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Wake Up America of Southwest Florida group is alive and well

June 5, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

There was letter and premature announcement that Wake Up America of Southwest Florida would be closing its doors the end of July.

There has not been a board meeting or vote to do such a thing.

There are some that may have lost faith and confidence that we can raise the funds or maintain the of level of services needed to continue. However, there are more of us that have put in years, tears and undying dedication to feeding the hungry in our area and we will not give up the cause or fight to keep doing the right thing for Southwest Florida.

A letter has gone out to our volunteers and stakeholders requesting a meeting and vote of support.

It will take a few weeks to get it all in place but despite the sad news we have been and will be operating as normal, no perhaps with a more determined effort to make sure that we continue in our service to the community.

As volunteer coordinator I am determined to keep morale positive and hopeful.

We continue our quest to add volunteers to drive their car or our truck to pick up food or work at the distribution center.

In my mind and heart and that of hundreds of others closing is not a reality or possibility.

What organization hasn't had internal struggles in the past??

Our wish list:

- Positive press and communication about Wake Up America and its efforts and needs to continue to feed the hungry free of charge. Solicitation for community support to keep our much needed service available to Southwest Florida.

- Volunteers --Other task options are available for those that need to work at home or at varying days or times and can do word processing and Internet searches for donations and grants or create a newsletter or expand our services by contacting agencies in the area of our free services

contact supermarkets and food vendors for donations. We could use Internet enthusiasts that want to work on our Facebook and web site

I would love to have college intern(s) see the value, need and experience of community service first hand.

We are available for community service hours for high school & college students. Many of those that had mandatory hour requirements have stayed on helping us serve others.

-We also need donations to keep going; grants & funding is down from past years

Because we are run entirely by unpaid volunteers and own the property of our distribution center and our 2 trucks we survive on an annual operating budget that is only about $30,000.

We need $2500 a month for gas & vehicle maintenance, utilities, insurance, taxes and minimal consumable supplies.

- A trailer to pull behind the truck to pick up food donations. It would cut down on pick up time and fuel costs. And allow us to expand the amount we pick up from some donors. I have pictures of the old one we had to take out of service for safety concerns.

Thank you in advance for your help to keep us alive. I can be reached at or a leave a message at 567-2453.

I look forward to your help with this worthy cause.

Lynda Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator

Wake Up America of SW FL, Inc.



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