trying of circumstances.

Our store is open again.  We have been blessed with many donations of clothing and household items in the last weeks and our staff has worked hard to disinfect and clean to ensure the highest level of safety possible for our shoppers.  We do ask that all shoppers maintain the 6 foot rule of distance as recommended by the CDC.

I have been able to contact a few of our Health Meals Older Islanders and so far they are doing OK.  Hopefully, the Seniors at Lunch Program will be able to open again soon.  Although there may not be a shortage of food right now for these Islanders, the isolation and loneliness is taking a toll.  If you know an Older Islander who is in quarantine, please take the time to call them or write a note.  Many of our seniors live alone and would benefit greatly from knowing they have not been forgotten.

I will keep you updated as things progress.  Remember to stay safe.  Distancing and wearing a mask are PROVEN ways to help stem this illness.

Carolyn

 

Monday  May 4, 2020

It has been a long month.  I spent some time in Texas with my grandson who had a minor shoulder injury – he is doing fine now.  Have been back for several weeks trying touch base with our programs and see what needs are out there.

The Healthy Meals for Older Adults Program is on hold; I am trying to follow-up with the clients to see how they are.  We have helped several new residents of local nursing homes who were admitted and had NOTHING!  It is really sad when I get a call saying they came from a hospital with only the hospital gown!

The local nursing homes have been doing an unbelievable job caring for their residents.  NO Covid outbreaks.  The residents are isolated in their rooms and that is so hard on everyone.  The staff members are working to keep everyone healthy and provide what activities they can.  No families can visit – the mental health of residents and staff is so important at times like this.  I Love My Island, Inc. has ordered a single rose for each of the female residents and staff members for Mother’s Day and we will attach a card letting them know that you – our donors – are thinking of them.  I hope this will provide a small bit of sunshine to these residents and hardworking, dedicated staff members.

Our store was closed and as this is our primary source of funding we are behind financially.  If you can give $5 or $10 or more it would really help make up this shortfall.  You may go to the DONATE button on this site or mail to us at 245 Crockett Blvd. Merritt Island, Fl. 32953.  All donations will be earmarked for our programs, especially the programs for feeding older Islanders and children.

Thank you for all you do – our work in the community can only happen because of YOU!

Carolyn

 

Monday March 16, 2020

I want to share a story about how 2 veterans – one Navy and one Army connected through I Love My Island, Inc.

A few weeks ago I received a call from a friend.  A friend of hers (Army) had just lost his wife and had some medical equipment including a wheelchair and walker that he wanted to donate.  Did I know anyone who could use?

I thought about another vet (Navy) I had spoken with a few days before who had to limit her activities some because she could not walk far.  She was considering a wheelchair for activities requiring walking.  Presto!  John donated the wheelchair and walker and I called Mary who came and picked both up!

Sometimes it is almost like magic.  A need is identified and a donor appears!  That has also occurred with our Bag Pack program to feed children and our Healthy Meals for Older Adults Program.  We put the word out and YOU, OUR DONORS, respond.

YOUR generosity is magic in the lives of those who need it most.  Thank you!

 

Carolyn

 

Monday March 2, 2020

March Celebrations

The Brevard Schools Foundation Scholarship application closes on March 8th.  I Love my Island, Inc. has sponsored two scholarships for Merritt Island Seniors (Entrepreneur Launch Scholarship).  Go to brevardschoolsfoundation.org and apply!  The application, when completed, will tell you all scholarships for which you are eligible.

I often consult the internet to see what “celebrations” are planned for the month.  Here is what I found in March,

March 1 – Caretaker Appreciation Day

Do you know someone caring for a relative?  Or someone who works caring for others in a nursing home or assisted living center?  Today would be a good day for showing your appreciation to them.  Caretakers – whether paid or unpaid are one of the most important members of our community.  UNDER-PAID – IF PAID AT ALL – often unacknowledged and under-appreciated. In my own family I can immediately think of two caretakers – Linda, who cared for her mother until her death and still cares for her 89 year old father and Hope, Greg and Elijah who help care for a cousin.  Thank you for all you do!

Please take the time today to show a caretaker how much you appreciate them!

March 3 – Aging Matters Awards Ceremony honoring those who do so much for our community.

March 17 – St. Patrick’s day and Voting day.  If you haven’t mailed your ballot in or early voted plan on going to the polls!

