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- SERVERS4HEROES | FVF
Veterans know that good chow makes any mission better. If you are a veteran or family member of a veteran, we are looking for you to volunteer in our Servers4Heroes Program where you get to assist in preparation or serve meals to the heroes who reside in Florida’s Veterans Nursing Homes. The program is simple. Volunteers will complete an initial screening and training before signing up for meal shifts, which can be either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sign up for as many or as few shifts as you would like. Assistance is especially needed on weekends. Volunteer servers will work under the direct supervision of our dietary staff. Jobs you can participate in are to: prepare pre-planned meals, portion and place meals on carts, deliver them to our resident’s dining areas or their rooms and assist residents with eating their meals. To join, fill out an application for the Servers4Heroes Program found on the Florida Veterans Foundation website at helpflvets.org. You will then need to: Pass a criminal background check and one-time drug test; Complete a one-day orientation at the nursing home; Receive training from the dietary staff; and Servers who wish to feed residents must complete a 12 hour Feeding Assistant program All training will be provided by the nursing home staff at no cost to you. Once you complete the training you can help bring joy into the lives of our heroes. Food Preparer Food Delivery Food Server Meal Assistant Kitchen Duty Volunteer Application First name Last name Address Preferred State Nursing Home Location Branch of Service Phone Number Email Do you currently possess a Active Florida Food Handler license? No Yes Do you have prior experience as a food handler/server in a public restaurant, hotel or hospital? No Yes If so, please provide a copy of your certificate and your certificate number: The State of Florida requires a criminal background check for volunteer positions and can use the results to determine your acceptance and placement. All volunteers must complete orientation and training to participate in the Servers4Heroes Program. Servers who wish to feed residents must complete a 12 hour Feeding Assistant program. What is your desired positon? Food Prep Server Feeder Kitchen Duties I declare that the info I’ve provided is accurate & complete Please include your desired hours (open 7 days a week, breakfast, lunch, and dinner) Submit Thanks for submitting!
- OUR FINANCIALS | FVF
Financials The Florida Veterans Foundation was founded in 2008 by the Florida Legislature and is supported by individual and corporate donations, grants, fundraisers and direct public support to help us faithfully execute our mission of providing emergency and support services and programs for Veterans and their families across the state of Florida. Annuals Reports • FY 2020-2021 • FY 2019-2020 • FY 2018-2019 • FY 2017-2018 Internal and External Audits • FY 2021-2022 Independent Audit (External) • FY 2020-2021 Independent Audit (External) • FY 2019-2020 Independent Audit (External) • FY 2018-2019 Independent Audit (External) • FY 2017-2018 Independent Audit (External) • 2020 IG FDVA Statutory Oversight Audit (Internal) Financial Reports • 990 FY 2021-2022 • 990 FY 2020-2021 • 990 FY 2019-2020 • 990 FY 2018-2019 • 990 FY 2017-2018 • 501(c)(3) Determination Letter Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Compliance Letter View our Rating Veiw our Code of Ethics The Florida Veterans Foundation was founded in 2008 by the Florida Legislature and is supported by a variety of individual and corporate donations, grants, fundraisers and direct public support to help us faithfully execute our mission of providing a variety of assistance for Veterans and their families across the state of Florida.
- LEAVE A TESTIMONIAL | FVF
Give Us Your Feedback We’d love to hear what you thought about us. First name * Last name * Email Rate Our Services Poor Fair Good Very good Excellent Write your testimonial: How did you hear about us? How can we improve? Send Feedback Thanks for sharing your feedback with us!
