Returned Peace Corps
 Volunteers of South Florida

RPCVSF Participates in the AmazonSmile Program. To sign up and participate at no cost, please select Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc. as your charity when you visit

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Donations from AmazonSmile to RPCVSF now exceed $950.



IMPORTANT


NOTICE


The Florida  Solicitation of Contributions Act requires anyone who solicits donations from people in the state of Florida to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and renew annually.  FDACS collects registration fees and has authority to impose penalties for noncompliance.


Prospective donors should contact the FDACS toll-free hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or use the online Check-A-Charity tool to verify registration and financial information.


You can also visit ttp://www.ive.org

the website of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, where you can access reports on nationally soliciting charities. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluates charities against comprehensive Standards for Charity Accountability to help donors make informed giving decisions. Also, important to visit for information on charities is https://www.guidestar.org.


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc., Registration #CH43538, has complied with the registration requirements of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes, the Solicitation of Contributions Act.  A copy of the Official Registration and Financial Information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling 800-435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State of Florida.

Welcome to everyone who visits our website, and

especially to those of you who live, work and/or study outside of the United States.

Calendar

25 Sep 2022 1:40 PM • Loan Depot Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami, FL 33125
01 Oct 2022 5:30 PM • Miami Springs Women's Club, 200 Westward Drive, Miami Springs, FL 33166
15 Oct 2022 11:00 AM • 94th AeroSquadron - 1395 NW 57th Avenue, Miami, FL 33126

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August 12, 2022


Friends............

As many of you know, a small group of RPCVSF have recently been involved with Refugee Assistance Alliance helping resettle Afghan and Syrian refugees here in S. Florida. RAA is an active and important non-profit created by Kristen Bloom who is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

We had two teams of volunteers working with RAA and two Afghan families here in Dade County for almost 8 months. Both of these families have subsequently relocated to other parts of the US for reasons that were personal and economic.  RAA is still very much involved with helping many more refugee families settle into  happy, healthy and prosperous lifestyles here in S. Florida. Currently, there is a pressing need for help in the Broward County area. RAA has asked if we as a returned Peace Corps group could help them find volunteers that would be willing to join their effort. 

So..as President of our group, I am asking each of you to please consider contacting RAA and find out about working with them as they confront this important effort. I am also asking that if you have the opportunity, please let your friends at work, in church, relatives and neighbors know about the opportunity to offer their assistance.

After working with RAA as a Team leader with 5 other PC Returned Volunteers for over 6 months helping an Afghan family, I can assure you the commitment to assist is not overwhelming in any way. Working with RAA and in a small team that focuses on one family, you will find just how important a few hours of your time can make in the lives of these families. 

 Your efforts may also prove rewarding in a manner similar to that received by myself and my team members, I drafted the statement below on behalf of the team I worked with.


After working with Najib and Rabia Ullah and their three small boys for the past few weeks, all the volunteers on our team have come to the conclusion that  " What we receive from helping the family will far out weigh what we could ever give "  We truly feel blessed to be involved in helping them get settled in South Florida and sincerely hope that our efforts make a difference.

At the conclusion of our assistance efforts with Najib and his young family, (their subsequent departure from S. Florida) each of us on the team felt that we had accomplished the goals RAA had set out concerning helping refugee families settle into a happy, healthy and prosperous livelihood here in S. Florida. And I believe each of us on the team learned so much; not only from being a part of the family, but also by actively confronting and dealing with the issues and obstacles refugees and marginalized Americans face each day. 
I believe the entire experience will be a happy and enlightened one, all on the team will remember for years to come. Hopefully Najib and his family will remember us and RAA in the same way.


Please contact ....................
Jamie Scotti Everett (she/her)
Director of Operations
Refugee Assistance Alliance

www.refugeeassistancealliance.org

jamie@refugeeassistancealliance.org

786-496-4362


If you would like more information or have questions about volunteering with RAA,  or would like to know about just what helping these families would entail, feel free to contact me ....dgarcia53@yahoo.com

     Dave Garcia  
  RPCVSF President
   PH. 786 553 5993


Recruiter Vacancy


University of Central FL is hiring a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer to be a campus recruiter, the link for the job opening is below. Please share it with anyone you think would be interested.


https://ucf.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/careers/details/OPS-Peace-Corps-Strategic-Campus-Recruiter_R101203?q=peace+corps


Welcome to Dr. Sue Forester-Cox NPCA Board Member for Southern Tier


Member-Elected: The Southern Tier (current term ends 2023)

Colombia 1977–79

Dr. Sue Forster-Cox is a Professor Emerita with the Department of Public Health Sciences at New Mexico State University. She taught a range of courses including U.S. & Mexico Border Health Issues, Rural Health, Foundations of Public Health Education. She also oversaw the Field Experience requirement for all student's within the department. Her research and community interests include public health workforce development and addressing food insecurity in New Mexico.  

