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Hundreds of hospital employees volunteer across Central Florida to mark Day of Caring

They care for the sick and hurting, and on Friday, hundreds of Florida Hospital employees stepped out of the hospital to help neighbors in need during an inaugural day of giving back to the community — “Day of Caring.”

From painting and cleaning at the Orange County Academy in Bithlo, to picking up trash around the Citrus Bowl, to building planter boxes for Rock Lake Elementary’s teaching garden, employees contributed their time and skills in a variety of ways at eight locations across Central Florida.

“Volunteering has always been a pleasure for me,” said Michelle Dicks, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Florida Hospital who volunteered at Lorna Doone Park in Parramore. “It’s inspiring to me to help others and to serve.”

So far this year, Florida Hospital employees have volunteered more than 9,500 hours collectively to help those in our community and abroad.

Earlier this week, employees volunteered during lunchtime to pack more than 30,000 meals for orphans and families in Haiti. Each dehydrated meal of rice, soy protein, and vegetables is contained in bag and provides for six people.

Friday’s “Day of Caring” occurs on the same day as the annual Celebration of Thanksgiving concert at Calvary Assembly, which is free and open to the public, featuring Grammy Award-winning Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman.

As the most awarded artist in Christian music, Chapman has sold more than 10 million albums since 1987. He has received five Grammy Awards and an American Music Award, and is an active advocate for adoption through his charity organization, Show Hope.

On Friday morning, Chapman hosted a special acoustic performance for young patients and their families at Florida Hospital for Children.

“[Music] is the language that I speak, and it’s the language that speaks to me, so I love to bring it into a place like this,” said Chapman.

On Friday evening, Chapman will offer a free performance at Calvary Assembly Church, 1199 Clay Street, Winter Park. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free and no tickets are required. There will be a special recognition for Central Florida’s law enforcement during the event.