Faith Hope & Charity Newsletter                                   

Abilities Guild contributes $45,000

The Abilities Guild celebrated its 31st anniversary by presenting the Foundation with check for $45,000, $30,000 of which supports job placement services for disabled military veterans. The Guild's contributions over the past six years alone now exceed $205,000. Accepting the check along with Lori Sandonato, Kim Dittman, Joe Pezzano, Lisa Johnson, and Dianne Duncan was Foundation president and CEO Frank De Lucia. 'We have enormous respect and admiration for what the Guild accomplishes each year,' he said. 'Its investment in our mission to improve the lives and families of Floridians with disabilities is exemplary and inspiring.' 

Mall serves disabled veterans  

During the long summer recess, Guild members have been busy creating the Mall, a storeroom of household items available for free to disabled veterans. Spearheading the solicitation of new and slightly-used house wares is Virginia Meyer. 'Virginia has worked tirelessly to ensure that returning veterans and their families have basic household necessities,' said Frank De Lucia. The urgent need for furnishings was brought to our attention by job placement specialist Muriel Boysen, who reported that many veterans lack basic necessities. 'Virginia and Guild volunteers have stocked a 3,000 square-foot room with dishes, pots and pans, linens, coffeemakers, tables, lamps, chairs, and televisions in appreciation and admiration of the sacrifices made by our servicemen and servicewomen.' The Guild is planning a Veteran’s Mall Open House in October. To donate items, volunteer, or make a contribution, call Lisa Johnson at 727-538-7370x234.

Homeless veteran first beneficiary   

The Mall's first beneficiary was Mike Dunlap, a homeless, disabled Vietnam-era veteran. 'Mike was living in a car parked behind a church in Largo,’ said Muriel Bosyen. 'We helped him get tags for his car and pay his first month's auto insurance. We also paid for him to train for and obtain a security guard license, and helped him find a job and secure HUD Section 8 subsidized housing. He had no household items, and that's when we turned to the Mall.' Mike selected new pots, pans, dishes, cooking utensils, and a quilt, which will get him off to a great start in his new apartment,’ she said. Today, he works 50 hours a week as a security guard. ‘I work the graveyard shift,’ said Mike, ‘and when I get home, I often have a message on my answering machine to fill in for a guard who did not show up for his shift.’ So appreciative is Mike that he’ll speak to the Guild membership at the September luncheon.    

Workshops connect with donors

Donors and volunteers are discovering that one-hour workshops are a great way to connect to and stay informed of our programs and services. Presented by staff members the first Monday of each month, workshops make it easy to understand how we serve disabled veterans, people seeking housing, and students with disabilities. 

Next workshop:

2 pm, Monday, October 3, 2011, Conference Room E 
ServiceSource Florida Regional Office (formerly Abilities)
2735 Whitney Road
Clearwater, FL 33760
RSVP to 727-538-7370x234 

Tax-wise planning tip #1  DO YOU NEED A WILL?

In conversations with friends of the Foundation, we've learned that many do not have a will, or they have a will that hasn't been updated for a number of years and does not reflect their present wishes and circumstances. Do you need a will? Is it important that it is current?

The answers are a definite YES! If you wish what you have accumulated will be distributed as you desire, and not as someone else, usually the state, determines, you must have a current will.  The answer is also a definite YES if you wish to avoid problems for your heirs and save on costs. 

And the answer is also a definite YES if you wish to include a bequest -- which we hope you do -- to help the Abilities Foundation or another favorite charity. A bequest has been rightly called the 'The Last Act of Stewardship,' as it is a final opportunity to express thanks for the many gifts we've received throughout our lifetime. 

Please be certain to seek the advice of your attorney and tax advisor when planning how your assets will be distributed. And as you create or revise your will, kindly keep the Abilities Foundation in mind. There are many ways to ensure that you provide for your family and loved ones AND help to further our mission to improve the lives and families of Floridians with disabilities. If you would like more information about the value and necessity of a will, please contact Frank De Lucia at 727-538-7370x345. 

Editor's Note:

Faith Hope & Charity is dedicated to benefactors who invest in the Abilities Foundation’s vision and mission. Your faith in our ability to improve the lives and families of Floridians with disabilities inspires us; your kindness provides people with hope for a bright and prosperous future; and your charity enables persons to achieve their career and life goals with confidence and dignity. Through this publication, we demonstrate the impact of your support, and alert you to tax-wise solutions to your estate planning needs.

The Abilities Foundation vision is to ensure that Floridians with disabilities have the opportunity to participate with dignity in everything that community life has to offer; its mission is to support the needs of people with disabilities through gainful employment, independent living, affordable housing, higher education, recreational and cultural resources, health, and accessible marketplaces.

Frank De Lucia
President and CEO
Abilities Foundation
2735 Whitney Road
Clearwater, FL 33760-1610
727-538-7387 (fax)


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