EOCC Kicking off the Season of Sharing: The Opportunities are Endless 

Oct 10, 2021 at 11:11 am by pj


By DOROTHY HARDEE, East Orlando Chamber Director of Operations 


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill 


In January 2020 there were more than 580,000 people experiencing homelessness in America.  According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 70 percent of those were individuals and the rest were people living in families with children.  Special attention has been given to this population by policymakers and practitioners, especially for the most vulnerable (children within families and unaccompanied youth under age 25).  Sadly COVID-19 contributed to a 2 percent uptick in the numbers marking the fourth straight year of incremental population growth among homeless.   


In Florida there were nearly 28,000 people homeless on any given night in 2020. For every 10,000 people 12.8 were homeless. In the Tri-county area (Orange, Osceola & Seminole) 2,007 are homeless on a given night, effecting 9.0 out of every 10,000 people in the general population.  


The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida reports the main contributors as: 


In addition to struggling with shelter, many also suffer a variety of health and psychological issues which only progress in severity as their situation continues including lack of attention. These include poor physical health, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, mental illness, drug dependency, physician and sexual assault, premature death, increased chance of incarceration and more.   


How does this impact our community?  The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness issued their Economic Impact Report stating, “the average cost per day for a chronically homeless individual living on the streets, including incarceration and hospital stays is $84.93 per day – over $30,000 per year.”  For those staying at the Coalition while awaiting housing, the cost is about $26.59 per day or just over $9,700 per year.  


In addition, our community still has misconceptions about the homeless.  The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida published an article a decade ago addressing the top ten myths paired with facts. The information was eye opening and sadly continues to plaque our community.  As part of their mission and vision for the region, The East Orlando Chamber is working to improve the quality of lives, creating a positive business climate and sense of unity throughout East Orange County.  Homelessness is a complicated issue with no quick fix, but something that can be reduced by understanding the facts, resources and modeling best practices from other areas.   


Eric Gray, Executive Director of the Christian Services Center Central Florida and incoming EOCC Board Chair, will lead a discussion with a panel of experts exploring: why we have a problem; common misconceptions; current state of care for adults and children experiencing it and how we can end it in our lifetime.  Joining Eric will be Martha Are, CEO of Homeless Services NetworkFrank Wells, President & Chief Impact Officer with Brightway Community TrustBabette Hankey, CEO of Aspire Health Partners and Will Jefferson, Community Manager with Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute.   Our goal is to raise awareness to the need and how we can each be a catalyst for change through our time, talent, and treasures just in time for the Season of Sharing. 


 Continuing the theme, we will launch November with our W.I.S.E. (Women in Successful Endeavors) featuring Women in Nonprofit: Focus on Foundations, sponsored by Orlando Health, November 3rd at The Celeste Hotel Orlando.  Graciela Noriega Jacoby, COO with Heart of Florida United Way will lead the discussion with a dynamic group of women leading nonprofit foundations.  Joining her will be Lainie Fox-Ackerman (Orlando Health); Linda Landman Gonzalez (Orlando Magic Youth Foundation); Meghan Curren (AdventHealth); Jodie Hardman (Bank of America Foundation) and Min Sun Kim (Edyth Bush Institute).   


On November 10th join us for our annual Local Charities Luncheon “Lights, Camera, Action” at the Holiday Inn East UCF, sponsored by Orlando Health and featuring Barbara Poma, Founder of onePULSE Foundation.   Five local charities will also be highlighted offering guests an opportunity to support them fulfilling the need displayed on our “Giving Tree”.  It is a meaningful way to start the Season of Sharing and supporting the good work of our highlighted nonprofit organizations.  Reserve your seats early.   


Looking for more ways to highlight your business?  The East Orlando Chamber has a plethora of opportunities to get you noticed, connecting you with your next clients and partners, keeping your business healthy.  Enjoy the great outdoors with our 75th Annual Commemorative Golf Tournament, October 22nd at Rio Pinar Country Club.  Play as an individual, with your foursome or become one of our Foursomes with Hole Sign teams.  Check in is at 7:00 AM with a shotgun start at 8:00 AM.  Additional opportunities include Chance drawings, power packs and more.  Awards lunch and silent auction follow the tournament in the Club House.  A portion of the proceeds benefit the East Orlando Chamber Foundation.   


For the health of your business reach out to the East Orlando Chamber for a menu of unique offerings elevating your businesses visibility and connect you with others helping your business thrive. We are the first in the state offering traditional Health Insurance plans, as well as supplemental products including dental, vision, critical illness, accidental and more.  


For more information or to register call (407) 277-5951 or visit our website at eocc.orgThe East Orlando Chamber of Commerce everywhere East of I-4.  




Misters & Sisters Great Lunch Adventures: Panda Express University 

October 11, 2021, | 12:30 PM 

Panda Express, 11871 University Blvd. Ste. 100, Orlando, FL 

Food & Beverage is the responsibility of each attendee  


Testimonial Tuesday 

October 12, 2021, | 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM 

Live on Facebook  

FREE for EOCC members 


Chill Pop Lounge Ribbon Cutting After Hours 

October 14, 2021, | 5:00 – 7:00 PM 

Chill Pop Lounge Avalon Lake Drive 

RSVP at EOCC.org 


Chamber Luncheon: “Homelessness: It’s Complicated” Panel Discussion 

October 20, 2021, | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

Bonefish Grill Waterford Lakes 

Featuring Eric Gray, Martha Are, Frank Wells, Babette Hankey & Will Jefferson 

$40 for EOCC members | $50 Nonmembers  


Coffee Club Nona 

October 21, 2021, | 8:30 – 9:30 AM 

Sam’s Club Lake Nona 

“Smart About Credit” with Fanny Nater, Nater Law Firm 

FREE for EOCC members | $10 Nonmembers | Discounts for UCF, Valencia & Full Sail students 



EOCC 75th Anniversary Commemorative Golf Tournament 

October 22, 2021, | 7:30 AM 

Rio Pinar Country Club 

$125 Individual | $400 Foursome | $500 Foursome & Hole Sign 

Check out sponsorship and added opportunities available at eocc.org  


CliftonStrengths Workshop with Kim Griffith (Looking Glass) 

November 2, 2021, | 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM 

Special invitation for Chamber Members to attend a Free CliftonStrengths workshop 

A completed CliftonStrengths assessment is required to attend. 

East Orlando Chamber office 


W.I.S.E. Women’s Luncheon: Women in Nonprofit: Focus on the Foundation 

Sponsored by Orlando Health 

November 3, 2021, | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

The Celeste Hotel Orlando 

Featuring Graciela Noriega Jacoby; Lainie Fox-Ackerman; Linda Landman Gonzalez; Meghan Curren; Jodie Hardman & Min Sun Kim 

$40 for EOCC members | $50 Nonmembers  


Local Charities Luncheon “Lights, Camera, Action” featuring Barbara Poma, onePULSE Foundation 

Sponsored by Orlando Health 

November 10, 2021, | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

Holiday Inn East UCF Area 

Celebrating & supporting five local charities during this season of giving 

$40 for EOCC members | $50 Nonmembers  


Healthcare Collaborative Meet & Greet at The Bridge Orlando 

November 11, 2021, | 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM 

The Bridge Orlando 

Register to participate at eocc.org 


EOCC Real Estate Advisory Council presents: Residential Real Estate “Housing market predictions & prognostications for 2022 

Sponsored by milliCare by Cubix, Inc.  

November 17, 2021, | 8:00 – 9:30 AM 

The Pavilion at Avalon Park 

$35 for EOCC members | $40 Nonmembers