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Our first Cause Prize starts NOW!

From 10am to 11am if CIL receives the most donations, of any amount, we will win $500! Thank you so much everyone for helping us make even more of a difference for our youth with disabilities!

CIL Amazing Give Page Link: https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/center-for-independent-living-of-north-central-florida

ID: Graphic has blue pentagon shape. Inside the pentagon in white text, reads, “From 10am to 11am if CIL receives the most donations, of any amount, we will win $500!” A green circle is drawn around the words “10a – 11a” and “win $500” is underlined in green. The Amazing Give logo is displayed at the bottom right corner. The graphic has a light red background.

TODAY IS THE DAY!!

#TheAmazingGive has officially begun! For the next 12 hours you can be part of one of our biggest fundraising events of the year. Your generous donations to the Center for Independent Living will help our youth program High School High Tech and our Youth Social Group!

You can support us and those with disabilities by visiting our Amazing Give page link below andhelping to spread the word! Don’t forget about our two AMAZING Cause Prize opportunities!

From 10am to 11am and/or 2pm to 3pm on the giving day, all donations, of any amount, received during those times, gives us a chance to win $500 if the CIL receives the most donations! Your donations will make even more of a difference!

Thank you so much for your support!

CIL Amazing Give Page Link: https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/center-for-independent-living-of-north-central-florida

ID: Graphic is turquoise with blue text that reads, “Donate Today The Amazing Give April 25th 8am to 8pm” The CIL logo is displayed at the bottom of the graphic.

We are officially less than 24 hours away from #TheAmazingGive!

For the 9th year in a row, the CIL will be participating in the online community fundraiser, The Amazing Give, on April 25th from 8am to 8pm. Donations raised through this event are an essential part of supporting our organization, and this year we set a goal of $10,000 – and we know we can reach it with your help! Your generous donations will go directly towards our youth program High School High Tech and the Youth Social Group!

Please consider donating if you are able, and check out our page link below. If you are able to donate, we have two AMAZING Cause Prize opportunities, so your donations will make even more of a difference!

On the giving day, a Cause Prize of $500 will be awarded to the organization whose mission supports advocacy/social justice, which is exactly what we do here at the CIL! The CIL must receive the most donations (of any value) from either 10am to 11am and/or 2pm to 3pm in order to win, so please consider donating during these times so we can raise even more funds for our youth with disabilities! This Cause Prize is generously sponsored by dePaz Cabrera Law.

You can also help youth with disabilities by spreading the word and sharing on your social media networks!

Thank you so much for your support and helping the CIL reach our goal!

CIL Amazing Give Page Link: https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/center-for-independent-living-of-north-central-florida

🌟 Amazing Give is in 3 Days! 🌟

We need your support to help us reach our goal of $10,000 to support vital programs for young people with disabilities. Donations directly benefit our High School High Tech (HSHT) Program and Youth Social Group, empowering students with disabilities through career exploration and education while fostering friendships and personal growth in a supportive community.

Additionally, on the day of our fundraising event, we’ve partnered with Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille at Celebration Pointe. From 4pm to 11pm, 20% of dining sales will support our youth programs. By dining at Spurrier’s, you’re not just enjoying a delicious meal but also contributing to a meaningful cause. Let’s come together on this incredible journey and create lasting change!

When: Thursday, April 25 | 4pm – 11pm
Where: Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille @

Make your reservations at: https://www.sevenrooms.com/reservations/spurriersgridirongrille

Every donation, no matter the amount, counts towards building brighter futures filled with possibilities and growth!

ID: Graphic has a red background on the top half and a white on the bottom half. Large white text on the top half reads, “Community Support Tastes Great!” with a heart drawing in place of the “O” in “Support”. Directly beneath the text is Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille logo, along with the fundraising event information shared above. The CIL and Amazing Give logo is displayed in the bottom center.

The Amazing Give is ONE week away!

Join us in our mission to support young people with disabilities and help them build brighter futures filled with possibilities and growth! 🌱 We need your support to reach our goal of $10,000! Your generous donation will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these incredible individuals.

Here’s how your donation will impact our vital programs:

✨ High School High Tech (HSHT) Program: Empowering students with disabilities through career exploration and educational opportunities, setting them on the path to success.

✨ Youth Social Group: Fostering friendships, social skills, and personal growth, creating a supportive community where everyone belongs.

Your contribution through the Amazing Give will directly support these initiatives, giving our youth the tools they need to thrive. Every dollar counts and brings us closer to our goal!

Stay tuned for more updates. Let’s come together and make a lasting impact on the lives of these amazing individuals. Thank you for your support!

