Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

The 2023 hurricane season is almost here, so be sure to get prepared and save some money too while you gather supplies! There will be not one, but two 14-day disaster preparedness sales tax holidays in Florida in this year! The first is coming up, running May 27 th through June 9 th , and the second will be from August 26 th through September 8 th . The second tax-free holiday is new this year and comes right before the busiest period of hurricane season.

Some examples of tax-free items include: flashlights and lanterns costing $40 or less; reusable ice costing $20 or less; radios costing $50 or less; tarps and ground anchors or tie down kits costing $100 or less; coolers and portable power banks costing $60 or less; batteries and fuel tanks costing $50 or less; smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors costing $70 or less; and generators costing $3,000 or less.

The holiday also includes a number of items related to the safe evacuation of household pets. Common household consumable items that may helpful with disaster cleanup are also included. For example, laundry detergent, toilet paper and paper towels, soap, sunscreen, and various household cleaning products, with a sales price of $30 or less.

For more details, please click on the link below:

ID: Graphic includes the information shared above, along with a photo of emergency supplies next to a clipboard with an emergency preparation checklist

Emergency Preparedness Webinar: June 1st @ 1pm – 3pm EST

Are you ready for hurricane season? Please join us for some fun and a virtual presentation about how to prepare before and after a disaster, with a chance to win a $20 gift card! All are welcome and interpreters will be provided.

The event is hosted by the CIL and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centers (Ocala, Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Pensacola and Ft. Myers), and will take place on Thursday, June 1st from 1pm to 3pm Eastern (12pm Central), with guest speaker, Jenny Locy, BA Marketing and Training Director. Please check out her bio below!

Jenny obtained her Associate of Arts from the St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, FL, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Jenny has become one of the first two Deaf persons in the state of Florida to become a FEMA CERT Instructor. She holds her PADI Rescue Diving certification as well as Emergency First Response/First Aid and CPR. She collaborates with Florida CERT Programs and Emergency Operation Centers, providing access to disaster preparation and relief for individuals who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Jenny is also a constant advocate to major media companies to keep sign language interpreters on camera during and after press releases.

To join the webinar, please click on the link below: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89752926824?pwd=ZS91OEFSZGtQZnFtSENzVnVBNU5LQT09

Or go to: https://zoom.us/join

Please contact Colleen Metcalf, CIL Consumer Specialist in our Ocala office, at VP: 352-414-1833 with any questions about the event. We hope to see you there!

For technical difficulties or to practice Zoom, please contact Monique Roussell at VP: 904-508-0077 or e-mail at mroussell@ciljacksonville.org

ID: Graphic has a background image of an emergency service worker during a disaster, with a blue overlay over the image. “Are you prepared?” is written in white with a purple background. Underneath reads “How to prepare for disasters: Before and after webinar”. The date and time of the event is written in white with a green background. “Interpreter Provided” is written in white directly underneath with sign language hands on both sides of the text.

HSHT Bento Fundraiser!

You’re Invited! Eat, drink and give at BENTO Archer, 3841 SW Archer Road TOMORROW on Thursday, May 11th , 2023! The fundraiser will take place ALL DAY, so you have time to stop by for lunch or dinner to help us raise funds for our High School High Tech (HSHT) program that serves youth with disabilities. Bento will give back 20% of fundraiser sales when you mention the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida at checkout or use code Independent when you order online. We hope to see you there!

ID: Background includes a variety of Bento food dishes, with the Bento logo at the very bottom that has a red curved background and white border. The white wording on top of the food dishes reads, “Help us reach our goal! Bento will give 20% back of fundraiser sales.”

THANK YOU Marion and Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo donors and vendors!

We’re sending a big THANK YOU to all of our amazing Marion and Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo donors and vendors!!

Thank you also to our wonderful venue hosts, One Health Center for Marion County and Santa Fe College for Alachua County! We couldn’t have offered these events without all of your support and we are so very grateful. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in the Marion and Alachua County communities!

