DIVINE CHARITIES INC

Rating: 5 stars   2 reviews

Issues: Philanthropy

Location: PO Box 86064 Madeira Bch FL 33738 USA

Mission:

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

While Cori McNaughton's review is much appreciated it contained some inaccurate information. Lynne Hawthorne is and has always been The
Executive Director of Divine Charities dba Santa's Angels and her husband Wally Hawthorne is on the Board of Directors, Director of Operations, both have been and are still very much a part of Santa's Angels, Cori McNauaghton is not, nor was she a founding member.

Nancy Tangredi, Director of Grants and Funding, Founding Member


I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a founding menber of this organization, I have seen us start with 19 children and watched that number grow to over 1500 children since the start.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope someday that we can reach the point that we would have the ability to have a full time staff.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

This began as a true grass roots organization. Known locally as Santa's Angels, the origin of this organization began over twenty-five years ago, when my friend Lynne Hawthorne and her husband Wally first adopted a needy family during the holidays in order to give the children a real Christmas. They have continued adopting families, and inspiring others to do so, to this day. For many years, a group of us ran a local charity haunted house during Halloween, in order to fund the adoption of as many local children as possible each Christmas, using entirely volunteer labor. Unfortunately, although the haunted house had become quite popular, and raised more money for the children each and every year, it was shut down by a Redington Beach council member in 2006 and has not been restarted. One hopes that it will be brought back in the near future, as it was a lot of fun (and work!) for the volunteers, and made everyone involved feel great to be a part of such a wonderful and worthy cause. The Redington Beach Property Owner's Association, in addition to hosting the haunted house, also sponsored scholarships to local needy children. In addition to buying toys and clothing for the children adopted, a full Christmas dinner was provided for each family, and many if not most of the volunteers augmented the funds raised with money from their own pockets. In 2003 it was decided to form a nonprofit charity under the auspices of Divine Charities, Inc. In 2005, when it was decided to form an executive board, I was asked by Lynne to serve as a member. The charity has continued as it started, by forming partnerships with local individuals, businesses and corporations, in order to provide toys, food and clothing for the children, resulting in more and more children being adopted every year. For the past two years, Santa's Angels has partnered with the Salvation Army, who now handle the delivery of the presents to the children, as well as wrapping all of the presents.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Attending and then volunteering with the haunted house, donating time and materials, purchasing and wrapping presents for the kids, delivering presents and food packages to families, manning fundraisers, serving one year as an executive board member

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Immediately put Lynne and Wally Hawthorne back in charge; bring back the haunted house!!!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the wonderful, loving and giving people involved; especially those who have been involved long term with adopting and buying presents for the kids, and with putting on the haunted house. Amazing use of time, volunteers and limited resources.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, selfless, loving and wonderful people all around.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a huge difference in the lives of needy families in Pinellas County; especially the children. There are volunteers with the organization now who were helped by it as children.

Ways to make it better...

The haunted house had been allowed to continue!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the small mindedness of past council members, coupled with a lack of enthusiasm for the haunted house by the people not actively involved with it - they did not see how many kids it helped, and did not consider how many were adopted with the funds raised.

One thing I'd also say is that...

There are many worthy groups, but you would be hard pressed to find a more worthy cause, or more devoted people to further its aims.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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