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A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Avani Desai Is Leading by Example

Through her work with 100 Women Strong, this Orlando mom is raising children who love to give back.

As moms, our job is to prepare our children to be responsible individuals. Part of that job is helping them understand how they fit into their community and what role they play.

That’s why I’ve made a conscious decision to get my children involved in service at a young age. Kids are givers by nature. We’re all born with empathy and the potential to cultivate great compassion; therefore, it is important to give them firsthand, age-appropriate exposure to our community’s needs. Things like serving meals to the homeless, visiting sick children in the hospital or spending time with homebound seniors can make a lasting and impactful impression on kids. These experiences foster empathy and teach children that sometimes the simplest gestures are the most profound.

Another thing I’m doing is teaching my children that there is strength in numbers — that while one person alone may not end homelessness or hunger, a team of people working together most definitely can. Collective giving and providing help to those who need help is a practice that can never be initiated too early in life.

That is the guiding principle behind 100 Women Strong, a “giving circle” that I co-chair for Central Florida Foundation. Each member of 100 Women Strong donates $1,100 a year. We then analyze, research and consult with experts to identify initiatives that will help improve the lives of women and children in Central Florida. By pooling our funds, we can achieve collective impact that spans far beyond our individual contributions.

Since 2006, 100 Women Strong has invested more than $550,000 in local initiatives, including partnerships with the Foundation for Foster Children and Harbor House of Central Florida.

Recently, 100 Women Strong issued a grant that’s especially close to my heart. In partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, we’ll be helping expand a pilot program to address the social and emotional needs of children at two childcare centers in Pine Hills.

The program is focused on implementing the Circle of Security Model, which prepares caregivers with skills that foster feelings of attachment and security in the children. These interactions create the foundation for a healthy and productive life.

Talking with my kids about the “strength in numbers” principle has inspired us all to think bigger about ways we can help our community. Now, we often brainstorm our next charitable contributions together as a family.

So many of us want to shield our children from the tough realities of the world. But it’s during these early years that they’re most influenced by what they see and hear — and when they learn lifelong habits. Just know, you’re investing in your child’s character, direction and future — and that of the world.

Avani Desai
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Avani Desai

Avani Desai is a mom of two, executive vice president at Schellman & Company, member of board of directors at Central Florida Foundation and co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a collective giving initiative of the Central Florida Foundation that inspires women in Central Florida to help improve the lives of women and children through strategic philanthropy.

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Avani Desai Written by Avani Desai

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April 2019

April 12, 201910:00 am
Nature Play


Celebrate the beauty of planet Earth at Lake Lotus Park (Altamonte Springs), a 150-acre nature preserve.





Special Features and/or Activities



Celebrate the beauty of planet Earth at Lake Lotus Park (Altamonte Springs), a 150-acre nature preserve.





Special Features and/or Activities





  • Gem Sluicing by Central Florida Mineral & Gem Society
  • Fossils on display from the Fossil Hunters
  • Family activities, exhibitions and crafts
  • Plant giveaways and free drawings
  • Music and guest speakers
  • Vendor booths and food
  • Ranger guided tours
  • Butterfly gardening
  • Bird banding
  • Live animals




Lake Lotus Park Address:
1153 Lake Lotus Park Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714


April 12, 20195:00 pm
Kiddie Culture


Attention: Parents in search of some creative, artistic opportunities for their kids on a Friday night...





On April 12, the Morse Museum has several programs specifically geared towards families. Free admission, music by the ...

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April 13, 201911:00 am
Free https://thegroveorlando.com/experience/special-events/


Visit The Grove Orlando for their annual Spring Fashion Show and “Eggs”travaganza on Saturday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with seasonal fashions and an afternoon of fun for the whole family.





&...

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April 20, 20199:00 am
Free http://cmslb-90808510.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com/promos

Kids can hit the range at Drive Shack this Easter in search of some egg-ceptional surprises. Join us for our very first Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20. Doors will open at 8 a.m. that day to welcome families for a free, fun-filled, Easter celebration – complete with photos with the Easter Bunny and a classic Easter ...

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April 20, 201910:00 am
Festivals http://www.cfearthday.org/


Central Florida Earth Day is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! It will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 20, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE! Earth Day is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, alcohol-free, and smoke-free event.


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Central Florida Earth Day is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! It will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 20, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE! Earth Day is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, alcohol-free, and smoke-free event.


April 20, 201910:00 am
Festivals


The community is invited to participate in the annual Marshmallow Drop at the Oviedo Sports Complex on Saturday, April 20th. The first drop starts promptly at 10am, so arrive early for parking.





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April 20, 201912:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Free


Kidsfest is the day when the Audubon Park Garden District gets turned into a mini kids campus for the day. Enjoy free or nearly free workshops on arts and crafts, food, music, sustainability and more, plus the

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April 27, 201912:00 am
Play Date https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tutu-tales-royal-tea-party-2019-tickets-55741041957


Tutu Tales Party Productions proudly presents
The Fifth Annual Royal Tea Party!

You're invited to the annual Spring Celebration, being hosted this year on two dates - April 27th and 28th - at the charming My Enchanted Events Venue in Casselberry, Fl!&...

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April 27, 20198:00 am
Free https://www.winterspringsfl.org/parksrec/page/fish-winter-springs


Enjoy a morning of fishing fun with the family at the 2nd Annual Fish Winter Springs Derby! Bring your children to experience the leisure of fishing and learn how to cast, bait the hook, and take pictures with your catch.





Enjoy a morning of fishing fun with the family at the 2nd Annual Fish Winter Springs Derby! Bring your children to experience the leisure of fishing and learn how to cast, bait the hook, and take pictures with your catch.





Poles and bait will be available to use. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is free, but required as space is limited. To register or for more information, contact Mike Barclay at mbarclay@winterspringsfl.org or 407-327-6592.






April 28, 201912:00 am
Play Date https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tutu-tales-royal-tea-party-2019-tickets-55741041957


Tutu Tales Party Productions proudly presents
The Fifth Annual Royal Tea Party!

You're invited to the annual Spring Celebration, being hosted this year on two dates - April 27th and 28th - at the charming My Enchanted Events Venue in Casselberry, Fl!&...

More
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