March 19th – Spring Equinox.  Time to get that garden in shape!

March 25th – Manatee Appreciation day.  Have you been to Manatee sanctuary on Cape Canaveral?  Or Manatee Park on Merritt Island?  If not, go and spend a few minutes enjoying the outdoors.  Even if you don’t see a manatee the time will bring you back in touch with nature.

The 25th is also Waffle Appreciation day.  Try the Chicken and Waffles at the Merritt Island Pancake House!

March 29th – the National Vietnam Veteran’s Day.  Visit the Vet Museum on Merritt Island.  Thank a vet who served in Vietnam.  Remember all those who serve for all of us.

Mix it up, celebrate life and those around us.

Carolyn

 

Tuesday           February 25, 2020

OUR DONORS ARE HELPING THE COMMUNITY-AGAIN!

I have recently spoken about our Healthy Meals Program to a number of people.  The food has been welcomed by our older Islanders at the Seniors at Lunch Program and I am getting into the habit of looking for special sales and deals to help make our donor contributions go farther.

We put a note on our facebook page last week and on Sunday AM I received a call – a donation of non-perishable foods had been brought to the store!  Mac and cheese, preserves, cookies in small packages, rice and small packages of spaghetti and more.  HOW WONDERFUL!

Unfortunately, the staff member who accepted these donations did not get a name of the person or group who donated.  Apparently, a church group gathered together to make these donations – but I don’t know what church!

If you are a part of the group and want to give me a call or send me an e-mail, I would be happy to send a formal thank you card.  If I don’t hear from you, please know that YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!

It does take a village (or Island) to raise up those in need.  Thank you from all of us here at I Love My Island for your generosity!

Carolyn

 

February 19, 2020

HEALTHY  MEALS  FOR  OLDER  ADULTS

One week ago we celebrated the expansion of the Seniors At Lunch program at Woody Simpson Recreation Center on Merritt Island.  In addition to adding take home food to help ensure older Islanders have sufficient food for health, we also announced that transportation will now be offered to locations on the north part of the Island – over the barge canal!

This transportation allows for additional 60+ year old Islanders to access this program for lunch and social activities.    Thank you to Space Coast Area Transit for adding this area to the route.

I visited the program today to see how the food supplies for the Healthy Meals for Older Islanders program offered by I Love My Island were holding out.  To my surprise, ALL THE FOOD WAS GONE; taken home by participants in the program.  So, off to the grocery store to replenish!  Before I left the building after re-stocking, several clients – exactly those we hoped would take advantage of this offering – were selecting food for the weekend.  It is gratifying to see that YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH YOUR DONATIONS.

Thank you for supporting this and other programs.  By buying in larger quantities and taking advantage of sales, we are providing this food for approximately $50.00 per week.  If you could make a small donation of $5 or $10 dollars to help support this program it would be much appreciated.  Donations may be made out to I Love My Island, Inc. (note Healthy Meals) and sent to 245 Crockett, Merritt Island, Fl. 32953 or dropped off at our store (same address) to my attention.  Donations are tax deductible as no goods or services are provided in return and a receipt can be obtained.

THANK YOU to all those helping support our Older Islanders!

Carolyn

 

February 12, 2020

“IF YOU CAN’T FEED A HUNDRED PEOPLE, FEED JUST ONE”

This quote, attributed to Mother Teresa, always reminds me that everything we do has an impact.  Helping one is as important as helping 100.  It all starts with 1.

Tomorrow our Healthly Meals for Older Islanders program begins at the Woody Simpson Recreation Center.  In collaboration with the Seniors at Lunch, I Love My Island, Inc. will provide supplemental food for those Islanders who participate in this program.  Some canned food, some fresh, personal care items – all for seniors to take home to help ensure a sufficient, healthy diet everyday, not just days when the program is open.

If you don’t know about Seniors at Lunch, please join us from 9AM to 10:30AM on Thursday, February 13th.  This program offers a healthy lunch and social opportunities to all over age 60.  Transportation is available in some cases.  Please stop by and see how your community is helping our older residents.  If you can’t make it tomorrow, you can call 321.639.8770 (option 1) or 321.453.4324 to schedule a visit and have lunch.  

This program is operated on donations.  ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH is one donor who has committed to a monthly donation to help fund the Healthy Meals Program and we very much appreciate their assistance.  Funds will be used to provide “take home” food and personal care items and craft and activities supplies.

