Shoutout to Kevin Towles For His Hard Work!

We wanted to give a shoutout and thank you to our own Kevin Towles for his hard work in Tallahassee at the States Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) recently. Kevin has been working with state directors who are in charge of responding to the COVID 19 Pandemic. We have heard a lot of positive feedback about his work throughout his time in the SEOC. Many have thanked Kevin for his awesome work and for helping to make a difference!

This is the first time that the Independent Living Network and CIL’s around the state are working with state officials, and finding ways together to help people with disabilities have access to food, personal protective equipment, transportation, contact information and other emergency needs. Special thanks to Bryan Russell with the Department of Health and Peter Newman with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for your continued support during this time.

Thank you Kevin for all of your hard work and dedication, and helping our Center provide this great service to the state and people with disabilities throughout the state!

Here are some pictures of Kevin working and of the environment he was in! Thanks again, Kevin! Keep up the great work.

CIL Partnership with GPD BOLD Program for Food Delivery Program

Throughout these challenging times as we deal with the coronavirus as a community, we wanted to highlight the CIL’s partnership with the Gainesville Police Department and their BOLD program. This program works with boys between the ages of 18 to 26 years of age and helps them attain independence by learning essential personal, professional and educational skills. The BOLD program is currently helping the community by delivering food to people and families in need during this pandemic.

Robert Wright, an intervention specialist with BOLD, is spearheading this campaign and taking it upon himself to deliver food to people in need throughout Alachua county. The BOLD program is working together with the CIL to determine who in the community is in need of these food delivery services.

The feedback for the program has been positive and there has been an overwhelming amount of gratitude and appreciation expressed by those who are receiving these deliveries. Robert says that “receiving food is a very personal moment” and finds the experience to be very humbling. Robert has worked with the CIL’s Mark Brisbane and Catholic Charities to seek out those who need food and delivery assistance.

The CIL’s Mark Brisbane has said of the program that BOLD has been a blessing through their assistance with delivering food to those who cannot get out to buy groceries. Mark has been in touch with Robert and has helped schedule food drop offs to certain homes so that people are receiving food when they need it.

Robert would also like to thank the BOLD manager, Mr. Steven Belk along with the Youth Services Director, Robert Woody and the Chief of Police, Tony Jones for their support. Other supportive BOLD staff members include Michael Booth and Pamela Boykin.

The CIL and our community are very grateful for the work being done by BOLD during these tough times. The hard work being done by people in our community to help others is truly outstanding and we appreciate all of you. We hope everyone continues to stay safe and healthy!  

Help Support the CIL by Donating to our Emergency Relief Fund!

We know everything is so uncertain right now as we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but if you are able to donate, any amount would make a huge difference in the lives of our consumers with disabilities we continue to serve. You can help support us during this difficult time by making a donation to our Emergency Relief Fund. Powered through the Amazing Give platform, our Emergency Relief donation page allows the CIL to receive donations that will help us continue to help our community! We have already received a generous anonymous donation of $100 and we are very grateful! Special thanks to the Community Foundation of North Central Florida and Give Gab for providing the online platform traditionally used during The Amazing Give to support immediate funding needs for local non-profits! Please check out our page!

https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/center-for-independent-living-of-north-central-florida

Once again, we thank you so much for your continued support during these challenging times. Stay safe and healthy!

Online Giving to Help the CIL

YOU CAN STILL HELP THE CIL WHILE PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING!

We are living in difficult and challenging times right now as the coronavirus prompts closures of businesses and schools throughout our community. However, while our offices remain closed, our commitment to our consumers has not stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CIL continues to work with our consumers through all of our programs, but we still need your help!

While practicing social distancing, you can still help our consumers live independently!Shop through Amazon Smile and GoodShop, search on GoodSearch, and vote for CIL in the Sunstate Contest! Below you will find links to these sites as well as an explanation of what each one is.

You can also help the CIL by spreading the word and forwarding these links to friends and family.  Once again, we thank you so much for your continued support during these challenging times. Stay safe and healthy!

Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of your purchase back to the CIL.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepage?orig=Lw==

GoodShop is run through GoodSearch, so the CIL earns up to 30% of each shopping purchase! GoodSearch (powered by Yahoo!) donates a penny from each online search.

https://www.goodshop.com/

Sunstate Federal Credit Union runs a Charity of the Month contest on Facebook that allows the CIL to enter for the chance to win upwards of $1,000. You can vote every day to help us win!

Follow Sunstate Federal Credit Union on Facebook!

Important COVID-19 Information

Here are some helpful links that will lead you to sites that have lots of great information about how to deal with the coronavirus as a person with a disability or if you are deaf/hard of hearing. Please see below for these links and share them with others as you see fit!

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

People with Disabilities

Protect Yourself Against COVID-19

The CIL wanted to share this helpful information with you to spread the word about how to stay safe against COVID-19. Please see the graphics below that help you visualize some of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you.

We hope to see everyone staying safe and protecting those in your community from this spreading virus!

Blaze Pizza Fundraiser

Join us at Blaze Pizza on Archer Road on Tuesday, February 25th, to eat, drink and raise some money for a good cause! OT EAC is sponsoring this fundraiser and generously donating all funds raised to the Center’s Wheelchair Ramp Building Program!

The OT EAC is a speciality clinic under the UF Equal Access Clinic Network. We are a student-run clinic that offers free occupational therapy services to individuals 18 years and older in the Gainesville community every week. Our aim is to help people who have experienced illness, injury, or disability return to the activities that are meaningful and important in their day-to-day lives.

We hope to see you all there to enjoy some good pizza, good company and good fundraising!

Alachua County Disaster Preparedness Expo for People with Disabilities

The CIL is hosting our 1st Annual Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo at the Senior Recreation Center 5701 NW 34th Blvd in Gainesville on April 30th from 8:30am to 1:00pm!

Come out to learn more about how you can stay prepared for any emergency event that might happen in our community. We will be discussing things like emergency shelter locations, contacts and how to create disaster preparedness supply kits. Refreshments will be provided and ASL interpreters will be available.

Join us for this informative and free event to learn how you can prepare for our community’s emergency situations! 

To register, please go to to the following links:

English: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/emergency-preparedness-expo-for-people-with-disabilities-tickets-73469115101

Spanish: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/exposicion-de-preparacion-para-emergencias-para-pe-tickets-80938971643

Happy Retirement, Don!

This is a bittersweet moment, as we announce Don Barnes’s retirement after over twelve years at the CIL! Although we are sad to see Don leave us, we are so happy for him and looking back at his time here with a smile. Don has always been the sunshine on a cloudy day for the CIL staff and we all feel so lucky to have shared some time with him, whether it’s been years or just a few months.

Don’s hard work and dedication at the CIL has inspired all of us and his constant positive energy lights up the room. He puts his heart into everything he does, and we will miss him dearly.

Don said of his time here that the CIL is “an easy place to work and a hard place to leave”. He has found ease in helping people over the past twelve years and is sad to be leaving the CIL consumers and his fellow CIL staff, whom he now considers his family, but is excited to start this new chapter of his life.

His accomplishments at the CIL will not be easily forgotten and our staff and consumers will always be grateful for everything he has done.

Enjoy your retirement Don and know that we will all miss you!