As most of you know, Harvest Time International was selected as winner in the poll I started here on the blog about a month ago.

To my surprise, my entry in the ORRA (Orlando Regional Realtor Association) video contest actually placed first and that raised the initially promised donation of $500 to $3,000!! As you can imagine, I was very excited to be able to donate this much to the charity of my choice šŸ™‚

ORRA Video contest winners

ORRA LuncheonBy showing Orlando’s fellow Realtors my passion for Sanford I was able to win their vote and help the community I live in with a generous donation through ORRA. Thank you ORRA for making this possible!!

The official announcement of my designated charity and presentation of the donation check took place on March 21st. Andre Smolinsky, COO of Harvest Time International, was able to attend the ceremony and receive the check.

Then, I finally had the chance to visit Harvest Time International in Sanford last week – and was blown away by all the things this charity does for our community!

First of all, I have to say how impressed I was by the completeness of their programs. Harvest Time has truly thought about so many ways of how they can help deserving people in our community in almost all of the areas they might need help in – all while maintaining their dignity.

As I toured the different sections of Harvest Time, I also got to meet several employees of this great organization. All of them exude a passion for their cause which I found very inspiring.

Harvest Time International Sanford

Harvest Time SupermarketThe $3,000 donation I made will go towards pre-paid food vouchers for deserving families and individuals in our community. Harvest Time has something that you could describe as a huge Sam’s Club style supermarket where deserving members of our community can shop for goods at about half of Wal Mart’s prices. Individuals can shop here with food stamps, food vouchers or just as they would at any other supermarket. The food is mostly either donated food or food that stores like Wal Mart itself sends to Harvest Time, including open box or expired items that are still in perfect condition.

Here’s a video explaining the mission behind Harvest Time’s Hope Centers in Sanford and Port Orange:

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Below is a picture of the big hall where the merchandise/donated items are stored and organized.

Merchandise Storage

Harvest Time International also sells clothing and cosmetic items.

Cosmetics at Harvest Time

Clothing at Harvest Time

Other programs offered by Harvest Time International include:

Medical Care at Harvest Time InternationalMedical Attention (including Dental Care):Ā 

The program is designed to help the uninsured, working poor and low income families (below 200% of federal poverty level) in Seminole and surrounding counties. In fact, Central Florida has a higher rate of uninsured individuals than the state of Florida and even the nation (more than 1 in 5 residents are without health care coverage). Volunteer doctors and nurses see qualifying individuals to provide basic medical and dental care.

Food Stamps and Medicaid:

At the Access Florida Center located on Harvest Time premises you can apply for food stamps and medicaid when in need. The friendly staff is there to help you with the application and there are computers, a copier and a fax machine available to make the process even easier and much faster. The Access Center is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

Homeless to Home (H2H):

From the Harvest Time International Web Site: “Homeless to Home is a rapid re-housing program funded by Seminole County Government and Harvest Time International serving individuals and families who reside in Seminole County. For those that qualify for H2H, we provide rental assistance, one-time utility assistance, medical, dental, food and job training assistance.

To help meet any additional needs of our clients, we also partner with agencies such as Homeless Services Network, Seminole Behavioral Healthcare, Safehouse of Seminole, Rescue Outreach Mission, Seminole State College, Central Florida Regional Hospital and Goodwill Industries.

The purpose of this program is to successfully return households to economic self-sufficiency and stable housing.”

Healing and Transition Program (HAT):

Faith based program designed to help returning citizens from jail and prisons transition back into society.

And those are only some of Harvest Time International’s many programs that help our community and deserving individuals!!

Here is how you can help Harvest Time International help our community

  • Volunteer: Harvest Time is always looking for volunteers! Click here to learn more
  • Donate: Donations are always welcome and as you can see, this charity is very well organized so your money will be utilized in the best possible way! Click here for more info