Carolyn

 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020

Entrepreneurial Launch Scholarship

I Love My Island, Inc. is proud to announce that we are offering two $500 scholarships to graduating seniors of MI High, Edgewood or MI Christian.  If you attend MI Christian you must contact the school office and obtain a copy of the application.  HI High and Edgewood must apply on-line at brevardschoolsfoundation.org.  It is listed as the:

Entrepreneur Launch Scholarship

These scholarships focus on those who have a vision about a career and are not limited to college studies.  GPA of 2.0 and a letter of recommendation required.  Closing in early March so get your application in now.

There are a number of scholarships that had no applicants last year so if you are the parent or grandparent (or student) looking for funding visit the Brevard Schools Foundation site and apply.

Questions?  Call me at 321.501.3999.

 

Carolyn

 

 

February 5, 2020

2019 was a wonderful year for our organization and 2020 is going to be even better!  We are adding new initiatives to serve our Island community, especially our older Islanders.

On February 13th we will join with Aging Matters and the Brevard County Parks and Recreation group to celebrate the Seniors At Lunch program held at Woody Simpson Recreation Center.  This program serves hot meals to “seniors” (over 60) and provides social opportunities.  Transportation is available in a limited area.  This is a wonderful program – one of the Best Kept Secrets on Merritt Island.  The Open House os from 9 to 10:30 AM- stop by if you can.

I Love My Island, Inc. is offering our “Healthy Meals for Older Islanders” as an added service to those who participate in this program.  Through interviews and observation, we have found that there are a number of our older residents that do not have food for the weekends or when the program is closed.

This is a bigger issue than most of us want to acknowledge.  If asked, most older people will not tell you they don’t have enough food.  They don’t want to acknowledge their money has run out for the month because they had to pay for medicine or an unexpected repair on their home.  They simply don’t eat as much.  As a neighbor or friend you may notice weight loss or a change in activity level and think it’s all “a part of getting older”.  Too often this is not the case.

Our donors have begun making contributions to help address this problem.  Each week I will be shopping for food – fresh fruit, vegetables and non-perishables – to be available for those who participate in this program to take home.  Although we cannot solve all problems on the Island, we should be able to ensure that our older residents have enough healthy food to eat and this is a first step in that direction. 

Carolyn

December 4, 2019

A special THANK YOU to some of our recent donors.  Ron and Judi Davis who donated to our programs to help feed children.  Geri and Al Bonavito for the generous donation toward the children’s Christmas Party.  

Together, we are making a difference in our Island community!

November 29, 2019

Helping to Feed Older Islanders

On a recent day I visited a Seniors At Lunch Program here on the Island.  Two older gentlemen were waiting for their ride to go home.  As we chatted, I realized that both were quite thin.  We talked about the food served at the program (both said it was quite good and they were thankful to be able to get lunch there Monday through Friday).  I then asked “what do you do for food on the weekend or when the program is not open on a holiday?”.  Both men became quiet and then said “well, we do the best we can”.

Probing a little more I discovered that they had little food when not at the program.  Maybe a can of sardines, or a sandwich they said.  When I asked about fresh fruit or vegetables or something more filling, both replied they had no access to more food.

It doesn’t matter at this point why these older men don’t have sufficient food.  That answer can come later.  But the fact that they do not have sufficient food for the weekends certainly contributes to the thinness I observed.  The lack of food and lack of fresh food likely also contributes to health problems.  Memory difficulties.  Generally not feeling well.  Not being able to live life to its fullest.

ILMI is going to address this problem for these older Islanders and for others who attend this program.  Beginning in January, we will be providing food to be taken home so no senior here goes hungry on the weekend.  We are exploring ways to help resolve this for this group; it’s just not OK for our seniors (or children) to lack a simple, nutritional meal every day. Hopefully, we will also help resolve some of the issues that contribute to this (inability to shop, lack of access to affordable food, etc.).  We will be asking for your support for this program as we cannot do it on our own.  It is only through your generous support and donations that our work in the community can continue.  Because of you, we are making a difference in our community.  And as always, I am grateful for what you do.

Carolyn

 

SPAGHETTI DINNER A SUCCESS!

Our dinner – sponsored by The MOOSE LODGE – was a great success.  We raised funds to support our Christmas Holiday Project at Woody Simpson and for our Older Islanders Food Program.  