Herr’s Chips
Sam’s Club
Jimmy Johns
Dunkin Donuts
United Healthcare Community Plan
Developmental Service Trainers

Dunkin Donuts
Sam’s Club


Disability Rights Florida; Agency for Persons with Disabilities; Ocala Police Department; Marion County Sheriff’s Office; FAAST; American Red Cross; Marion Senior Services; Ocala Electric Utility; Aetna; Human Potential Healthcare; Heart of Florida Health Center; Developmental Service Trainers (DST); Cano Health Ocala; Ocala Fire Rescue; Select Laboratories of Marion County; Champion for Champions,

Inc; Alzheimer’s Association; Florida Department of Health Marion; Home Care, Recharged; SERVPRO of Ocala; Hands Up Communication; U.S. Congresswoman Kat Cammack; Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida; One Health Center


Disability Rights Florida; FAAST; Regional Transit System (RTS); Alachua County Emergency Management; Santa Fe College; Disabilities Resource Center; Community Hospice and Palliative Care; Alachua County Supervisor of Elections; SERVPRO of East Gainesville; Elder Options; American Red Cross; Clay Electric Cooperative; North Florida/South Georgia VA Hospital; Gainesville Fire Rescue; MV Transportation, Inc; UF Health

ID: graphic pictured has a red background with the text “Thank you so much” written in white in the center. Above are four images: a heart with a vital sign, a stethoscope, bandages, and an ambulance. The CILNCF logo is on the bottom center of the graphic.

Happy National Interpreter Appreciation Day!

The first Wednesday of May celebrates all interpreters who provide accessible communication at businesses, hospitals, government services, organizations and more. Thank you so much to all of our awesome interpreters, Debbie Beaver, Ken Sanders, Riley Tuck and Sophia Kitchen! You do so much to assist with communication for people who are deaf and for the CIL as a whole. You all rock!

Also, thanks so much to CIL staff Kathy Elkins, Kim Moffitt and Patty McElroy! You all play a big role in our interpreting program from coordination to accounting.

ID: Image has “National Interpreter” text at the top center and “Appreciation Day” on bottom center. There are 4 square boxes in the middle. The top left square box is blue with the sign for the letter “L”. The top right square box is green with the sign for the letter “O”. The bottom left square box is green with the sign for the letter “V”. The bottom right square box is purple with the sign for the letter “E”.

Staff Retreat!

On the last day of March, after 3 years, we were finally able to have an in-person staff retreat for our hard-working CIL team!  We enjoyed a beautiful day at Poe Springs Park in High Springs and everyone had a blast participating in a scavenger hunt, solving fun riddles, playing team building games and exploring the amenities of the park.  It was wonderful to see everyone together and getting to know each other outside of work!

ID:  There are a total of 10 pictures of CIL staff enjoying their time at Poe Springs Park.  

1)  Picture of Debbie (left) and Colette (right) smiling and sitting at one of the pavilion tables at the lodge.

2)  Picture of Medjina (left) and Claudia (right) smiling and sitting at one of the pavilion tables at the lodge. Medjina is giving the peace sign.

3)  Picture of (from left to right) Kevin, Alex and Holly smiling and sitting at one of the pavilion tables at the lodge.  Lauren is walking towards the table in the background.

4)  Picture of (from left to right) Claudia, Holly, Clara and Medjina, sitting on a blanket outside, playing the riddle game. The lodge and pavilion tables are in the background.

5)  Picture of (from left to right) Eric, Christie, Lucinda and Cammeron, standing in a group outside, playing the riddle game.

6)  Picture of (from left to right) Myrtle, Lauren and Brandon standing in a group outside, playing the riddle game.

7)  Picture of (from left to right) Kevin, Colette, Alex and Riley sitting in a group inside the lodge, playing the riddle game.

8)  Picture of (from left to right) Colleen, Debbie, Holly and Niusha, sitting outside on the deck of the lodge, playing the riddle game.

9)  Picture of Colleen (left) and Cammeron (right) playing cornhole outside.  Cammeron is getting ready to throw.

10) Picture of Sada playing cornhole outside.  Sada is throwing the bean bag.

Thank You For A Successful Amazing Give 2023!

Please enjoy this Amazing Give thank you video from our Executive Director, Tony Delisle. Thank you all so much again for your donations and support; we truly appreciate everyone who helped make this day a huge success! We ended up raising almost $9,000 for AgrAbility and our farmers with disabilities, our best year yet, and we could not have done this without you! Special thanks to our anonymous donors as well. You all helped make a huge difference and we are so very grateful!

