Fall Feature 2021

We have many reasons to be thankful this fall. First, SWAG’s visionary Joan Canton is the inspiration and first recipient of a new annual award from theCommunity Foundation of North Central Florida. We’re also very grateful for generous contributions individuals have made through the UF Campaign for Charities and the SWAG Family Resource Center Pantry. And finally, we have been able to serve 195 families with our annual Thanksgiving basket giveaway! You can read more about each of these exciting updates below. And stay tuned for our holiday feature, where we’ll highlight our winter holiday events!

Our annual Thanksgiving baskets served 195 families

We want to extend a HUGE thank-you to our community partners, friends, and volunteers who made this year’s Thanksgiving basket giveaway a success. We were able to serve 195 families between the SWAG Family Resource Center and the CHILD Center! Many thanks to the Haile Market Square and Tower Square Publix for their part in our annual Thanksgiving event, as well as Queen of Peace for their enormous food donations. In addition, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office helped distribute turkeys to our SWAG families. Gas South provided both monetary and volunteer-time contributions. We are also very grateful to many of our individual supporters and donors. In addition, like every year, a wonderful team of SWAG volunteers helped sort and assemble the baskets. Last but certainly not least, we’re eternally grateful to the amazing SWAG Family Resource Center staff and our operating partner, Partnership for Strong Families!

Joan Canton received the first-everJoan Canton Community Champion Award

The Community Foundation of North Central Florida honored the memory of our founder and leader, Joan Canton. Specifically, they awarded her the first-ever Joan Canton Community Champion Award. This award recognizes Joan’s amazing legacy. Subsequently, this award will honor those who do remarkable social justice work in the community.

We received generous donations for our food pantry

The trunk of a car full of bags of food donations for SWAG's pantry

One of our regular supporters saw that we needed food for our pantry, and she made a trip to Publix so she could donate. Then, as she was checking out, the person in front of her, not knowing the food was for a food pantry, paid for her groceries. That not only warmed our friend’s heart, but it also allowed her to go back and get a second full cart of additional food to donate. Both her kindness and the stranger’s kindness will help make sure that people in our neighborhoods will have enough to eat.

We fundraised with UF’s Campaign for Charities

SWAG participated in UF’s Campaign for Charities, which took place from September 7 through October 15. Pictured below are board members Bill Gair and Karin Polifko representing SWAG at an in-person event for the fundraiser. Thank you so much to all who chose to donate to our organization!