Here is the official word from the Magic:
Orlando Magic Tips Off Magic Volunteer Program with Two Community Projects
on September 9
The Orlando Magic tipped off its 2011-12 Magic Volunteer Program with two community projects on Friday, September 9 visiting the Christian Service Center and the Community Food and Outreach Center. To commence the program, each week several departments from the Magic’s front office will go out to different areas in Central Florida to volunteer their time. The MVP was developed to encourage Orlando Magic employees to get out and get involved in the community. The program began in July of 2006 with the goal of performing 2,000 hours of community service during the 2006-07 season; over 3,800 hours were tracked that first year. Since program inception nearly 30,000 hours in the Central Florida community have been tracked, including 7,772 hours of community service for the 2010-11 Magic season (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011) surpassing the goal of 6,000 hours as an organization for the second straight year.
“The Orlando Magic’s commitment to the Central Florida community starts at the top with our ownership group,” said Orlando Magic President Alex Martins. “The DeVos family wants to ensure that our team provides a positive, encouraging example through our coaches, players and employees. From the beginning that has been a priority for the franchise, to leave an indelible mark in our community through our charitable endeavors. The Magic Volunteer Program is an important part to achieving that goal. I applaud our employees for their unselfish dedication to the Central Florida community by the outstanding volunteering of their time and talent.”
MVP is unique in that it allows employees to volunteer during work hours. As an added incentive, employees who reach a certain level of volunteer hours in the community will be invited to a recognition luncheon and receive a monetary donation for the charity of their choice.
Christian Service Center – Daily Bread Program
By Josh Cohen, OrlandoMagic.com
It’s heartrending, on one hand, to realize that there are countless people around the world that can’t afford to preserve their health with balanced meals throughout the day.
It’s enchanting, on the other hand, to learn there are organizations such as the Christian Service Center in Orlando that are assisting in the prevention of hunger.
Along with the volunteers who routinely take time out of their day to help prepare and serve food to those in need, Orlando Magic staff members were also on hand on Friday to assist in the Daily Bread Program.
Established in 1975, this program’s mission is to thwart homelessness and combat poverty. Based on the immense turnout on Friday, it’s very apparent that it’s extremely effective.
Upon each person’s arrival at the dining hall, volunteers greeted each person and served them all a delicious free lunch that included a sandwich, salad, soup, dessert and beverage.
Also encouraging is that because of the vast number of volunteers that contribute daily and as a result of the support from several Central Florida churches, restaurants, grocers and bakeries, managing this program is relatively cost efficient.
“Cost is kept down because of the use of volunteers and organizations such as the Orlando Magic,” said Mary Lee Walker, the director of development and communications at the Christian Service Center. “With the labor involved, it would be cost prohibitive without these volunteers.”
Approximately 550 people are given free lunches a day from two Central Florida locations: downtown Orlando and West Orange County.
To learn more about this program, please visit www.christianservicecenter.org.
Community Food & Outreach Center
By Josh Cohen, OrlandoMagic.com
A stop at the Community Food & Outreach Center is an essential part of the day for some to stock up on necessities to survive.
The warehouse helps thousands of low-income families who need jobs, food, clothing, training and counseling.
On Friday, several Orlando Magic staff members volunteered at the thrift store to stock shelves and sort clothing.
“(With the Magic’s help) we’re getting all of these clothes out,” said Tamatha Rylands, the manager at the thrift store. “Usually it’s just my assistant and I so it would be tough to sort all this stuff out without the Magic’s support.”
Especially since the recent economic downturn, it’s imperative more than ever to provide the impoverished with items that help build greater health and success.
Dedicated to fight hunger, overcome personal crisis and prevent homelessness, the Community Food & Outreach Center has seen outstanding results.
To learn more, please visit www.communityfoodoutreach.org.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).