Beloved County Commissioner to be Remembered During Annual Event October 16-20
Florida Keys – 2022’s inaugural “Be Like Mike” week was a huge success, so there’s no better way to continue Mike’s legacy than to keep it going in 2023. “Mangrove” Mike Forster was a Monroe County Commissioner and restauranteur. He was also a member of the United Way of Collier and the Keys’ Local Advisory Board at the time of his passing in 2021.
“Mike loved our community and lived to serve others,” said Leah Stockton, Keys Area President, United Way of Collier and the Keys. “He’d be so happy to see volunteers committing these small acts of kindness, whether it be donating a canned good or picking up litter.”
There are countless ways to help, but this year, UWCK is partnering with Reef Relief for “Be Kind to our Shoreline,” which provides volunteers different cleanup locations. For the second year, UWCK will partner with Burton Memorial Church in Tavernier, Keys Area Interdenominational Resource in Marathon and Star of the Sea Foundation in Key West for a food drive. The donations made in Mike’s name will honor his biggest contribution to our community: feeding the Keys in times of need.
Be Kind to our Shoreline Feed the Keys
*Volunteers needed for shoreline beach cleanup
OCT 16: Indian Key Fills Cleanup
OCT 20: Burton Memorial Church (Tavernier)
OCT 18: Long Key State Park KAIR (Marathon)
OCT 19: White Street Pier & Higgs Beach Star of the Sea (Key West)
While you’re out spreading good, you are encouraged to use the hashtag #BELIKEMIKE on social media. More details are available at https://uwcollierkeys.org/belikemike/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/belikemike2023
United Way of Collier and the Keys is thrilled to announce the redesign of its programs team, bolstering its commitment to uplifting communities and providing vital support to those in need. This strategic restructuring aims to fortify the nonprofit's impact on the community, focusing on more direct assistance, comprehensive case management, disaster response and sustainable, long-term solutions.
Leading this dynamic team is Ashley Jones, a seasoned professional with a passion for community development and a track record of driving positive change. With her extensive experience, Ms. Jones is poised to steer the United Way towards even greater heights of effectiveness and outreach.
Frances Ribot assumes the pivotal role of Director of Community Impact, bringing a wealth of knowledge and a history of successful program management. Her vision and dedication will be instrumental in aligning the organization's initiatives with the evolving needs of the community. Assisting Ms. Ribot in this critical mission is Carolina Heiser, whose expertise in community engagement and strategic planning will be invaluable in executing the team’s initiatives with precision and care. Tiffany Pellicier will serve as Monroe County’s sole case manager, helping people in need across the Upper and Lower Keys.
The redesigned programs team is poised to elevate United Way of Collier and the Keys' impact through a multi-faceted approach:
1. Direct Assistance: Providing immediate support (211, KeysHelp.org) to individuals and families facing challenges. 2. Comprehensive Case Management: A personalized approach will address the unique circumstances of each individual, connecting them with the right resources and services.
3. Disaster Response: We’ve been there to help you after COVID-19, Hurricanes Irma and Ian, and the team will continue to be there. The goal is to ensure that affected individuals, families and communities receive timely and effective aid in the short-term and throughout their long-term recovery.
"We are incredibly excited about the enhanced capabilities of our programs team and the potential for even greater impact in Collier and Monroe Counties," said Tiffani Mensch, President and CEO of United Way of Collier and the Keys.
This strategic restructuring is a testament to United Way of Collier and the Keys' unwavering commitment to building stronger, more resilient communities. With the expanded programs team, the organization is poised to tackle the most pressing issues with renewed vigor and determination.
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