As you read this, there are students in Volusia County schools who don’t know where they will sleep tonight, and others who rely on the precarious hospitality of friends, family or acquaintances. Some, including children who are heartbreakingly young, are still with their parents. Others are making their way in the world alone. It’s likely that a few of them are pregnant. Some struggle with addiction. Some endure emotional or physical violence.
Yet still, they are students. They have not dropped out. Their attendance may be erratic, but they keep showing up. And many are clinging to school as their best, maybe their only hope of a better life.
And there are so many. More than 2,000, living in cars, campgrounds, parks, shelters, inexpensive motels, or “doubling up” in apartments or houses that they cannot call home.
More: Daytona’s Hope Place: A model for how to help homeless families
Volusia County’s five constitutional officers – Clerk of the Circuit Court Laura Roth, Sheriff Mike Chitwood, Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis, Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett and newly elected Tax Collector Will Roberts – are asking more fortunate residents to help. They are looking for donations of cash, gift cards, nights in hotel rooms, frequent flyer miles or other contributions to make these students’ lives a little brighter, or maybe just a little safer, over the holidays.
You can donate online at vsyf.org, or visit your closest branch of any of the offices listed below.
It’s hard to think about these young people, isolated and needy in a time that celebrates family and abundance. But it’s easy to help them. Please consider doing so.
Or visit one of the constitutional offices in person and contribute cash or gift cards:
The Clerk of the Circuit Court in the First Floor Recording Room A121 at the Volusia County Courthouse at 101 N. Alabama Ave. in DeLand; the First Floor Civil Division Room 100 at City Island Courthouse at 125 E. Orange Ave. in Daytona Beach. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 386-736-5915, ext. 16514.
Volusia County Sheriff’s office locations at 1706 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand; 1435 U.S. Highway 1 in the Ormond Beach/Holly Hill area; 101 E. Canal St. in New Smyrna Beach; 1691 Providence Blvd. in Deltona; and 79 S. Charles Beall Blvd. in DeBary. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 386-490-6023.
Supervisor of Elections office at 1750 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 386-736-5930.
The Volusia County Property Appraisers Main Office, Room 102, at 123 W. Indiana Ave. DeLand, and at offices at 921 N. Nova Road in Holly Hill, 113 E. Canal St., New Smyrna Beach, and 2744-A Enterprise Road, Orange City. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 386-882-5717.
Volusia County Property Tax and Tag Office Room 103 at 123 W. Indiana Ave. in DeLand; 1845 Holsonback Drive in Daytona Beach; 111 Canal St. in New Smyrna Beach; and 2744 Enterprise Road in Orange City.