- Dean Black | FVF
Representative Dean Black United States Air Force Veteran 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard Representative Black is an eighth generation Northeast Florida native, residing in Duval County with his wife Kim, on their family farm. Together they have five children and two great grandchildren. Graduating from the University of Mississippi with a BA in Political Science, Rep. Black is a small business owner, a cattle rancher, a Chairman of the Republican Party of Ducal County and now the Florida Representative for District 15. As a staunch Republican, Rep. Black was a campaign surrogate, official Delegate to the 2020 Republican National Convention for President Trump, and had a leading presence on the campaign trail. Additionally, he is a proud Air Force Veteran and was a member of the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard on Jacksonville’s Northside. Rep. Black states “Northeast Florida needs strong, proven and dependable conservative leaders fighting for our values in Tallahassee. I will be a Representative that stands on a strong America and Florida First agenda: Supporting the Constitution, limited government, the right to bear arms, personal liberty, the sanctity of life, low taxes, school choice and defending our brave men and women in law enforcement.” Those around him say he is a confident leader and a leading conservative voice in the community. << Back to Veteran Legislators
- HELP HOTLINES | FVF
Veteran Assistance Contacts Listed below are the main point of contact for vital veteran crisis and support hotlines. Florida Veteran Get Help Now Crisis Hotline If you or a loved one need support or connections to community resources as a veteran, call the Florida Veterans Support Line. 1-844-693-5838 National VA Homeless Hotline Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness—and their family members, friends and supporters—can call in where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-877-424-3838 National Veteran Crisis Hotline Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one? You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or healthcare to call. 1-800-273-8255 VA Caregiver Support Line VA's National Caregiver Support Line is a toll-free number for caregivers, family members, friends, Veterans, and community partners to contact for information related to caregiving and available supports and services. 1-855-260-3274 VA Health Care Hotline If you have questions regarding VA Health Care you can call in to the national hotlines to receive answers. 1-877-222-8387 VA Benefits Hotline For information regarding your federal VA Benefits, contact the VA Benefits Hotline below. 1-800-827-1000 MyVA411 Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—simplifies and improves customer access to VA through a single, easy-to-remember phone number. 1-800-698-2411 VA Benefits for Women Veterans Hotline The Women Veterans Call Center will help you navigate VA, point you in the right direction, and connect you with the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VA medical center. 1-855-829- 6636 GI Bill Hotline Students and School Certifying Officials can contact the VA by phone for questions and answers regarding the GI Bill. 1-888-442- 4551 National VA Homeless Hotline Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness—and their family members, friends and supporters—can call in where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-877-424-3 838 Florida Homeless Veterans Coordinator Florida’s Homeless Veterans Coordinator can be reached by calling the phone number below. 727-575-8136 Florida Veterans Support Line 1-844-MyFLVet is a toll free number that veterans and their loved one’s can call 24/7 for emotional support and information pertaining to community resources. 1-844-693-5838 To access the online Ask VA (AVA) go to: https://ask.va.gov/
- Spencer Roach | FVF
Representative Spencer Roach United States Coast Guard Retired Commissioned Officer Rep. Spencer Roach is a retired Coast Guard Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer who spent his first ten years in service as an enlisted man, serving as a search and rescue coxswain and counter-narcotics officer before earning an officer’s commission. He grew up in a proud blue-collar household, working with his father and uncles in a 4th-generation family-owned plumbing company. From an early age, he gained an appreciation for the trades and an unwavering belief that a superior personal work ethic is the great equalizer in pursuit of upward mobility. Rep. Roach enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1996. During his two decades of service, Spencer’s assignments included tours of duty in Alaska, a six-month combat deployment to the Middle East enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq, and service in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. He was selected for the prestigious Judge Advocate General Program and attended the University of Miami School of Law on a military scholarship. His most recent assignment as a JAG was representing returning soldiers and sailors injured in the line of duty to ensure they received the medical care they deserved. He retired from the Coast Guard in 2016. His actions earned him the Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medals, Coast Guard Achievement Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, all with Operational Distinguishing Device. While serving on active duty, Rep. Roach attended Edison Community College and Florida Gulf Coast University, earning a degree in Political Science and graduating summa cum laude from FGCU. He is licensed to practice law in Florida and Texas. After retiring from the Coast Guard, he returned to Lee County, where he had been a resident since his assignment to Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach in 2000. The Representative has always