ID: graphic has a photo of 4 students from our High School High Program; they are standing in front of bookshelves filled with books. Underneath the photo reads, “Empowering Our Youth” in large white text. Immediately beneath is smaller white text that reads, “Your generous donations will directly support our High School High Tech and Youth Social Group program!” The Amazing Give logo is displayed in the bottom left corner. the CIL logo is displayed in the top right corner. Beneath the CIL logo is a dotted design in red. There is a white circle above the design and to the right of the photo with “April 25th” written in red.

National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day!

The National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day celebrates the crucial role of AT in the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. It highlights the government’s support and funding for AT, essential for education, employment, and community participation. AT enables inclusivity in classrooms and workplaces, emphasizing its necessity, not luxury. The day also honors AT specialists, program coordinators, and organizations dedicated to enhancing access to AT for individuals with diverse needs.

In our latest episode of The Independent Life Podcast, Eric Reed, Executive Director of FAAST, and Kailey Medlock, FAAST’s Training & Community Development Director, discuss the role of assistive technologies in fostering independence for individuals with disabilities. They highlight the diverse range of assistive technologies available and how FAAST has expanded its reach under Eric’s leadership. The podcast explores innovations such as SMART homes and their impact on accessibility and autonomy. Eric also discusses FAAST’s involvement in supporting farmers with disabilities through the Florida AgrAbility Project Advisory Board, emphasizing the importance of reaching rural communities and ensuring access to repair services for assistive technologies. The partnership between FAAST and The Center For Independent Living has empowered numerous individuals, promoting independence and enhancing quality of life. Tune in to learn more about the evolving landscape of assistive technologies and their significant role in improving lives.

🎙️ The Independent Life Podcast

ID: The graphic shows a female in her wheelchair, at her desk, working on the computer. She is wearing headphones, glasses, a yellow shirt, and black patterned overalls. There is a blue gradient overlay on the photo. Written in white across the gradient reads, “April 17 National Assistive Technology Awareness Day”. The FAAST logo is in the top left corner and the CILNCF logo is in the top right corner.

Celebrating Community Engagement and Inclusion with FAAST!

We’ve been out and about, connecting with our community and spreading the word about assistive technology in Florida! Here’s a glimpse of our recent adventures:

🎖️ At the Alachua County Veteran Resource Fair and Homeless Veteran Stand-down, hosted by HUDVASH (Dept of Housing & Urban Development, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program), we proudly supported our veterans with information about assistive technology’s life-enhancing benefits.

🌪️ The Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo was a vital opportunity for us to highlight how assistive technology can empower individuals with disabilities during emergencies.

🌈 We kicked off Disability Awareness Month at Santa Fe College, showcasing how assistive technology fosters inclusivity and empowers individuals to thrive.

🚨 Ensuring accessibility during emergencies, we were at the Marion County Emergency Preparedness Expo, providing crucial information and resources.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in promoting community engagement, inclusion, and the transformative power of assistive technology! Stay tuned for more exciting events and initiatives as we continue to build a more accessible and inclusive future together.

ID: The graphic includes 4 photos; displayed in the middle is the CIL horizontal logo to the left and FAAST logo to the right.The top left pic is (from left to right), CIL staff Stephanie and Cammeron and FAAST Assistive Technologies Specialist, Claudia, tabling at the Alachua County Veteran Resource Fair and Homeless Veteran Stand-down event. The top right pic is Claudia tabling for FAAST at the Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo. The bottom left pic is Claudia tabling for FAAST at the Santa Fe College Disability Awareness Month Kick-off at SFC. The bottom right pic is Brandon (left) and Claudia (right) tabling at the Marion County Emergency Preparedness Expo. In every photo: staff are all standing behind their table and smiling in every photo. Tables in every photo are covered with a FAAST tablecloth and brochures, flyers, giveaways and sample AT items.

Tax Break Egg Hunt!

Our Health and Wellness activities during the spring continues! Tax Day is almost here, so we thought it would be fun to have a “Tax Break Egg Hunt” for our hardworking team! Earlier this week, both of our offices in Gainesville and Ocala enjoyed a festive egg hunt! Staff searched the perimeter of our buildings diligently, like big little kids, and scooped up colorful plastic eggs filled with a variety of goodies, such as $1 lottery tickets, $1 bills and quarters, 30 minutes of vacation time and candy, to help give them a little bit of a “break” for Tax Day! Everyone had a blast and we are so happy to have these fun opportunities to appreciate our awesome CIL team!

ID: There are a total of 2 graphics, each containing 5 photos.

The first graphic has a bright green background with 5 photos; from the top left corner in clockwise order:
1) Clara hunting for eggs in the bushes outside, on left side of the CIL; she is walking towards the camera and smiling.
2) Alex outside in the back of the CIL, holding up his arms with his eggs in his hands; he has an expressive smile on his face.
3) Sada sitting at a table in the CIL activity room, holding up two of her plastic eggs; she is smiling with her mouth open.
4) Medjina sitting at a table in the CIL activity room; she is smiling and holding up a piece of candy with her plastic eggs on the table.
5) From left to right, Kathy (sitting) and Christie (standing), at the table in the CIL activity room with their egg haul.

