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United Way Seeking Nominations for Change Maker Impact Awards

Change Maker Impact Awards to Honor Those Contributing to Significant Change throughout Central Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2021) – Central Florida is a community which embraces all that it means to Live United. Through its mission, Heart of Florida United Way brings together the non-profit, public and private sectors to create a better life for every person in tri-county area and is seeking individuals and organizations who have stepped up to contribute to significant and lasting change in our community over the past year. Heart of Florida United Way will recognize these passionate advocates through the 4th Annual Change Maker Impact Awards.
“Change Makers have a philanthropic core and a deep desire to do good,” said Jeff Hayward, President & CEO, Heart of Florida United Way. “It is because of their go-getter mentality our community is the place that it is today; however, we know there are more Change Makers out there beyond just our reach. This is where the community comes in. We need your help to identify these Change Makers who are making a positive impact.”
There are four categories of awards open to public nomination. The Unsung Hero award lifts up a person or organization that is making significant contributions to our community when no one is looking. Be it someone who makes a career of service or someone who volunteers their time, United Way wants to honor those who are making a difference at the grassroots level regardless of getting credit for their work.
Age is just a number and certainly does not define the impact one can make on their community. The Change Maker Junior award celebrates contributions to Central Florida made by some of the region’s youngest leaders. Specifically, to highlight Change Makers from 0 – 17 years old, United Way wants to honor those who are using creativity, determination and passion for change to make a difference for others.
New this year are two award categories recognizing women and veterans. The Women United Impact Award recognizes women leading the charge and inspiring the change in Central Florida. This individual leads with purpose and has a strong commitment to serving others, empowering neighbors, and making a lasting impact in her community. The Mission United Impact Award recognizes a champion for veterans or an outstanding service member who has contributed towards significant and positive change in Central Florida. The individual displays a commitment to serving in their community, whether through advocacy, community service, an act of heroism, or other means.
All nomination forms can be completed online at The nomination period is open now until Aug. 27. To continue fueling their work, selected honorees will receive a grant from Heart of Florida United Way to be donated to the non-profit of their choice. Selected honorees will be recognized, along with the Change Maker of the Year and Impact Leader category honorees.
Past Unsung Hero honorees include Lisa Williams or LANES Teenage Girls; Kathleen Bean and Dr. Shanta’ Barton-Stubbs, founder and director, New Image Youth Center. Past Impact Leader honorees include Nancy Alvarez, morning anchor, WFTV; Harriett Lake, local philanthropist; Shelley Lauten, former CEO, Central Florida Commission on Homelessness; Dr. Antonia Novello, former U.S. Surgeon General; Father Jose Rodriguez, head pastor, Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret; and Ed Timberlake, chairman, Central Florida Advisory Board, Seaside National Bank and Trust; SunTrust Bank. Past Ground Breaker honorees include BRIDG and Shaquem Griffin, former UCF linebacker and current Seattle Seahawks. Past Legacy honorees include Robert Stuart, executive director, Christian Service Center; Carol & Barney Barnett; Dr. Phillips Charities; Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation; Jim Seneff, executive chairman, CNL Financial Group; Jacob Stuart, past president & CEO, Orlando Regional Chamber; Publix Supermarkets; Harris Rosen, president and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts; Walt Disney World Resort; and Dr. Nelson Ying. The past LIVE UNITED honoree include Lockheed Martin. The past Change Maker of the Year Junior honoree is Mike Newbold of Miles to Go. Past Change Maker of the Year honorees include healthcare heroes and first responders who helped to care for residents during COVID-19; Teresa Jacobs, former Orange County mayor, and the Walt Disney World Resort.
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About Heart of Florida United Way
Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. In 2018-19, it raised and managed more than $22.4 million in total resources, including $16.6 million raised for the Community Fund that invests in dozens of vitally important programs in the community throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. HFUW fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida. It operates United Way 2-1-1, Central Florida’s information and assistance, crisis, suicide and referral helpline; Volunteer Resource Center and the Ryan White program, which administers nearly $3.2 million to provide HIV/AIDS services and referrals. HFUW impacts more than 400,000 individuals annually through its direct service and funded programs. United Way partners with local businesses, government, other charities to increase awareness of local health and human service issues and to inspire hope, provide options and create possibilities for people in need. Visit for more information, or call (407) 835-0900. Follow us on Facebook at Heart of Florida United Way and on Twitter and Instagram @hfuw.

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