My name is Kyle Turgeon, and I am one of the new members of the student team. I am currently 16 years old and in 11th grade at NewGate, which is a Montessori School. As part of the team, with help from my partners, we will be thinking of and planning events for all of the Sugar Volunteers to participate in. So far, I have helped out and participated in a few of the events and planned a large portion of the Foster Care Awareness Event with my partners. We will definitely have a lot more to add to future events as well!
Hi, my name is Maria Andrade. I’m an exchange student from Mexico, and I’m here for a year at NewGate School. I am one of the new members in the Sugar Student Team. One my favorite things (and hopefully my future career) is graphic design. With SUGAR Volunteers I can use and develop those skills through making posts on social media and the website. That’s just one of the reasons I could not be more excited to join the Sugar Team. I’m sure this opportunity is going to be a great experience for me to grow as a person, give, and help others!
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 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!
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 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!
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!
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!
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!!