The second graphic has a bright blue background with 5 photos; from the top left corner in clockwise order:
1) Cammeron hunting eggs outside; he is standing on the sidewalk of the CIL parking lot, smiling and holding his eggs in his hands.
2) Holly (left) and Clara (right) holding up their colorful eggs in the CIL activity room; they are both smiling and Holly is sitting at a table, with Clara standing and leaning towards her.
3) Group pic of Ocala team by the Ocala office activity room tables, they are all smiling and holding up their eggs and prizes; from left to right are Kevin (sitting), Lauren (standing), Peg (standing), Colleen (standing), Brandon (standing) and Lucinda (sitting).
4) Stephanie holding up her colorful eggs, standing in the CIL activity room.
5) From left to right, Ashlyn, Debbie and Amy, standing outside in front of one of the CIL front doors to the far left of the building. They are all smiling, Ashlyn has her mouth open. Debbie is giving the I love you sign with her right hand, by Ashlyn’s head, while holding her colorful eggs in her left hand.

ILS Success Story!

The CIL is proud to highlight Danny, a devoted consumer over the past 12 years, who will always be part of our CIL family. Danny’s success story is one of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of community support.

He began his journey at the CIL in 2012, seeking friendship, employment, personal growth, and independence. Overcoming challenges with support from various CIL staff, such as Mark, our CORE Services Director and Terri, our ILS Coordinator, Danny has blossomed into a remarkable individual, defying barriers and embracing life’s challenges with quiet strength. When Danny needed some extra peer support, Mark provided great life advice, and shared strategies about how Danny can move forward successfully.

Throughout the years, he participated actively in various CIL programs and groups, including Independent Living Skills, Money Management classes, Power Groups, Peer Support interactions, and the Lunch Bunch Social Group. Even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Danny continued to participate in ILS groups and other activities, and still checks in virtually to this day, showcasing his adaptability, and commitment to personal growth and community engagement.

One of Danny’s significant milestones was his successful employment at Gator Landscaping in 2013, a testament to his hard work and the support he received from the CIL’s Employment team. In 2021, his life took a joyous turn as he married Bethany. Their move to Tennessee and the arrival of their beautiful daughter added new chapters of happiness and fulfillment to Danny’s story.

As for future goals, Danny states, “We built a large greenhouse in our backyard, and plan to start a plant nursery business, while I continue to take care of our daughter.” Danny’s story is a testament to the transformative impact of community organizations like the CIL, where individuals like him find not just support, but also a platform to thrive, grow, and embody our mission, empowering themselves to achieve their goals for independence. His journey reminds us that resilience, kindness, and perseverance can turn dreams into reality, making the world a brighter and more inclusive place for everyone.

ID: The graphic has a dark blue background and 4 photos. The top left photo is a picture of Danny and baby Mary sitting in his lap in the front seat of the car on their way to visit family in Florida (2/2024), when they stopped at a gas station. They are both looking lovingly at each other. The bottom left photo is a picture of their family (Danny, Bethany, and baby Mary) at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Gainesville, Florida for Mary’s baptism (2/2024). The top right photo is a picture of Danny, Bethany, and baby Mary in front of their family home in Knoxville, TN (1/2024). It is snowing and everyone is bundled up in winter gear. The bottom right photo is of Danny wearing his Captain America uniform at their house in Knoxville for Halloween (10/2022).

The Amazing Give is just 2 weeks away!

Help us reach our goal of $10,000 to support vital programs for young people with disabilities!

Your donation will benefit both our High School High Tech (HSHT) Program and Youth Social Group. HSHT empowers students with career exploration and educational opportunities, while the Social Group fosters friendships and skill development.

Your donation through the Amazing Give makes a difference! It helps young people build brighter futures filled with possibilities and growth. Stay tuned for more updates! Let’s come together on this incredible journey. Every contribution counts!

ID: Graphic has a beige background, with The Amazing Give logo displayed in the top center. Directly beneath reads, “Supporting High School High Tech and Youth Social Group!” There are 4 illustrations of young people at the bottom with speech bubbles above their respective heads that reads their experience from participating in The CIL’s youth programs. From left to right there is:
1) a male wearing a yellow sweater with a yellow speech bubble above his head that reads, “I feel comfortable here; it has impacted me a lot!”
2) a female wearing a turquoise t-shirt with a turquoise speech bubble above her head that reads, “Helps me be motivated about the next steps for my career in life.”
3) a female wearing a pink long sleeve shirt with a pink speech bubble above her head that reads, “I get to explore new opportunities!”
4) a male wearing a green long sleeve shirt with a green speech bubble above his head that reads, “It means a lot to me because I love to talk with other people!”