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You Can Help the Homeless--with a Maritime Spin!

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

Please vote to support this project by texting 104881 to PEPSI (73774) once a day during the month of December!

Students in Flagler College's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) have come up with a creative way to help the homeless by tapping into an unused by-product of Florida's international maritime trade--shipping containers. As the keepers of our region's maritime heritage and because of our ongoing commitment to service in our community, we at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, LAMP, and the First Light Maritime Society have joined Flagler College to support this project, which is seeking funding from a Pepsi grant to enable these students to transform abandoned shipping containers into homes for the homeless while providing vocational training and a sense of purpose to at-risk individuals.

We need your help! Flagler's SIFE students are competing for the Pepsi grant and we need your votes to drive them into first or second place by the end of December. Momentum is building, as this project has jumped from 276th to 24th place in just two days! The general public is invited to vote up to once a day during the entire month of December! You can text your vote in as listed above, or you can visit www.refresheverything.com/containersforacause and vote there. Please support this great cause and vote every day from now until New Year's Eve!

Read more about this exciting project below the fold!

sife.jpg

Project Goals

* Transform used shipping containers into houses and businesses
* Provide new homes for the homeless
* Create a business that serves as a vocational training program
* Teach skills to at risk individuals and give them chance to succeed
* Save forests and eliminate waste

Project Overview

There are 800,000 shipping containers that enter Jacksonville each year and 30% are left to rust. Flagler College Students In Free Enterprise’s goal is to establish a business that teaches at-risk individuals construction industry skills as they convert containers into affordable housing. We are partnering with non-profit organizations, government agencies, and businesses to accomplish this.

The program, Containers for a Cause, will provide a new life for containers, new opportunities for at-risk individuals and homes for the homeless. Employment and housing are often the biggest challenges former inmates and homeless people face. Containers for a Cause will employ work-release prisoners to develop skills like plumbing and carpentry; skill sets that will give them a chance to succeed.

This grant will provide the start up money for a pilot housing re-entry program that will showcase the potentials of container conversion.

About Flagler College Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE)

Flagler College is an independent, four-year college located in St. Augustine, Florida. The Flagler College Students In Free Enterprise organization creates outreach programs designed to empower others to solve real world problems.


Press Release Issued by the First Light Maritime Society, December 3, 2010

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc. Collaborates to Help SIFE Help the Homeless in St. Johns County!

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team at Flagler College need help competing for a $250,000 grant from PepsiCo to fund their Ocean Shipping Containers for a Cause project! The Board and Staff of St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc, a Smithsonian Affiliate, have decided to help provide that needed assistance.

“We at the Lighthouse and the First Light Society are avid supporters of all things maritime and of true community service,” said Peter Spiller, President of the Board of Florida Shipowners Group Inc and member of the First Light Maritime Society Board of Trustees. “When I saw this project to provide affordable living spaces for the homeless by turning maritime shipping containers into houses, I knew we could help.”

Spiller contacted Kathy Fleming, Executive Director of the Society, which runs the Lighthouse and their maritime archaeological program known as LAMP. Together the two are reaching out to international shipping companies, lighthouse groups, heritage tourist and maritime enthusiasts to encourage them to vote for SIFE and the FLAGLER project. “We’ll Facebook it, tweet it and email it everywhere and vote, vote, vote!” said Fleming. The Society is also providing cards with this information to tourists who are coming to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse, a local attraction and non-profit that turns its proceeds into maritime community service projects like historic preservation, archaeology and educational programs for STEM sciences and at-risk kids. “This repurposing of maritime shipping containers fits right in our service mind-set, said Fleming. “And it gives us a chance to show our community spirit in support of Flagler College and the amazing Students in Free Enterprise. They are the next generation of leaders! Kudos to you all!”

Pepsi will award $250,000 to the project receiving the most online votes in a single month. Voting started December 1st. You may vote once daily during the month of December. It just takes just a moment to register/vote. Go to http://www.refresheverything.com/

Put Flagler into the search box at the top right and from there you will be able to see the project, and if you like it, register and vote. Book marking makes voting each day a snap.

You can also TEXT your vote! Text 104881 to Pepsi (73774) every day in December!

Please help the Lighthouse help Flagler and SIFE and to help the homeless in our community. Vote today and tomorrow, and every day until New Year's Eve. Also, forward and Facebook and email the instructions above to everyone. Together we can make a difference in our community.

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