So many volunteers helped.  First, Thank You to Chris Pedone who made 500 meatballs and cooked pasta and garlic bread for hours.  Thank you to Trish Keller who did everything else, including the fresh Flowers on teh tables.  All the other Moose volunteers who sold tickets, helped at the buffet line, sold raffle tickets and then helped clean up. We are so thankful to you all!!!

To those who attended, including the big group from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, THANK YOU!   100% of your tickets went toward the child and senior programs.  We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you also to Linda, Leslie and Diane for all the home baked desserts.

YUMMY!

 

 

November 8, 2019     Entrepreneur Launch Scholarship

I Love My Island, Inc. is proud to announce our new Entrepreneur Launch Scholarship for 2019-2020.  This scholarship will be given to a Merritt Island high school senior who wants to continue their education through a technical, vocational or certificate program.  Our goal is to support the entrepreneurial spirit that drives the American economy by helping a graduating senior pursue a career.    Watch for more information on this exciting new program through collaboration with the Brevard Schools Foundation.

October 16, 2019            Empowering Children

The 17th marks the United Nations celebration of “Empowering children, their families and communities…” to end poverty.  Most of us think of our Island community as exempt from this kind of poverty.   Unfortunately, incredible poverty can be found in our Island community and the effects on children is evident, especially to teachers and others in our schools.

Did you know teachers in our elementary schools have identified over 100 children attending elementary school who are “food insecure”.  That means that these children (who typically qualify for free lunch at school) do not have food available on the weekend.  Or when on school break.  Or during the summer.

I Love My Island, Inc. is working with local schools to help insure that these children have food available at these times.  We hope to increase this support through your donations; one of our schools has a waiting list of 5 children RIGHT NOW who need food so they do not go hungry on weekends!  Please consider donating $5, $10, $100 or whatever you can today to help us expand this program to cover the waiting list.  For a $300 donation you could feed a child for the entire school year!

You can go to our “Donate” button or mail a donation to us at 245 Crockett Blvd., Merritt Island, Fl. 32953.  Thank you in advance for your donation.

If you would like more information e-mail Carolyn.ilmi@yahoo.com.

 

October 1 – International Day of the Older Person

In 1990, the United National marked October 1st as the International Day of the Older Person.  This day is set aside to note the contributions of older people – in the past and today!

How can you recognize an older person in your life??

  • Have a meal with an older person, especially if that person often eats alone.  40% of persons over 65 live alone, 20% of those 85 and above.  Having a meal with others is an important way to help alleviate the isolation many older people experience.
  • Recognize the contribution of an older person.  A telephone call or note thanking them for their contribution to your life is always welcome.
  • Share in the history of an older person.  Solicit stories about their life, work, hobbies, you will probably learn a lot!

Many of my most important life lessons were learned from a “senior” in my life.  How to make pierogis, why being kind is important, how to grow tomatoes.  My memories are full of words of wisdom from older family members, patients, people I met at work.  Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the company of an older member of your family or community today.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Our fund raising fun run and walk is this Saturday October 5th.

We are raising money for our programs for older Islanders and children.  Please join us!  For information go to www.therunningzone.com or e-mail to carolyn.ilmi@yahoo.com

We hope to see you there!

 

 

October 8, 2019

Our “Run Through Paradise” was held Saturday and the response was wonderful!  We had 174 registered runners.  The St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was a wonderful venue and the church members did an incredible job as hosts.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Callenberger Orthopedic Specialists – who also entered the team competition!

Merritt Island Now Magazine

Breathe Bodyworks – who gave free massages!

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – what a wonderful venue!

Island Barber Parlour

Thank you also to the Boy Scouts at St. Luke’s who presented the colors and helped as course monitor and clean-up crew!

Many thanks to the men and women of the Moose Lodge who

helped hand out race bags AND worked the water station.

Brevard County Sheriff’s office for helping keep us safe.

Thank you also to all the neighbors on North Merritt Island who

cheered on the runners!

Thank you to Anne, John, Erin, Mark, Don and all the staff of The Running Zone for helping manage this event.

Thank you to all the runners and walkers and those who came to cheer them on!  We appreciate your support!

