Elizabeth Nichole Gonzalez: Spirit of Gainesville nominee
Published: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
Elizabeth has 2 causes right now, she is the National Miss Heart of the USA queen for her age group and she constantly raises awareness in all of Florida about people going hungry with this title, she has helped in the past year in raising thousands of non-perishable food items and donated them to various food banks, along with that she has gathered toys for kids at Christmas; last Christmas she helped collect over 800 toys for the Sand Hills Santa Program (Santa's of America) in Defuniak Springs, FL.
Category: Community Service
About Elizabeth Nichole Gonzalez
Occupation: Student - College
Years in Gainesville: 16
With the title of Miss Nassau County in the Miss America system she promotes her second cause; Wounded Warriors: The Mission Continues which is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "honor and empower wounded warriors" of the United States of Armed Forces "The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) works to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. Elizabeth traveled to Washington last year for the "Ride around the Capital" to raise awareness of what struggles the returning soldiers go through and she also spoke with few congressmen and officials while she was there. She recently returned from Alaska where she toured a few bases to see what it is like to be in the military and be in their shoes. She has volunteered at the "City Rescue Mission" in Jacksonville to help support WW and she volunteers at the VA hospital here in Gainesville.
Elizabeth also volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House in Jacksonville and other various events. Recently she was awarded the "Presidential Call to Service Award" for over 7000 hours of community service since 2003 when she was a freshman in high school. In the past 4 years she raised over $3000. For "Children's Miracle Network", and while in high school she raised over $3000. For the "Gainesville Guardian ad-litem" and bought Christmas for many needed families.
I think the community will benefit from knowing Elizabeth her heart and spirit is bigger than her 4'9" body, there is no event or community service she would not lend a helping hand in any way she can. She gives all her spare time in the need of others even if it is visiting a nursing home, the Pace Center or serving food in a soup kitchen – her time is the community's time – is how she looks at it.
Elizabeth graduated from Newberry High School's Criminal Justice program in 2007 and graduated from Santa Fe with a AA in 2010, she will graduate with a BA in 2013 from Saint Leo University and was a member of the UF marching band visual ensemble team from 2007 till 2010.
Elizabeth recently helped raise money for CMN during the Dairy Queen Blizzard Miracle day and she will also be at the UF Dance-a-thon, and the CMN Radio-a-thon events coming up soon. There are so many events I just can't list them all.
The picture I sent is of Elizabeth at the Volunteer expo that was held here in Gainesville, she is with the Bread of the Mighty Food bank - she helped raise 1,181 lbs of food for them this past year, I have better pictures, but this one shows her doing what she loves best.
Submitted by Dortha Albert