Friends Finances for 2018 Fiscal Year Oct. 2017 - Sept. 2018
The Friends support the Refuge in a variety of ways. Ongoing annual commitments include co-sponsoring Everglades Day, contributing to the Exhibit Maintenance Fund, providing Internet service for resident volunteers and interns, and spreading the word about the Refuge through the Friends website, Facebook, email newsletter, Gator Tales newsletter, annual calendar and promotional brochures. Our art and photo contests and photo workshops also help bring us new Refuge Friends and advocates. And we continue to support our self-guided smart phone and cell phone tours on the trails of the Refuge.
In the fall of 2018 the Friends donated $7,000 to the Palm Beach County School District to bring students out on field trips to the Refuge, where they can learn about and experience the Everglades first hand. The Refuge is a favorite destination for teachers and students alike, but transportation money for field trips runs out early in the school year, so many students never get the chance. Friends members and donors provided the funds for this donation that enabled hundreds more students to visit the Refuge. This was the third year in a row that the Friends were able to make a donation to the school district. The Friends plan to make an additional donation to the school district in the spring of 2019. The donations for the 2018 - 2019 school year were made possible by a $10,000 grant from The Jim Moran Foundation, in addition to funds raised by members of the Friends.
In 2018 the Friends provided funding for an education specialist to help Refuge staff with visiting school groups and to work with schools and other community service providers to bring a bit of nature into the everyday lives of some of our urban neighbors. This funding was made possible by a $12,420 grant from the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and a $25,000 grant from the National Wildlife Refuge Association. We hope to supplement the grant funding that remains with additional grants and donations so that we can continue funding this position throughout 2019 and beyond.
The Friends have traditionally been all volunteers; until 2018 we have had no paid employees. In 2018 for the first time we hired an education outreach associate to work full-time with visiting school groups and other groups from the local community who want to learn about the Refuge and the Everglades. We have been very fortunate to have received grants from the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and The Jim Moran Foundation. Otherwise, all of our income comes from store profits, donations and Friends like you. Please consider a gift to the Friends today! Donate