All posts by sdegroote

Community Spotlight: Heart for Winter Haven

 Heart for Winter Haven is a faith-based non-profit corporation, which is dedicated to empowering individuals, businesses, organizations, and churches, to create a connected community that works together to improve the lives for the citizens of Winter Haven.

The Issues

They focus on a variety of different issues including disaffected youth, education, employment, homelessness, hunger, mental health, senior care, and substance abuse.

They work directly with a variety of different organizations as well. To help the youth of the community they support the Boys & Girls Club, Brother-2-Brother, and Big Brothers & Big Sisters, just to name a few.

The Jobs for Life program helps individuals find their purpose, improve their interview skills, and ultimately teaches them to develop the work ethic to thrive professionally. The Employee Care Program was developed to provide counseling and help with stress management.

When it comes to senior care, they work alongside East Polk Meals on Wheels, Winter Haven Senior Center, and Better Living for Seniors.

They also work to clean up the community, with cleaning, painting, and light construction projects.

Events and Fundraisers

Every year they throw the As One! Annual Vision Banquet, which raises money for the A4WH (Homes 4 Wounded Heroes) Foundation, to award veterans with mortgage free homes.

At the regular Men’s Breakfast events, men get together to read scriptures, pray, and enjoy a delicious breakfast. There’s a few other re-occurring faith-based groups and events as well, including Centerstate Bible Study, Brooks Law Group: Person of Jesus, Women’s Leaders Circle, and Local Housing Partnership meetings.

Get Involved

There are a few different ways you can get involved with the Heart for Winter Haven organization. You can sign up to be a regular, or a one-time volunteer for various community events. You’ll be able to choose the organizations and fundraisers you’re interested in working with, and you can easily sign up online.

If you’d like to donate you can also do that online, or you can come on by our headquarters, and any amount helps.

To stay up to date on everything that’s happening and find out  more information, be sure to follow their Facebook page.

Local Spotlight: Main Street Winter Haven


You’ve heard of Small Business Saturday, but why limit shopping locally and supporting your community to just one day a year? Those looking to score some great finds, enjoy a day out with friends, support economic development, or a mixture of all three can are invited to get involved with Main Street Winter Haven. Keep reading to learn more about how you can help!

What Is Main Street Winter Haven

Main Street Winter Haven is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of developing and preserving the downtown area. This is done with a focus on economics, cultural, and historic qualities of Winter Haven. Created in 1995 after Winter Haven was named a Florida Main Street, Main Street Winter Haven has been pursuing the goal of revitalizing the downtown district into the flourishing community center it is now. After all, they understand that a community is only as strong as its roots—which was once the empty stores the city had to offer. Now, over 20 years later, Main Street Winter Haven has been able to turn Winter Haven into a bustling community area once more.

How to Get Involved

Did you know that Main Street Winter Haven is funded completely through memberships, fundraising, and partnerships with the city? That means that they don’t receive any grants to hep fund the program. Thankfully for you, there are many ways you can get involved. One easy way you get help the program is by purchasing a membership. Membership benefits range in having your name on their website to four complementary tickets to a handful of events throughout the year. By purchasing a membership, some of the ways you help to further strengthen the community, preserve architectural history, and help create social and cultural activities for others in the area.

Main Street Winter Haven Projects & Programs

Another way that you can get involved with Main Street Winter Haven is by participating in one of the projects and programs they offer. Fortunately, there are several programs you can get involved with.

Gram Parsons Derry Down

This program works to restore teen clubs and music venues in Winter Haven. This two-year restoration project provides young musicians a place to get together to create music. Gram Parsons Derry Down hosts many live music shows that feature these young musicians throughout the year.

Carl J Strang Jr. Urban Tree Canopy Fund

Donations to the Carl J Strang Jr. Urban Tree Canopy Fund help to create an urban forest in the heart of downtown Winter Haven. The goal of the tree canopy fund is to create social, environmental, and economic benefits to the city.

Support Your Community Today

As Main Street Winter Haven perfectly said, a community is only as strong as its roots. That’s why this organization was created. While there’s been significant improvements to Downtown Winter Haven over the past few decades there’s always ways you can help. You can become a member, participate in their offered programs, or attend local events, which are featured on their Facebook page. Help give back to the community by donating to Main Street Winter Haven today!