Her career spans 40 years, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, working as a malarial parasitologist and later with an American nurse, helping to manage her small community clinic. She started the shelter and program for people experiencing interpersonal violence in Gallup. She has worked with various tribal communities and their health programs in Nevada and New Mexico. From 2002 to 2020, she was a professor of public health at New Mexico State University (NMSU), on the U.S. & Mexico border. While at NMSU, she established and administered the Paul C. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program and the Master’s International program for the College of Health and Social Services. Dr. Forster-Cox is a 2014 Obama appointee to the U.S. & Mexico Border Health Commission, serving as a private member from New Mexico. She is on the Board of the Roadrunner Food Bank and the National Peace Corps Association.



Online International Calendar purchases can be made here:

CALENDAR

Coupon Code PC4RPCVSFreduces your cart total by $1  ... and RPCVSF receives a referral fee.


The International Calendar is one of the ways the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Madison, WI group works to fulfill Peace Corps’ third goal: to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. The cover of the 2023 calendar features novice monks scurrying along a terrace of a pagoda in Myanmar.  Countries featured monthly are: NepalGhanaChinaArmeniaHaitiDominican RepublicTanzaniaBoliviaUkraineCambodiaEthiopia, and Iran.  The calendar, as well as the website, is packed with information.


Madison continues to offer the online sales program begun 2 years ago in response to Covid.  By using Coupon Code PC4RPCVSF, you will receive a $1 discount from your cart total, plus RPCVSF receives a referral fee.  Inflation has not reached the calendars ... they remain at $15 each … $14 if you buy 3-6, $10 if you buy 7- 30.  Inflation, however, has affected shipping with the cost to ship one calendar at $4; however the cost to ship 2 is only $5 and the unit cost continues to decrease.


Thanks for your support (very much appreciated)

July 16, 2022 The RPCVSF Summer Picnic at Crandon Park with about 45 Folks




























RPCV Alliance for Ukraine


Click Here for Information


Changemaking Education Award


Click for Information




RPCVSF Members Volunteer With Feeding South Florida



Those volunteering: L Geiter, C Bush, G Fitzpatrick, M Lamberts, A Siegel, T Majher, D Garcia  Missing from photo: M Bush


Food insecurity is defined as not knowing where your next meal is coming from.  Over 11% of the people in South Florida are food insecure. Feeding South Florida is one of the largest agencies addressing the food insecurity problem.


One of the of the RPCVSF group projects approved by the Board this year was to provide volunteer assistance to Feeding South Florida. The first group of 8 RPCVSF members joined about fifteen volunteers from other groups and a few individual volunteers for a three-hour shift at Feeding South Florida at their warehouse in Pembroke Park on Saturday, January 22nd.


Dave Garcia and Alan Siegel volunteered to clean up and sort a large donation of pet products when others failed to step forward. The rest of the group volunteered to work as food inspectors, ensuring that food donated by supermarkets, other companies and individuals was in good packaging and that the “best by date” was within a modified expiration date.


The inspected food then moved to a sorting team then a repackaging team so the food could be sent to community kitchens and pantries. At the end of our shift, not only had all the pet products been sorted, but the inspection, sorting and repackaging teams had processed 19,000 pounds of food (9.5 tons!), which translates about 15,000 meals. After the session most of the team went to Cilantro, a nearby Thai restaurant for lunch.

The plan is to provide a volunteer team to work at Feeding South Florida each month. Our next appointment is Saturday, February 12th.  New members can be added to the group, but at least a few days before. We will have a date for March soon. Watch the RPCVSF BLOG which is just above for dates and details. If anyone has questions about volunteering for Feeding South Florida, please contact Larry Geiter at lgeiter@gmail.com.


ABOUT FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA

Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Providing support for 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population, its mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education.

 

Feeding South Florida distributed over 119 million pounds (99 million meals) of food last year, to over 1 million individuals through direct-service programs and a local network of approximately 300 nonprofit partner agencies.