had a passion for public service and served as the District Director for Congressman Francis Rooney. He is a certified ESL teacher and has been active in various volunteer work for well over a decade, although his passion is helping children in foster care. While in law school, Spencer managed a program that provided Financial Literacy classes to children aging out of foster care, and currently, he serves as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem in the 20th Judicial Circuit. Representative Roach said: “My career in the Coast Guard, first as an enlisted man, then as a junior officer, and finally, as a JAG shaped my character and developed my work ethic. I traveled the world & experienced different cultures. It paid for both my undergraduate degree & a law degree at a private, tier-one law school. I made lifelong friends who endured emotional and traumatic experiences alongside me. The Coast Guard gave me a commitment to public service and the leadership skills to be an effective advocate for our community…Semper Paratus.” << Back to Veteran Legislators
- Thomas Patt Maney | FVF
Representative Thomas Patterson Maney United States Aermy Brigadier General R epresentative Patt Maney is a veteran, a father, a respected retired judge, and a longtime resident of Okaloosa County. After being commissioned in the United States Army Reserve in 1970, Rep Maney served his country for over 36 years, retiring as a brigadier general in 2007. He served as an Okaloosa County Judge for almost 29 years. During that time, he fought for justice in our community and was influential in bringing more quality healthcare to our veterans. Commissioned as an Army Infantry Second Lieutenant upon graduating from college, he saw service in Panama, Haiti, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. A defining moment in Patt Maney’s military career came in 2005. While deployed to Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device detonated, throwing his vehicle into the air and causing significant injuries. Although he would survive this attack, he was wounded and would spend almost 20 months recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After regaining his health, Rep. Maney returned to the bench with a renewed passion for helping veterans and their families. In 2008, he led local efforts to establish a community-based Homeless Veterans “Stand Down” and a Veterans Treatment Court. In 2012, the Florida Legislature passed the “T. Patt Maney Veterans Treatment Intervention Act.” The Representative was honored as the national 2019 DAV Outstanding Disabled American Veteran and named Military Order of the Purple Heart National Patriot of the Year in 2010. He was also given the United States Army War College Outstanding Alumni Award (2019) for his community service after military retirement. Rep. Maney was inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame (2018) and appointed to serve on the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame Council (2019) for making significant contributions to the State of Florida after military service. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Patt Maney grew up with a strong work ethic. His first jobs were cutting grass and delivering newspapers. He worked his way through college and law school. By 18, his devotion to service saw him earn the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award, Boy Scout God and Country Award, and the British Duke of Edinburgh Award. After marrying his college sweetheart, Caroline, he set off for law school, at times working two part-time jobs. The Maneys are married for over 48 years and are blessed with two daughters, two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren. They attend Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin and have been Okaloosa County residents for 44 years. << Back to Veteran Legislators
- Tommy Gregory | FVF
Representative Tommy Gregory United States Air Force Retired Lieutenant Colonel Representative Tommy Gregory is a native Floridian who served in the Air Force for 20 years and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in 2014. He began his military career by earning a B.S. in Economics from the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he graduated with Military Distinction. He also deployed to Southwest Asia for Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. Rep. Gregory received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law and served as a prosecutor for 14 in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His career included: Serving as staff judge advocate for the 48th Fighter Wing in England. He supervised a 35-person legal office; oversaw the provision of legal services to 15,000 personnel, the drafting of 6,000 estate planning documents, and prepared 3,500 tax returns; and managed the pre-trial advice, prosecution, and appellate review of 50 felony and 270 misdemeanor cases. Serving as a Senior Counsel for the Air Force Space Command legal office in Colorado, where he managed the daily operations of a 15-person office and oversaw the delivery of 4,200 legal opinions to a four-star commander and headquarters staff, as well as the review of all administrative law issues for ten legal offices around the country. After retiring from the military, Rep. Gregory spent ten months doing missionary work in the Dominican Republic as his house was built in Sarasota. He then established a successful private law practice in Sarasota. He is currently with the Williams Parker Law Firm, where he focuses on litigation and advising clients, commanders, and senior leaders in high-profile, high-pressure situations. The Representative has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, St. Martha Catholic School, and the Sarasota Republican Club. His wife, Erica, is also an Air Force retired Lieutenant Colonel and a small business owner. They are raising