Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Funding Hope

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Funding Hope

Article excerpt

Even in the depths of the Great Recession, with unemployment in double digits and home foreclosures spiraling, Northeast Florida residents are very generous.

In fact, 815 donors gave, collectively, $111,848 in the 2010 Hope Fund drive, which began after Thanksgiving and ended Jan. 28.

The Hope Fund, in its 17th year, is a joint project of The Times-Union, University of North Florida and Hands On Jacksonville.

The money is distributed among a few dozen agencies - Child Guidance Center, Gateway Community Services and the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida, for example.

They use it to provide basic necessities - such as clothing and utilities - for clients.

Despite the recession, donations have increased the past two years.

When people have less to give, that, unfortunately, is when the needs are greatest.

Residents of Jacksonville - and those throughout Northeast Florida - are to be thanked and commended for their generosity.

This is just another reason why Northeast Florida is a great place to work, live and raise a family.

TRAILS ADVOCATE HONORED

Herb Hiller, a well-known Florida trails and bicycling advocate, has received a state trail advocacy award from American Trails, a nationwide advocacy group.

Hiller is southeast program consultant for the East Coast Greenway and vice president of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation.

The American Trails website calls Hiller "the driving force" of Visit Florida, the state's "official tourism marketing corporation."

He was "instrumental in organizing a workshop ... focused on trails and their economic benefits and impacts to Florida."

He works to make policymakers aware of "the importance of trails and greenways to Florida's economy."

And he played a role in the St. Johns River Summit last fall.

Florida has a lot of pristine land, and it's a major asset - to tourists and residents alike.

Hiller is making the quality of life here better - and, for that, he deserves a pat on the back. …

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