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  • Writer's pictureChristian Service Center

Christian Service Awards Recognizes Inspiring Community Volunteers

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

On October 13, nearly 300 guests gathered in Faith Hall at First Baptist Orlando for our annual banquet. This year’s banquet was a special breakfast and honored nominees and winners of the inaugural Christian Service Awards, recognizing people and groups who selflessly give their time and energy to help others in the Central Florida community. Guests first heard emotional testimony from a single mother who we got into housing, then Executive Director Eric Gray gave a compelling speech dispelling myths of homelessness. In all, the banquet raised $145,410 (this calendar year) to support our mission. Thank you all who attended or contributed to the Challenge Gift!

Ms. Valdese Davis shared how she and her two young boys became homeless and ended up sleeping in her car at the beach in Daytona. She was referred to our Access Point where she qualified for housing assistance to cover move-in costs. She and her boys are grateful to be safe in an apartment of their own.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer presented Jennifer Hilaire, founder of the Desire Foundation, with the Outstanding Volunteer Award for leading a diverse group of volunteers focused on meeting critical needs of residents in the underserved Parramore neighborhood.

West Orange High School sophomore Alexa Bishop received the Youth Service Award for her dedication to mentoring and helping children learn to read at Eight Waves. She was presented the award by Orange County Commissioner (Dist. 1) Nicole Wilson.

WESH 2 News Anchor Nancy Alvarez presented Pastor Josh Plant and Church on the Drive with the Group Service Award for the church’s support of local ministries and College Park schools including a renovated Physically Impaired Playground at Lake Silver Elementary.

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