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Best Buddies Friendship WalkBest Buddies spurred a global volunteer movement in 1989, and is still standing strong today. Their core mission focuses on creating an environment for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism and Down syndrome.

The state of Florida offers multiple friendship opportunities and employment programs through a network of offices in Broward, Central Florida, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Beach and Tampa Bay. Best Buddies is always looking for volunteers to help with friendship events and e-Buddies, an Internet friendship network that encourages social activities, communication and online interaction, while celebrating strengths, character and abilities.

The PowerDMS Give Back Committee (GBC) was pumped to participate in Central Florida’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk and provide a donation to Best Buddies Florida to help support and strengthen their amazing friendship-building and encouragement programs. The Friendship Walk had an enthusiastic crowd, complete with a sea of smiling faces and laughter all around. It was an inspiring and fun day!

To learn more about Best Buddies Florida and how you can contribute to their incredible programs, helping shape the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, visit their website atwww.bestbuddiesflorida.org. Ready to start a new life-changing friendship? Visit e-Buddies atwww.ebuddies.org to start making a difference and brightening someone’s life today.

Chances are, someone you know may have some form of autism and its associated behaviors. Affecting 1 in 50 individuals, autism is a complex, development disability,Autism Walkresulting from a neurological disorder that affects areas of social interaction and communication skills in the brain. Autism is four times more likely to affect boys than girls and has no social, racial or ethnic influences. Verbal and non-verbal communications and activities can prove to be difficult for children and adults with this disorder. A great deal of research is consistently conducted to pinpoint the development of Autism, typically appearing during the first three years of life, and help find ways to cope.

The Autism Society of Greater Orlando (ASGO) hosted an Autism Walk and Family Fun Day—a 5K walk in the Orange County Convention Center to benefit Central Florida families affected by autism. A few PowerDMS GBC members, and their families, joined the ASGO crew and fellow Central Floridians to support autism research and provide financial relief for families in need. The GBC made a donation to the ASGO to aid their support efforts. To donate to the Autism Society of Greater Orlando or find out about volunteer opportunities and future fundraising events, visit their website atwww.asgo.org.

charity waterWater. It flows freely from multiple faucets within our homes. It is clean and plentiful. It keeps us hydrated and nourished. It is relatively inexpensive.

Can you imagine walking several miles to fetch water? Or never having the luxury of accessing a tap for clean water in an instant? That’s a harsh reality facing 800 million people on a daily basis worldwide. Charity:water is on a mission to change those dismal statistics.

Charity:water is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean and safe drinking water to citizens of developing nations, and teaching them how to sustain clean water throughout their lifetimes. Donations fund projects, such as freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters, among others. This dedication and education to hydrate those in need has significantly lessened the number of people worldwide suffering from a massive thirst epidemic. To learn more about charity:water and how you can help give the gift of water, visit their website at www.charitywater.org.

The PowerDMS Team looks forward to the annual IOA Corporate 5K all year long. Really, we do! And 2014 was no exception. With great company, camaraderie and a Corporate 5K picture3.1-mile-evening race through the streets of downtown Orlando, along with 18,020 runners and walkers—what’s not to love!? The race is touted as one of the largest office parties in the U.S., and was created to promote healthy lifestyles and relationship building among team members. We had a blast, and then kept the good times rolling with a little office karaoke.

Not only is the race an exciting event—it also contributes to two great causes, the Track Shack Foundation and the Christian Service Center. The Track Shack Foundation promotes health and fitness by offering grants to youth athletic and sports programs. Support from donations enables young people to engage in activities, including running, swimming, playing, sailing, horseback riding, rowing and attending summer camp. To learn more about ways you can help young people stay active, visit their website at www.trackshack.com.

The IOA Corporate 5K also provided a wide array of canned and non-perishable food items for the Christian Service Center. They focus on providing the Central Florida community with programs to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Garnering support from neighboring churches, businesses, civic organizations, foundations and individuals—anyone, regardless of background or religious affiliation, is welcomed with opened arms. Their pantry is always in need of stocking and donations are greatly appreciated. To learn more about the programs offered and how you can provide assistance, visit their website at www.christianservicecenter.org.