June 15 Concert CANCELED!
Villages Folk Quartet
Unfortunately, one of the members of The Villages Pop Chorus Folk Quartet is very ill and unable to perform at the moment. So the concert originally scheduled for June 15 is CANCELED.
The concert will be rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 26, at Laurel Manor.
Refunds & Donations
Representatives of The Villages Pops Chorus will be at Laurel Manor between 4-6 p.m., June 15, to issue ticket refunds.
Representatives of Friends of SoZo Kids will be present between 4-6 p.m. to accept any donations of sneakers and underwear. They will also have copies of the K-5 School Supplies Shopping List for anyone who wants them.
If you have questions, please email us at Contact@FriendsOfSoZoKids@gmail.com.
Drop-Off Bin at NLPC
Friends of SoZo Kids has a drop-off box in the lobby of North Lake Presbyterian Church, 975 Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake (behind Home Depot). Please call 352-753-8484 before you leave home to make sure the church is open.
During the pandemic, many people emptied their closets or garages and wanted to find a new home for their no-longer-needed items. While we appreciate your thinking of SoZo Kids, Pastor Dave does not have the volunteer staff nor the space to handle used items. When you drop off used items in our bin, we try to find another nonprofit that can use them.
It would be better if you donated your still-usable closet and garage items to a deserving charity already set up to handle such things.
Sometimes SoZo Kids can use working kitchen appliances or washer/dryers (not furniture). To inquire about these larger items, call 770-550-4184. Thank you. Here is what we can and cannot use:
NEW children's clothing, school supplies, art supplies, or toys
FULL-size toiletries (e.g., shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, toothpaste, etc.)
Checks written to "Friends of SoZo Kids Inc." (leave these at the church office)
New or used adult clothing of any kind
Used children's clothing, shoes, or toys
Used linens, cookware, or other household items
Knick knacks or other such stuff
Hotel sample toiletries
Pastor Dave says that at the moment, they do not need any more hats or scarves, either. Apparently, a lot of knitters and crocheters have been especially busy during the pandemic!
Before making a trip to drop things off, give NLPC a call at 352-753-8484. To inquire about donating working appliances (e.g., refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer -- not furniture), please call 770-550-4184. Thanks so much!
Give a Gift in Someone's Name
If you are wondering what to give to friends and family who "don't really need anything" this year, consider making your donation to Friends of SoZo Kids be their gift.
We have beautiful cards to let your loved ones know you are honoring them with a gift to support children and families living in poverty in the Ocala National Forest. To get one or more of the cards, write to us at Contact@FriendsOfSoZoKids.com to make arrangements.
We met the match!
In less than a month, you donated a total of $10,000 to help us meet the Matching Gift Challenge. That means we now have $20,000 to use toward the Back-to-School initiatives. Hurrah! You are awesome!
Our needs throughout the year are great, so please continue to donate to Friends of SoZo Kids.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Volunteers Still Needed for Summer Program
We still need more volunteers at the Summer Program at Forest Lakes Park. The 6-week program runs Mondays-Wednesdays, 9 a.m. -1 p.m., June 7-July 13.
Click here to contact Chris Rowe, our Direct-to-Children-Service Committee Chair, who can answer your questions about volunteering.
Please drop off completed bags filled with school supplies for children in Grades K-5 (Click HERE for K-5 Shopping List & Drop-Off Details.):
Saturday, July 10
8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Oxford United Methodist Church*
3906 E. Co. Road 466 (next to the WaWa station)
*NOTE the change in location. We will NOT be collecting donations at either the Rohan Rec Center or Compass Storage. Oxford United Methodist Church, which is just down the street from Compass, has offered us air-conditioned space to assemble the backpacks. We'll thrilled!
We are trying something different for our annual School Supplies Drive:
Collecting donations of school supplies for 800 children in Grades K-5. (Click HERE for the K-5 Shopping List.)
Buying 1,000 backpacks in bulk.
Buying school supplies for 200 children in Grades 6-8.
Buying extra sneakers & undies, as needed, so 1,000 SoZo Kids will feel great about themselves when they head back to school in the fall.
We are collaborating with Stone Creek in Ocala, which will be providing 200 filled backpacks for children in Grades 9-12.
Thank you for your support!
T-Shirts, Hats, & Name Badges Available
Friends of SoZo Kids Inc. has partnered with three local vendors to provide T-shirts, hats/visors, and name badges with our name emblazoned on them so you can proudly declare your support for SoZo Kids wherever you go.
Imprinted clothing items are especially useful for those of you volunteering at our fundraisers or working directly with the children. You contact the vendors and pay them directly; we are not involved in your purchases.
T-Shirts & More
Pickleball Xtra, owned by Victoria Brock, creates top-quality shirts in 100% moisture-wicking polyester, plus hats and visors. If you provide your own shirt or hat, Tory will put our logo on it for only $8. She can also add your name, if you request that. You can save shipping costs by picking up your items at her home in the Village of Charlotte. Go to her website to see what's available and to place your orders:
Women's Short-Sleeve Shirts -- $23.99, 14 colors
Women's Sleeveless V-Neck Shirts -- $23.99, 13 colors
Women's Racerback Shirts -- $24.99, 8 colors
Men's Short-Sleeve Shirts -- $23.99, 12 colors
Hats & Visors -- $22.99, 12 colors
firstname.lastname@example.org, owned by Dena Micali, provides quality hats and visors at a very reasonable price. You can get your name printed on the front and "SoZo Kids" on the side of visors for $12 and hats for $14. Dena has about 10 colors of visors and five colors of hats. You pick the color of your hat and the color of thread for the embroidery.
Order your hats via Dena's email address. Dena
is deaf, so you will not be able to speak with her
on the phone. However, she does respond to text
messages. Once you have placed your order, you
can pick up your items at Dena's home in the
Village of St. Charles. She responds promptly and is
easy to work with.
BobMartinSigns@gmail.com, run by Tom
Martin, makes our official Friends of SoZo Kids
name badges. The cost is $7. Email Tom and
send him the name you want on the badge. He
does a quick turn-around. Tom lives in the Village
We have a few extra shirts remaining from a previous order we placed before the pandemic hit. If you would like one of those, do two things:
Email us at Contact@FriendsOfSoZoKids.com to let us know what size and style you would like. We will let you know if the shirt is still available.
Then, we encourage you to make a donation to the Matching Gift Fund. You can pick up the shirt at our next Friends of SoZo Kids meeting on June 14, or we can make arrangements for you to pick it up at another time and location. Here is what is left:
Cotton Moisture-Wicking Moisture-Wicking
Lime Green Teal Blue Lime Green
1 XL, 1 2XL 2 M, 2 XL, 2 2XL 1 X