three sons. Rep. Gregory states, “I consider it a great honor to have served our country in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.” He goes on how his military career helps him in the Florida House, “During my career in the Air Force, I was taught and used a decision-making process called the OODA loop — OODA being an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. This four-step approach to decision-making focuses on rapidly gathering information, putting it in the historical and current context, deciding appropriate actions, and then executing. It is a powerful tool for quickly zeroing in on the best answer to complicated questions and then repeating the steps as the situation changes. OODA can be applied outside the military.” Florida lawmakers are fortunate to have this military experience help shape policymaking in Tallahassee. << Back to Veteran Legislators
- Bryan Avila | FVF
Representative Bryan Avila Florida Army National Guard, Currently Serving First Lieutenant Representative Bryan Avila was born andraised in Hialeah, Florida. Bryan’s parents, Bryan and Rosa Maria came to the United States seeking freedom from Cuba’s communist regime. His parents instilled in him the same principles that allowed them to become proud homeowners and successful citizens in the U.S. In April of 2016, Rep. Avila joined the Florida Army National Guard and is currently serving as a First Lieutenant. He distinguished himself by completing the Adjutant General Basic Officer Leader Course as an Honor Graduate and serving as a Human Resources Officer. He has earned a place on the Commandant’s List and is a Leadership Award Recipient. Additionally, he has, over his four years, earned the Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Florida Commendation Medal, Florida State Active Duty Ribbon, Florida Retention Ribbon, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. Rep. Avila graduated from Miami Springs Senior High School in 2002. He has since earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami Dade College, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Miami, and two Masters Degrees from Florida International University. He was an Adjunct Professor at Miami Dade College from 2009 until 2014. Since then, he has taught at Broward College. First elected in 2014 to represent the district that includes Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Springs, and Virginia Gardens, Rep. Avila has been a champion for veterans’ issues. He most recently sponsored a bill making it unlawful to use uniforms, medals, or insignia to misrepresent military service. During the 2019-2020 Legislative sessions, he chaired the powerful Ways & Means Committee and served on the Appropriations Committee and Gaming Control Subcommittee. In November, he was sworn in as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Florida House of Representatives. An editorial in the Miami Herald noted: “Bryan Avila is probably the only South Florida legislator who was unable to campaign, not because of COVID-19, but because he was deployed by the Florida National Guard to take part in the pandemic response effort.” << Back to Veteran Legislators
- Mail-Out | FVF
Joining Forces to Prevent Veteran Suicide in Rural Florida Counties The Florida Veterans Foundation is taking a crucial step forward in raising awareness for Veteran Suicide Prevention in five rural counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, Walton, and Okaloosa. As part of the Governor's Challenge Suicide Prevention Campaign, the foundation has initiated a targeted mail-out to spread vital information and resources to veterans residing in these areas. By reaching out directly to these communities, the mail-out aims to raise awareness, provide support, and ultimately save lives. Together, let's join forces to combat veteran suicide and ensure that no hero is left behind. The mail-out is designed to reach veterans residing in these rural communities, ensuring they have access to the necessary information, tools, and assistance they need. By delivering comprehensive resources, including helpline numbers, counseling services, and local support groups, the Florida Veterans Foundation aims to create a safety net of support for those facing mental health challenges. The significance of targeting rural areas should not be understated. Often, these communities face unique barriers, such as limited access to healthcare services and fewer available mental health resources. By directly engaging veterans in these counties, the foundation hopes to bridge these gaps and ensure that no veteran is left without the help they deserve. The mail-out campaign is an opportunity to highlight the importance of early intervention, de-stigmatize seeking help, and promote support within the veteran community. By raising awareness and encouraging open conversations about mental health, the Florida Veterans Foundation hopes to foster an environment where veterans feel comfortable seeking assistance when needed. This initiative is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the Florida Veterans Foundation to protect and support those who have bravely served our country. By amplifying the Governor's Challenge Suicide Prevention Campaign, the foundation is actively working towards reducing veteran suicide rates and improving the overall well-being of veterans in these rural Florida counties. The Florida Veterans Foundation's mail-out campaign serves as a beacon of hope, reaching out to veterans in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, Walton, and Okaloosa counties to let them know they are not alone. It is a powerful reminder that as a community, we stand together, ready to provide the support, resources, and understanding needed to prevent veteran suicide. Let's come together and ensure that every veteran in these rural counties receives the care and assistance they deserve.
