New Member of the Student Team – Teagan

Hey Sugar Supporters,

I’m Teagan Allen, a junior at NewGate School.  Outside of school, I am part of the Sailor Circus.  I am a highwire walker and am one of the ringmasters in Sailor Circus Performances.  I recently joined the Student Sugar Team (or as we like to call it, the Sugar Squad).  Myself and my other two teammates, Kyle and Maria, help plan the events put on by SUGAR Volunteers.  I’m very excited to be a part of an organization that does such a variety of things!  Every week the “Sugar Squad” is up to something new that can help better the community, and it feels great knowing we have played even a small role in doing so.  It also feels great knowing we are getting volunteer hours that will help us with college by doing something that is actually enjoyable!

We’re so Proud of our Volunteers

Reflecting on how far we have come in a year, Stefanie, Ali and I can definitely say we are grateful for all of our volunteers. This past weekend, we watched 30 kids take on the challenge of making 100 mason jar meals, stuff 25 goodie bags and add stickers to 300 books. The best part of the whole experience was watching how the students ran this one start to finish. 
This was the first project where our student team of interns was involved behind the scenes. Teagan, Maria and Kyle selected and researched the recipes for the meals, completely priced out the cost per jar and per project, as well as create social media content to highlight Manatee and Sarasota county’s foster care system. 
Our student’s involvement didn’t stop there. We had 8 students who signed up to run the stations the day of the event and the rest of our volunteers worked diligently filling 100 mason jars. These kids did everything! I’m so proud that we were able to take a step back and watch them all take ownership of their work. It was what we envisioned when we started a year ago – to see kids do a project that matches their skill set and complete it knowing exactly how they can make a difference.

Thanks To Our Volunteers Who Ran Lemonade Stands Last Week!

Thanks to our volunteers who took shifts at a lemonade stand this weekend! We had seven kids running a lemonade stand in Greenbrook and their sign spinning, singing and general sunny disposition brought in a nice donation for our organization! They were also the first to announce our plans for our December project- we will be creating gift boxes for local families who are working through transitions. Check out the flyer they made! 

#showingsugar Contest

Friday night we participated at Lakewood Ranch’s BooFest on Main Street. Well over 5,000 people were in attendance, and thanks to all of you who stopped by our booth, met some of our volunteers, did a craft, & got some candy. We kicked off a coloring contest that evening and are looking forward to seeing your creations! A gift card to Shipley’s Donuts is the giveaway!! Extra special thanks to Art & Soul Dance and Sarasota’s Kappa League. for helping at our booth. We also got some McNeal Elementary students and a couple amazing girls from Manatee School for the Arts helping out. We are so blessed to have so many great volunteers to help out!

It has taken us awhile to get to the point where we are ready to announce our November in-house project. We are using the grant money we earned from Cheers For Charity to put on an event that supports foster families by providing them with a backup meal that’s easy to make and waiting in their pantry. Our volunteers will assemble mason jars filled with the ingredients for a main dish and a sweet treat. Our student team has been working diligently at breaking down the cost and finding some amazing recipes that our volunteers will get to make at the event!
The second half of the event is to show the foster kids a little love by providing them with a goody bag that will have a couple essentials and a treat for them. Both our SUGAR Volunteers leadership team and student team are beginning to sort out what will go in some gift bags for the foster children too.  Nevertheless, we can finally announce that this event is ready for our volunteers to sign up!

We Love Our Student Team!

We now have a group of three amazing interns from New Gate School who are earning volunteer hours weekly by providing some awesome input for us. Ali, Stefanie and I LOVE the work they are putting  into our November in-house event which will focus on bringing awareness to the foster care system. 
Teagan, Maria and Kyle have been working on the details of our Foster Care event with us, and we can’t wait for you to see all of their hard work. Keep an eye on our social media to get a glimpse into what these three have been researching and learning!

SUGAR Volunteers Celebrates 1 Year!

It’s been over a year since SUGAR Volunteers had their very first event – a gardening project in the Newtown neighborhood of Sarasota. On October 5, 2017, SCLO invited us to help put their gardens together and our first volunteer group of 19 kids showed up. We’ve been growing ever since. Last November, we hosted a 100 lunches project with 25 volunteers making sandwiches for the Salvation Army. This year, we doubled our volunteers and made over 300 sandwiches! These were distributed to Turning Points, Bring On the Ministry and the Salvation Army immediately following the event thanks to some amazing volunteers who helped deliver the goodies.
It’s awesome to see how much we’ve grown in a year, especially when it comes to how many kids are spreading kindness and SUGAR throughout our community!  Our volunteers have donated over 1900 hours of their time since we started. Thanks so much for being a part of our first year. We hope you stick around and help us grow even more!

SUGAR built a garden in Newtown with nearly 20 volunteers on October 5, 2017

On October 7, 2018, nearly 50 SUGAR Volunteers made over 300 bagged lunches for the homeless

   

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

We are gearing up for our 200 Lunches Project, and with the help of our donors and Learning Unlimited and Manatee Learning Academy, we are able to reach our goal!! Below is what Stefanie and Ali picked up from the generous students and staff at Learning Unlimited. As for the rest of the items, Ali and Victoria headed out today to complete that shopping trip. We are looking forward to announcing how many lunches we are able to make for The Salvation Army, Turning Points, and Bring On The Ministry! 

Our Giving Partner Profile Has Been Approved!

Look who is officially registered with The Giving Partner! We are so excited to now be affiliated with the Community Foundation of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. This is going to help us work smarter, not harder. Stefanie, Ali and I are looking forward to the opportunities to learn and grow with their support. Take a minute and check our our profile!!

Turning Points Tour

Ali, Stefanie and Victoria finished delivering the dog food for homeless pets on Thursday by meeting Melinda Zarzycki of Bring On The Ministry at Turning Points. Melinda was grateful to be able to add dog food to the supplies they hand out to the homeless they meet daily. While we were at Turning Points, we took a tour of the facility with Margi Dawson. Stefanie, Ali and I had no idea how comprehensive this facility is. The homeless can stop in to take a shower, get their laundry done, look for jobs or housing, get a meal and even a check-up from a doctor. If they can’t help someone, they are able to refer them to another organization who can. It was absolutely eye-opening to see how much they take care of to help get people back on their feet. We are looking forward to scheduling an event with Turning Points towards the end of the year so our volunteers can also see how truly amazing this organization is.