Communication Builds Our Community

Dyer Difference Award Recognizes Children's Home Society

One in five children in Florida lives in poverty, and statistics show that children who live in poverty are five times more likely to drop out of high school. Since 67 percent of the prison population is comprised of high school dropouts, programs promoting stability, independent living, counseling, mentoring, and guidance are critical to help turn the tide.

It might be a surprise to learn that one in four children in the Florida Foster Care System is working with a team member from Children's Home Society (CHS). As the oldest and largest statewide organization devoted to helping children and families, Children's Home Society of Florida has been working with families since 1902. Believing that children, teens, and indeed, families, deserve the best we have to offer, the goal of Children's Home Society of Florida is to end the need for foster care as we know it. The breadth and scope of the work being done by CHS prompted the Dyer Difference Award committee to recognize and honor the organization with the May Dyer Difference Award in Polk County.

Approximately 100,000 children and families are assisted through CHS each year, including more than 2,600 in Polk, Highland, and Hardee Counties. Children's Home Society has adopted a 'cradle to career' approach of working with families and children to reach developmental and educational milestones, while simultaneously helping to serve mental and physical health needs through Counseling and Community Partnership Programs at Mort and Manatee Elementary Schools. The organization also engages youth in mentoring, leadership, and expanded learning opportunities to help overcome generational poverty through education. The goal is to help develop strong, independent individuals ready to meet the challenges of adulthood, career, and parenting.

Each month, members of the Dyer family and Dyer Kia and Dyer Chevrolet team meet to review the applications which have been submitted and select one non-profit organization to receive that month's recognition and $3,000 award. For the members of the Dyer team, it's all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it's an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you'd like to nominate a non-profit organization from Polk County for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit


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