 

September 9, 2019

Met with some clients on Friday who are working through our Care Management Program (services are provided at no cost).   It’s amazing what can happen when an older Islander has some help in setting goals and following-through!  These successes often impact multiple facets of daily living – better functioning and adherence to treatment plans are positively impacted.  It is so gratifying to work with people 1:1 and get to see the successes!

This work is supported through your donations and through our fundraising.  Our walk/run on October 5th is our 1st big fundraiser.  Please consider contributing what you can.  Even a $20.00 donation can make a difference in continuing to provide this program.  To register as a walker or runner, go to www.securetherunningzone.com or call 321-501.3999.

To donate you can go to the “donate” button on this site, visit our store and make a cash donation or send a check to I Love My Island, Inc., 245 Crockett Blvd., Merritt Island, Fl. 32953.

EVERY CONTRIBUTION IS MEANINGFUL AND APPRECIATED!  Our work in the community continues because of YOU. Thank you.

** We are still in need of business sponsors for this event.  Please call 321.501.3999.

Carolyn

 

September 5, 2019

We were so lucky!  Praying for all those in the Bahamas who were hit so hard.  A reminder of just how unpredictable hurricanes are.

We are working on our Run/Walk scheduled for October 5th. Our newest sponsor is Island Barber Parlour at 525 N Courtenay Parkway.  Dana and the crew there are the best and we appreciate their donation.  THANK YOU!

We are also accepting individual sponsorships or donations.  If you can help with this – our only fundraiser this year – please go to the donate page on this site or call me at 321.501.3999.

Thank you to Linda, Polly, Mary and Christine for you individual donations!

We are still seeking sponsors from businesses small and large.  These include some terrific advertising opportunities.  For information call 321.501.3999.

These are our medals.  If you haven’t signed up go to the Running Zone and register.

 

 

 

Thursday August 29, 2019

The forecasters are saying we are going to be in the path of Hurricane Dorian with a possible landfall on Sunday.

Please stay calm and prepare.  You know what to do – get water, bring anything that can become a projectile inside, make sure you have needed medications and food that does not require cooking or refrigeration.  Charge your phones.  You might need flashlights and make sure you have batteries.  Make sure you have 1/2 tank of gas in your car.  If you plan on using a generator if we lose electricity – outside only!  Never place a generator inside a garage.

Monitor local news and weather reports for information, warnings and emergency instructions if any are issued by the county.

If you want to evacuate find out where emergency shelters are located.  If you need help, visit the Brevard County Emergency Management Facebook page for up-to-date information or call the BCEM office at 321.637.6670.

If you have special needs (such as requiring oxygen or other medical equipment that requires electricity) plan now.  As a safety measure, collect and safeguard any critical paperwork in a waterproof container.  Assemble a first aid kit.  

There is no need to panic – preparation can make a huge difference in safety.  Prepare and stay aware of local news.  Remember – safety first!

Carolyn

***********************************************************************

Monday August 26, 2019

Helen* was brought to my office a week ago by her brother.  She has lived in a nursing home for many years after a tragic auto accident left her with brain damage.  Her family has been supportive and visits her regularly but they are not in a position to help her monetarily.  Helen has been wearing clothes handed down from other residents of her home, she has not chosen an outfit for herself for some time.

Helen and I spent about an hour finding pants and blouses she liked.  She was very picky (as I am!) about the color and fit. We found several new outfits and Helen had a huge smile on her face as she left!  Seems like such a little thing – new pants and blouses – but such an important gift from the community.

You helped put that smile on her face through your donations to our non-profit.  There are many older Islanders like Helen that need your help. Although I have changed her name to protect her privacy there are many “Helens” on our Island.  Your donations are returned to the community through our non-profit organization and YOU make a difference.  Thank you for caring and contributing!

Carolyn

September 5, 2019

We were so lucky!  Praying for all those in the Bahamas who were hit so hard.  A reminder of just how unpredictable hurricane are.

We are working on our Run/Walk scheduled for October 5th. Our newest sponsor is Island Barber Parlour at 525 N Courtenay Parkway.  Dana and the crew there are the best and we appreciate their donation.  THANK YOU!

We are also accepting individual sponsorships or donations.  If you can help with this – our only fundraiser this year – please go to the donate page on this site or call me at 321.501.3999.

Thank you to Linda, Polly, Mary and Christine for you individual donations!

We are still seeking sponsors from businesses small and large.  These include some terrific advertising opportunities.  For information call 321.501.3999.