With the community continuing to recover from the effects of recent storms and many families in need, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings has launched the 2022 Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive. Now in its 12th year, the Toy Drive has collected over 65,000 gifts that directly benefit local youth. Last year, the drive collected more than 9,500 toys and serviced Orange County Neighborhood Centers for Families and 17 other local organizations.
The Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive serves children and youth – from infants through teens. Please include extra items where appropriate. For example, batteries with electronic toys, or crayons with a coloring book. Please note that we are unable to accept cash, gift cards or plush toys. Visit www.ocfl.net/ToyDrive for a full list of suggested toys and gifts for various age groups.
Residents are encouraged to purchase new, unwrapped toys or gifts to support the Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive. For safety and convenience, donations can be made online through Tuesday, December 6, 2022; or toys can be dropped off at one of the 21-countywide collection sites through Monday, December 12, 2022.
This contactless donation option is available through Tuesday, December 6, 2022, by simply visiting www.ocfl.net/ToyDrive and following the online option link. This allows donors to purchase items for the Mayor’s Toy Drive from their phones or computer. All donations ship to the Orange County holiday warehouse.
Local businesses are encouraged to support the drive by forming teams and setting goals with either a dollar value or a number of items goal for their drive. Visitfor more information about participating as a business.
In-person donations will be accepted now through Monday, December 12, 2022, for donors who prefer to purchase their toys for donation in person, and drop them off at a collection site. For a full list of the 21 public-drop off locations throughout Orange County, visit:
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness Coming March 2023
WINTER PARK, Fla. (Florida National News) – Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness, inspired by the children’s TV host and icon, comes to Orlando in March 2023. This week-long series of events was announced today at the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park.
“Fred McFeely Rogers devoted his entire life to reminding us of some of the most important ideas of what it means to be human among humans: love, respect and kindness,” explained Buena Vista Events & Management President & CEO Rich Bradley. “Many of us find that nearly 20 years after Fred’s passing, it is important to focus on his teachings once again, perhaps now more than ever. This is a week to re-engage with his massive body of work with some folks, and to introduce his teachings to others.”
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness begins March 20, 2023, the date which would have been Fred’s 95th birthday, and concludes on Saturday, March 26 with the Red Sweater Soiree, a community dinner to recognize ten ordinary members of the community who inspire and exemplify the affinity that Fred Rogers had for showing kindness to our “Neighbors”.
Activities planned for the week will include early childhood education activities and faculty training, as well as events open to the public.
“The events will be offered free or at low cost,” continued Bradley. “This week-long celebration is not a series of fundraisers, but rather about once again remembering and sharing some of the great work that Fred Rogers created, not only in early childhood education, but in reminding us that we are all part of one big ‘neighborhood’. Fred taught us the importance of accepting our Neighbors just the way they are and engaging in kindness with our interactions. I can’t think of another period in my lifetime where we needed to reflect on those messages again more than today.”
“There are three ways to ultimate success,” Fred Rogers was once quoted as saying. “The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”
Many of the activities of Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness will be attended by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 – 1975, and again from 1979 – 2001. David Newell, known as “Mr. McFeely,” the “Speedy Delivery” man, appeared at today’s media conference via video, and looks forward to visiting Central Florida next March.
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is supported by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, the Fred Rogers Institute, and Fred Rogers Productions. Details regarding the specific activities and venues will be released over the next few weeks.
For more information on the events, visit https://www.BuenaVistaEvents.com or https://www.MisterRogersWeekofKindness.com.
ICON Park hosts “Toys for Tots” toy drive
Florida county puts damage from Nicole at $522 million
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (AP) — Damages are estimated at more than $522 million in a central Florida coastal county where homes collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean following Hurricane Nicole last week.
The damages from the category 1 storm in Volusia County, home to Daytona Beach, exceeded those from the much stronger Hurricane Ian, which caused $377 million in the county, officials said. Hurricane Ian, a category 4 storm, made landfall in southwest Florida in late September and tore across the state.
Moody’s Investors Service estimated insured losses from Ian at between $40 billion and $70 billion in Florida and North Carolina. There were 137 deaths attributed to Ian, a state medical examiners board reported Monday.
Severe beach erosion from Ian made homes vulnerable to the impact of Nicole in Wilbur-by-the Sea, a quaint beach community where single-family homes fell into the ocean last week. Volusia County officials said that 29 single-family homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea had damage and that 17 were deemed unsafe following Hurricane Nicole. Additionally, seven single-family homes in nearby Ponce Inlet and three homes in New Smyrna Beach were deemed unsafe by inspectors.
In Daytona Beach Shores and New Smyrna Beach, two dozen multistory condo buildings have been evacuated and deemed unsafe by building inspectors. However, building inspectors said that another seven condo buildings that had been considered dangerous after the storm were found to be safe Monday and residents were allowed to return.
Daytona Beach Shore by far had the most property damage in the county, estimated at $370.3 million, according to the Volusia County Property Appraiser. It was followed by New Smyrna Beach at $51.1 million and Daytona Beach at $50 million.
The property appraiser’s office warned that those figures would likely rise as more buildings are inspected.
For storm-weary Floridians, Nicole was the first November hurricane to hit their shores since 1985 and only the third since record-keeping began in 1853.
The storm was blamed for five deaths in Florida. A man and a woman were killed by electrocution when they touched downed power lines in the Orlando area. Also in Orange County, one man died in a vehicle crash, and a male pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle because of poor road conditions. Another man died as waves battered his yacht against a dock in Cocoa, despite efforts to resuscitate him by paramedics who managed to get on board as the boat broke away from its moorings.
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