Community involvement that actually involves the community

When we say we are ‘accelerating community transformation’ we mean we’ve developed a holistic, evidence-based plan to build a sustainable future with one of Orlando’s most distressed communities and its residents. And in this case, holistic means our strategy involves residents in every step of our process, because it is the right thing to do.

Partnerships continue to elevate and provide momentum for the Communities of West Lakes.

One of LIFT Orlando’s signature engagement programs, MVP Families, was created in partnership with the residents of West Lakes and Florida Citrus Sports, and includes families with children under the age of 18. The program includes the existing summer camp program at Florida Citrus Sports for middle school-aged children, in addition to an annual calendar of 12 events for the entire family. These events include Family Fun Days and MVP Family Meetings, all designed to encourage family interaction and support. What’s unique about this program is that it was designed by parents over the course of four planning meetings. Their input determined the calendar, the meeting style, the objectives and goals of the program.

Read more »

Story Time with Pendana’s Youngest Dreamers

This month we thought it would be perfect to incorporate the Thanksgiving holiday into our story time. We shared some food with the residents, read a few stories, and made some Thanksgiving cards. We had one of highest turn outs for story time yet. Both...

Not-So-Spooky Trunk-or-Treat at Pendana

Pendana had its first ever Trunk or Treat! A Trunk or Treat is where there are a number of cars who host a game and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. It's an easy way to connect with neighbors and love on the families. We had around 16 decorated...

Story Time As Pendana Children Head Back to School

We always look forward to story time and being able to connect with kids and parents in the neighborhood. This month we had a teacher, Mrs. Jinelle, come and read some of her favorite books to the kids. It was also exciting since she used to teach at...

Financial Workshop for Pendana Residents

We were so excited to continue the second session of our personal finance workshops. Our volunteers from Money Sense with Goodwill focused on spending, saving, and budgeting. We were happy to have participants who came to our first session, return to...

Icees Beat the Heat at Pendana at West Lakes

It was the perfect HOT day for icees by the playground! The sweet cool treat hit the spot for residents. We had traditional flavors like lemon and strawberry but also fun flavors like sour apple and raspberry-lemon. Numerous people came back for seconds...