12 Days of Giving - 2015

12 Days of Giving - 2015

December 7, 2015

It’s that time of year again… It’s Holiday Season! A time of crowded stores, sales beyond your wildest dreams, and gifts and treats galore! But that’s not what the holidays are about in our opinion. This is the season of giving! It’s about time spent with family and friends, time spent together in the kitchen cooking with love, it’s about the memories and traditions that will outlast us all. This year we wanted to ensure we spread the love and surprised a few folks in our communities with a little holiday cheer! For the next few days we’ll be starting a new Front Street tradition; the 12 Days of Giving, where we’ll be carrying out 12 random acts of kindness. We hope this serves to inspire each of you to find time and kindness in your hearts to give back to those in your community!

On the first day of giving we decided to visit Gigi’s Playhouse in Gainesville, FL!

It's beginning to look a lot like giving! On the first day of giving, we visited Gigi’s Playhouse in Gainesville; a one-of-a-kind achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community. GiGi’s Playhouse offers more than 30 therapeutic and educational programs that advance literacy, math skills, motor skills and more; all of which are free of charge! We decided to bring some snacks to brighten their day! Click here to learn more about Gigi’s, and to learn how you can get involved! 

On the second day of giving we decided to surprise an unsuspecting resident with a gas card in Zephyrhills, FL!

Let's face it, getting gas can be a hassle, especially if you're a student on a tight budget! For the second day of giving, Mike Perry with our Tampa team surprised an unsuspecting Zephyrhills student with a $50 Circle K gift card! Hopefully this brought a smile to her face! Do good, and good will come to you! We hope our giving inspires others to give this ‪‎holiday‬ season! Only time will tell what tomorrow will bring... Stay tuned!

On the third day of giving we gave a South Florida Publix shopper a grocery gift card in Miami, FL!

Is there really anything better than a pub sub? How about a side of $100? Publix at Airpark Plaza in Miami was stormed by Front Street South Florida Associate Director, Andrea Cockerham, who donated a $100 gift card on behalf of Front Street to a very surprised shopper! We give with joy this special time of year, and that joy is our reward! We hope to spread some love and smiles this holiday season, and we hope that our giving inspires others to give as well! Until tomorrow everyone!

On the fourth day of giving we brought some treats to local emergency service responders in Ocala, FL!

Today, Nick Robinson and Kristen McMinn with the Ocala Front Street team surprised the local Fire Department and Law Enforcement with coffee and bagels! We wanted to send sincere thanks and appreciation to the true heroes in our community. These fantastic people put their lives in danger every day to protect us all. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you do to keep us all safe! 

On the fifth day of giving we surprised a lovely Winter Park couple with lunch on us!

For the fifth day of giving, Chris Rehmet with our Orlando Front Street team surprised Winter Park residents Lynn and Arnold with lunch on us! They shared with us that this little act of kindness couldn't have come at a better time, and it really seemed to brighten their day. The restaurant: Zona Fresca on N. Orlando Ave. Their mission is to create a great place where people in our community can gather, enjoy a high quality meal and experience Mexican food that is fresh, light and can be consumed every day! No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. And small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world! Join us this holiday season in giving back just a little, and see what a big difference it can make!

On the sixth day of giving, we donated supplies to a local animal shelter in Brandon, FL!

For the sixth day of giving, Mike Perry and his family with Front Street Tampa collected items to donate to Cat Call, Inc. in Brandon. It's been said that until one has loved an animal, a part of one's south remains awakened. We wanted to give some love and attention to those with no voice. Cat Call, Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Hillsborough County, FL. Cat Call, Inc. is an all-volunteer, no-kill cat and kitten rescue organization. They are also a supporter and participant of TNR, or trap-neuter-release! Click here to learn more about Cat Call, Inc. and how you can get involved!

On the seventh day of giving, we donated coloring books and crayons to the Child Advocacy Center in Gainesville, FL!

For the seventh day of giving, The Gainesville Front Street team bought coloring books, crayons and Play-Doh to the Child Advocacy Center in Gainesville. The Child Advocacy Center in Gainesville provides a child friendly, safe and supportive environment for abused and neglected children. The goal of CAC is to improve the community’s response to child abuse and to minimize the trauma to children and their families. This is accomplished through the coordination of law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical services, mental health services, advocacy and education. Please click here for more information on the CAC, and to learn how you can help make a difference. This organization is very close to our hearts, and we hope this small act of kindness can bring some awareness to this critical cause. 

On the eighth day of giving, we surprised some unsuspecting caffein seekers with coffee on us in Fort Lauderdale, FL!

Andrea Cockerham with Front Street South Florida visited Starbucks off Federal Highway on the south side in Fort Lauderdale! Their great team helped us facilitate our random act of kindness today; free caffeine! A total of 5 customers experience free caffeine and treats unexpectedly as they walked up to order. The barista did a great job explaining that, yes, this was just a random act of kindness by a local business. Thank you Starbucks and Staff! We all have the power to make the world a more beautiful place by sharing kindness in unexpected ways! We hope our giving inspires you to do the same! We'll see you tomorrow!

On the ninth day of giving, we donated holiday gifts to the Boys & Girls Club in Gainesville, FL!

The Gainesville Front Street Team got together to collect gifts for the upcoming holiday for kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County! The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and empower the youth of Alachua County to realize their full potential to become responsible, healthy, productive and successful citizens. The Boys & Girls Club is always looking for interns and volunteers! Click here to learn more about this awesome organization!

On the tenth day of giving, we collected holiday gifts for the Marion County Children's Alliance in Ocala, FL!

The Ocala Front Street team went out to collect holiday toys and gifts for the Marion County Children's Alliance! The Marion County Children's Alliance identifies needs, gathers resources and coordinates efforts among children's organizations, parents and caregivers to ensure a safe, health and nurturing environment for the children of Marion County! Click here for more information on this great organization! 

On the eleventh day of giving, we surprised a new mom with goodies for her new little one!

The Orlando Front Street team reached out to different organizations in the community and found a brand new mother of a beautiful baby girl who was in need of a little help! We gathered up a list and surprised her with gift cards and infant items for her new bundle of joy to make this new chapter just a little bit easier! A family’s access infant items, such as clean diapers and bottles, reduces the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, improves baby’s health and comfort, and enables baby’s participation in early care and education programs. This holiday season, we hope to spread awareness about those less fortunate in our community. A simple act of kindness can make a tremendous impact on a person's life. We hope our giving inspires you to give!

On the twelfth day of giving, we found some families in need of help this holiday season in Ocala!

The Ocala Front Street team wrapped up our #12DaysofGiving by finding some families in need of a little help this holiday season! We ran around town collecting gift cards in hopes of easing some stress for the upcoming holiday! It's been such a wonderful experience carrying out our new tradition with you! The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! We thank you for taking this journey with us, and look forward to all that next year has in store!

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays everyone!

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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