Mayo Clinic donations target critical needs in Northeast Florida

March 7, 2019

Originally appeared on Mayo Clinic News Center on Jan. 10, 2019

Mayo Clinic donated $50,000 in additional funds at the end of 2018 to support organizations in Northeast Florida that serve those with critical needs.

Feeding the hungry, resettling refugees and supporting those with mental illness were priorities for Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus year-end donations.

The year-end donations that totaled $50,000 were in addition to the 36 sponsorships and grants that were funded in 2018.

“This was the first time that Mayo Clinic in Florida has made additional end-of-year donations,” says Ann-Marie Knight, Community Relations.

Throughout each year, the Mayo Clinic Community Engagement Committee in Florida funds community activities, giving special consideration to requests and organizations that focus on health gaps identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment.

The year-end donations were divided among these groups:

  • Feeding Northeast Florida
    This group distributed more than 12.5 million meals through a network of 160 partners and programs in 2017. “We cannot do what we do without organizations like Mayo Clinic coming alongside us to invest in those most vulnerable in our community,” says Frank Castillo, president and CEO, Feeding Northeast Florida.
  • Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities
    Both organizations support the transition of refugees fleeing violence or persecution into new communities in the Jacksonville area. “The generous grant will enable us to provide supportive services for our refugee families, including clothing, transportation and rent assistance,” says Lauren Weedon Hopkins, regional director, Catholic Charities.
  • National Alliance on Mental IllnessThis organization provides education and advocacy to support and improve the quality of life of those living with mental illnesses and their families. One of its most used services is a help line staffed by volunteers. “The gift provided by Mayo Clinic’s Season of Giving coincides with our busiest season ever for calls,” says Tara Wildes, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Jacksonville. “The funds will help ensure there is always someone trained and willing to listen when the stress of the holidays or anytime becomes more than can be handled alone.”

“With these additional donations, we addressed important community needs that didn’t necessarily align with the criteria we use for other donations,” Knight says. “This was a wonderful opportunity for Mayo Clinic to support organizations that are meeting other critical needs.”