VD: Tony stands by the CILNCF sign outside the CIL Gainesville office, sharing his thanks to our donors for their ongoing support.

HSHT Trip to St. Augustine!

From our community partners at The Able Trust, showcasing a wonderful experience with students from our Florida High School High Tech program:

Our Alachua, Levy and Putnam County #FloridaHSHT students and the team from the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida had a fantastic experience at yesterday’s site visits in St. Augustine! The students learned about opportunities in fields like cosmetology, automotive services, nursery management, confectionery and so many more. Thank you so much to FCTC First Coast Technical College and Whetstone Chocolates for providing great tours and insights into a wide range of future careers!

ID: There are a total of 4 photos of HSHT students participating in av variety of different fields.
1) Three students pictured in a confectionery shop with a staff member speaking about the processes that takes place on a daily basis.
2) Students walking through an outdoor nursery, surrounded by plants
3) Four students pictured in an automotive shop, standing next to a silver car on a lift
4) Students pictured in a cosmetology shop with customers sitting in salon chairs, getting their hair done.

Thank You For Supporting Our Giving Day!

#TheAmazingGive has come to an end with donations totaling $7,794! and we couldn’t have done it without your generous support!

We appreciate our donors so much for going above and beyond. You’ve helped our community and have made a huge difference in the lives of our farmers with disabilities. On behalf of the CIL staff and consumers, thank you so much!

SPECIAL THANKS to our anonymous donor and Restoration Medical, LLC for their AMAZING matching gifts! You all ROCK and really helped us make a difference in the lives of our farmers with disabilities who need our help to continue farming!

Also, if you missed the giving day, don’t worry! Our donation page will remain open for donations until midnight on Sunday, April 23 rd ! So, there is still time to make an impact by visiting our donation link: https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/center-for-independent-living-of-north-central-florida

To see how your donations will support #farmers, #ranchers and other agriculture workers with a disability, please continue to follow us on social. You can also get up-to-date information by visiting our website: https://www.cilncf.org/

VD: Video shows staff saying thank you, both verbally and with sign language. The text “Thank you for supporting our giving day” on the left of the video, along with a heart. The Amazing Give logo is displayed directly below. The background of the video is a purple gradient with confetti.

Only 3 hours left of the #AmazingGive2023!

The clock is ticking with only 3 hours left of the #AmazingGive2023! So far, our AMAZING donors have raised over $7,010 dollars! Thank you so much for your support! 

Let’s keep it going! You can support us and farmers with disabilities by visiting and sharing our Amazing Give page link below!

To support your community’s #farmers, donate to CIL’s Amazing Give: https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/center-for-independent-living-of-north-central-florida

ID: Post has a total of 5 graphics; graphics 2-5 displays The AgrAbility logo is displayed on the top left corner. The CILNCF and Amazing Give logo are displayed on the center bottom: 

Graphic #1 displays “3 hours left” in large, bold, red text. The Amazing Give logo is on the bottom center. The CILNCF logo is displayed on the top right corner. There is an image of a man getting into his tractor from his wheelchair as the background. There is a white overlay on top of the image.

Graphic #2 displays $50 in large white font, outlined in blue. There is text in the middle that says, “provides two ergonomic gardening tools that help with joint pain/arthritis”. The background image shows ergonomic gardening tools, with handles in 2 different shades of green. 

Graphic #3 displays $100 in large white font, outlined in green. There is text in the middle that says, “goes towards a Power Take Off link, helping ease strain on a farmer’s body”. The background image shows the Power Take Off link with a blue overlay. 

Graphic #4 displays $250 in large white font, outlined in light blue. There is text in the middle that says, “goes towards an Action Trackchair that allows for complete farm access”. The background image shows a man sitting in an Action Trackchair, with a green overlay. 

Graphic #5 displays $500 in large white font, outlined in turquoise. There is text in the middle that says, “goes towards a lift, allowing farmers independent access to their tractor”. The background image shows a man sitting on a lift being lifted into his tractor, with a purple overlay.