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Making a difference during Florida Advocacy Days

Making a difference during Florida Advocacy Days

Proverbs 31:8 says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

And that’s just what a group of concerned individuals, churches and organizations are doing since the news program 60 Minutes highlighted the plight of Florida’s homeless school children in a national broadcast last year.  Click here to watch the original program.

Florida Advocacy Days 2011 participants.

Now, Florida laity and clergy alike have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Florida’s children and find out more about this effort when Andy Searles (Pastor of Discipleship at Aloma UMC) of the Casselberry Community Task Force discusses his group's work during Florida Advocacy Days.

Florida Advocacy Days At Children's week, January 30-31, are the annual legislative briefings held during Children's Week, the six-day gathering at Florida’s state capital to promote children’s issues and celebrate the progress and achievements of the state’s youngest residents.

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church and the 11th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church partner with Florida Impact, United Methodist Women and AME's Women's Missionary Society to organize Florida Advocacy Days, during which resources and training are provided to prepare participants to meet personally with elected officials regarding children's issues.

During this training, Pastor Searles will offer some examples of how his group puts Proverbs 31:8 into practice.

"My presentation will be in the context of how Jesus wants to use us to change the world," said Searles. "I’ll be telling my story of getting involved in the local school, how we have developed a school-centric model of care around the county, how we have pulled a community together to work together on transforming our city and the difference that we are making."

Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee will host Florida Advocacy Days, which includes a newcomer’s orientation, briefings on the issues, a march to the Florida Capitol and lots of prayer.

Organizers have a list of available accommodations and offer easy registration by mail or online at

Registration costs $50, and the deadline is January 20. Registration for other Children's Week events, such as the Partnership Dinner & Reception Monday evening, is separate and not included in the registration for Florida Advocacy Days.  Visit to register for the dinner and reception at an additional cost.

For more information or to register after the deadline, contact Tammy Fisher, Project Coordinator, at 407-620-9514 or