Donna Brown has a passionate commitment to service, a keen artistic sensibility, and a clear understanding of sustainable community growth. So, it was no surprise that the Lake Cares Diamond Endowment project fit her to a T.

“I needed absolutely no encouragement to join the Lake Cares Diamond Endowment Program,” says Donna, president and co-owner of Main Street Leasing in Mount Dora.

“On the contrary, I was hoping to be asked to be a part of it. When the concept was presented to me, I felt it was brilliant. Simply the most innovative fundraising idea I had ever heard.”

Providing nourishing meals for our less fortunate neighbors has always been the primary focus of Lake Cares Food Pantry. That will never change. However, we realize that for many of the families and seniors we help each week, the needs of our clients reach far beyond nutrition.

In Lake County, approximately 43,000 residents live at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty level. That’s $24,300 a year for a family of 4. These families live paycheck to paycheck. An unexpected illness, an accident, new tires, brakes for the car, or children needing school supplies. All these added expenses and more will throw a family into a financial crisis. A crisis that may eventually lead to homelessness.

Everything award-winning Realtor Robin Skaggs does is focused through an optimistic lens. It’s something she learned in her youth and has guided her to where she is today.

“From an early age as a Brownie and Girl Scout I always participated in volunteering projects, says Robin, one of 12 women participating in the Diamond Endowment project for Lake Cares Food Pantry. “Service is in my DNA.”

Living an impactful life is in lockstep with the mission of Lake Cares Food Pantry.

Bunny Waddell is as energized as the proverbial pink creature who touts batteries in commercials. She has just finished her month of wearing the “Bella Diamante” diamond necklace, a beautiful piece appraised at $21,500. Bunny is one of 12 women participating in the Diamond Endowment project, raising funds and awareness for Lake Cares Food Pantry.

At a gathering at O’Keefe’s restaurant in Tavares she is sharing her story with others in the group before passing the necklace forward to the next participant. “I didn’t anticipate the feelings I would have for the necklace,” says Bunny. “Giving it up is difficult but thinking about all the good it is doing makes it much easier.”

Lake Cares - main office in Mount Dora

Tis the season……of rain! And there certainly has been a lot of it. Our building was built in the late 20’s and it is a good solid structure but every now and then it needs a little TLC.

Lately, we have had to do some roof repair, replace an air conditioner and have some French drains installed to help with a flooding issue. But we are very blessed to have this building that was donated to us by Mr. Jim Croson and also the support of the community to be able to make the necessary repairs.

We supplied food to the children of Lake County again this year. This much-needed 9-week program tackles hunger insecurities during the weeks when school is not in session. Last year, more than 2,900 children were able to have 3 each of breakfast, lunch, fruit, snacks and drinks. This year there will be more than 3,000 children enrolled in the program.