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Without objection, the Volusia County Council has followed Sheriff Mike Chitwood’s recommendation to allocate $217,000 to nonprofit groups that aid youth and families and the places where they live.

The cash comes from the legal seizure of assets formerly belonging to criminals. The Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act requires law-enforcement agencies that confiscate at least $15,000 within a fiscal year to give at least 25 percent of the proceeds to programs or organizations promoting public safety or that combat drug abuse or domestic violence.

“This is big. This is a lot of money for organizations that took a hit last year,” Council Vice Chair Billie Wheeler said, referring to the downturn in charitable donations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizations benefiting from the forfeiture and the amounts given are:

— Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, $25,000

— Boys & Girls Club, $25,000

— Volusia Sheriff’s Youth Foundation, $50,000

— Local Community Partners, $82,000

— Stewart Marchman Treatment Center, $25,000

— Domestic Abuse Council, $10,000

Council members praised the Boys & Girls Club for providing after-school activities for children who, with no adult supervision, may otherwise become involved in unlawful activities.

“It’s so important for these kids to have a place to go,” Wheeler noted.

— Al Everson


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