- Michelle Salzman | FVF
Representative Michelle Salzman United States Army Vetera n Specialist Representative Michelle Salzman is a Wounded Warrior and full-time community volunteer who began her philanthropy journey while attending the University of Western Florida over a decade ago. She served in the U.S. Army for five years and transitioned into the civilian community by completing a degree in Computer Analytics and a degree in Business Administration. She served on the March of Dimes Committee for two years and moved on to help her fellow veterans as a volunteer with the V.A.’s local Vocational Rehabilitation office. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives after defeating the incumbent representative on her first run for office. Her parents settled into her family home in Pensacola when she was in elementary school. In 1995, she graduated from High School and joined the U.S. Army at age seventeen. She entered basic training as the youngest in her class and then attended advanced individual training. After graduation, she left for Hanau, Germany, joining a unit already preparing for deployment. Four weeks later, she shared a former SCUD missile barracks in Kaposvar, Hungary, with the other soldiers in her battalion. U.S. Army supply clerk, Pvt. Michelle Hisle (her maiden name) spent her first journey away from home in a six-person advance party rolling into Tuzla Valley, Bosnia. The trip by convoy to Tuzla took two days. Pvt. Hisle drove the whole way, intrigued by the war’s impact on the region. She was tasked with helping set up a forward operating base (FOB), Comanche Base, for other American soldiers serving as part of the NATO Force. For three weeks, she shared a four-person tent with five other soldiers at a site that lacked latrines and only getting an occasional cold shower. Her duties included stringing concertina wire around the camp’s perimeter and distributing the contents of crates five times her size. The FOB was in a combat zone, so she could not safely leave the flight line because of snipers in the surrounding area and landmines that saturated the area. She was awarded numerous commendations for developing and implementing inventory control systems that saved the 1st Armored Division millions of dollars. Commendations included: an ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal), several AAMs (Army Achievement Medal), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, among others. After serving her country, Rep. Salzman came back to Pensacola, where she used her leadership experiences and her Army College Fund to gain education and excel as a leader for her business and a leader in service to the Pensacola community. She has served on boards for various local PTAs, county-level PTA President, as well as the State of Florida PTA Board of Directors. She has been a full-time volunteer for several years now and received many awards and recognitions for her community service. The Representative has followed her heart and passion for helping those who cannot help themselves. This passion led her to focus on children, families in poverty, and her fellow wounded veterans. When she is not serving her community, she manages her photography business, Salz Studio, serving the gulf coast community for over ten years. << Back to Veteran Legislators
- Jarrid Collins | FVF
Senator Jarrid "Jay" Collins Army Special Forces Combat Veteran Special Forces Jarrid “Jay” Collins is a highly-decorated Army Special Forces combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient with over two decades of service following in the footsteps of his WWII veteran adoptive father. Adopted and raised by his grandparents, Rep. Collins spent his early years on his family’s farm in Montana where he later started college before enlisting in the Army. Senator Collins attended American Military University earning a B.S. in Health Sciences, and later a graduate degree from Norwhich University in 2012. While attending Airborne School, our nation was attacked on 9/11. This harsh reality, coupled with hearing stories about Special Forces soldiers who were on the forward edge of the War on Terror, Rep. Collins was inspired to attend Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). He was selected to become a Special Force Medic, rescuing a hypothermic classmate in the middle of an ice storm, and earned the leadership award at his Special Forces Graduation. As a Green Beret, Rep. Collins deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and twice to South America. In his 2007 Afghanistan deployment, he was hit in the arm, continued fighting, and later helped perform surgery on himself in the field of battle. Staying in country, he returned to full combat operations after just thirty days of recovery. Rep. Collins would overcome his chronic injuries to be selected for US Army Special Operations Command, but ultimately had to have his leg amputated due to the severity of his condition. Following his amputation, he requalified as a fully deployable Green Beret and served over five more years on active duty. Following twenty-three years of service, Rep. Collins took a position with a nonprofit, overseeing the distribution of millions of meals to veterans, first responders, and those in need. As a committed family man, Rep. Collins is married to his wife of twenty-one years Layla, a retired veteran with twenty years of service herself, and a father to two young sons, Gabe and Colt. Having chosen Tampa as the place to raise their family, proud Floridians Jay and Layla are dedicated to serving their community. << Back to Veteran Legislators