Habitat for Humanity


Our president had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity  during the week of Feb. 14  thru the 18.  While attending the Building Blitz of eight Homes in the South Dade  County Area he met and enjoyed working with Sam Hopkins a returned Peace Corps volunteer ( Guatemala 2013-2015 ) who works for and  is part of the Saff at H4H.


 If you have never volunteered to help out at Habitat for Humanity, you have missed a really fun and rewarding opportunity. Construction skills are not necessary, the seasoned staff enjoying training and making the volunteers feel welcome. 

.

Hopefully we will be able to sign up a number of returned Peace Corps volunteers for the next Building Blitz Habitat for Humanity initiates. Information about further opportunities to volunteering will be forth coming. 




For Info about Upcoming Virtual Peace Corps Recruitment Events, Click


Peace Corps Recruiter Updates



Baked for the November 6, 2021 RPCVSF Board Meeting



Bike Aid to Relaunch in 2022

 

Bike Aid, the annual cross country bikeathon for global development, will relaunch in the summer of 2022, focusing on climate change.    The multiroute bike ride from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA is slated to take place June 14 to August 10, 2022.

 

Cyclists will engage citizens and politicians in over 250 communities across the United States to discuss solutions to climate change.    The ride will have nine routes covering all 50 states, culminating in Washington DC to implore the U.S. Congress to act decisively on climate change.  Bike Aid is actively recruiting cross country riders and hosts in each of the communities. 

 

The routes will start in Seattle, Portland OR, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Tallahassee and Montreal, all meeting in Washington DC.  Additional short routes are planned for Alaska and Hawaii.    Each rider will raise money to support environmental projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America that mitigate climate change.  

 

As background, Bike Aid was founded in 1986 by a group of Stanford University students.   The cross country ride attracted 80 riders in its first year, and ran for 19 consecutive years, through 2004, with over 1100 participants.    The ride raised over $2 million for development projects sponsored by the Overseas Development Network in Africa, Asia and Latin America.    In July 2021, Bike Aid alumni met for a reunion in Washington DC and decided to relaunch the event in 2022.  

 

For more information, contact Bike Aid at:    

Phone: 301-944-3370
Email:   info@bikeaid.us

Website:   www.bikeaid.us 

The RPCVSF December 2021 Annual Holiday Party












Thanks for Hosting Ana!

RPCVs Rally to Be Considered in

Federal Loan Forgiveness Program


Courtesy of The New York Times: The U.S. Department of Education recently announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Applicants who devote 10 years work in the public service sector (and make 120 qualifying student loan payments during that time) are eligible to have further loan payments forgiven. In a press releaseEducation Secretary Miguel Cardona says the changes are an attempt to live up to the promise of the program and could impact more than 550,000 borrowers. But as a recent New York Times story makes clear, Peace Corps Volunteers fell through the cracks. We need to fix that. A number of returned Volunteers have mobilized to seek widespread relief that enables them to receive qualifying months towards PSLF automatically for any months in which their federal student loans were in a deferment or forbearance status due to Peace Corps Service.


SHARE YOUR STORY: Go to NPCA’s Action Center to write President Biden and your members of Congress.


GET CONNECTED on this issue through  the Facebook group RPCVs for PSLF Relief.


Write President Biden Now








From Left to Right

Saif Ishoof, Vice President for Engagement, FIU

Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Miami Dade County, District 5

David Garcia, President, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida

Mark B. Rosenberg, President, FIU

Dr. Jill Beloff Farrell, Dean of the Adrian Dominican School of Education, Barry University

Dr. Hilary Landorf, Director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, FIU

Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Vice President, FIU Global

Glenn Blumhorst, President, National Peace Corps Association



Peace Corps Sculpture Ribbon Cutting


MAY 21ST, 2021 10:30 AM CEREMONY FOR A HANDMADE GIFT BY RPCVSF PRESIDENT DAVID GARCIA


THE EVENT WAS A WOW!




New Version for the Next Installation







May 1, 2021 IN PERSON MEETING OF THE RPCVSF BOARD OF DIRECTORS


INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: REALITY CHECK

Click Travel for the February 16th, 2021 Update


I knew we should have re-confirmed our return flight!


Happy 60th Birthday Peace Corps


Zoom Fiesta - February 28, 2021




RPCVSF's Zoom Holiday Get-Together - Sunday, December 20th, 2020






A big thanks to everyone who participated in our Holiday zoom gathering yesterday!!  The event was a lot of fun, and it was so great to hear members from both our Gulf Coast group as well as the Miami group recounting stories from their Christmas pasts in their respective countries!  Let's aim to make this an annual event!