I was delighted to announce that Orlando was the only Florida City awarded a Cities of Service Leadership Grant by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, allowing us to hire our City’s first Chief Service Officer to coordinate a community-engagement, collaborative process for developing a City-wide service plan, ORLANDO CARES.

Through ORLANDO CARES, we will engage volunteers in programs that help youth improve their academic success, increase their literacy skills, plan viable career choices and avoid the juvenile justice system. In our plan, we have created volunteer opportunities that impact educational outcomes and contribute to the well-being of our community.

I feel that personal leadership in this area is vital. That's why I regularly lead "work alongs" where I perform a job or service in our community with the goal of highlighting volunteer opportunities for our residents. Even in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, we have endeavored to encourage our residents to give of their time and energy.

During my time as Mayor of our great City, instilling a culture of volunteerism and ensuring that residents of our distinct neighborhoods and members of our business and non-profit sectors feel that they are invested in our City has become a community-wide priority.

I am thankful for the contributions of every citizen and partner who helped develop our plan and who will play a role in implementing ORLANDO CARES. I hope you will explore our website, ORLANDOCARES.NET to find your interest and sign up to become a valued volunteer. Together, we will share our time, talents and energy to truly make Orlando a City of Service!

Orlando Cares Progress Report