Little Birthday Angels Recognized

Indian River County’s Little Birthday Angels is a nonprofit organization which helps ensure that homeless children through the age of 18 are celebrated on their birthdays with gifts and essential items. The program, which helps more than 50 children each month, provides a Birthday Bag of Hope to a child who might not otherwise receive a birthday gift. Each Birthday Bag of Hope is filled with seven pairs of socks, a new outfit, a lap desk, blanket, reusable water bottle, toiletries, snacks, school supplies, and a special item or two from a personal wish list. This compassionate attention to homeless children in Indian River County is being recognized and celebrated with the February Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County.

L to R: Angel Pietsch, Jonathan Hardie, Lynn Kiefer


                                       Samaritan Center Recognized with Dyer Difference Award 

There is little that is more difficult for a family than the struggle with homelessness. Unfortunately, this struggle is one faced by many in our midst, and unaddressed, its negative impacts can reverberate through generations. Samaritan Center in Indian River County is designed to offer transitional housing for families struggling with homelessness, but they offer a great deal more to the families in their care. Since its inception, Samaritan Center in Indian River County has provided shelter and hope to over 1,950 residents, including 1,075 children. In addition to shelter, Samaritan Center also offers budget and parenting classes for adults, along with job and life-skill training, and mental health counseling for individuals and families. Children receive academic assistance and encouragement and support sessions in strengthening positive behavior, self-esteem, character values, drug and alcohol prevention, divorce, and even health and hygiene. The result is a stronger, more independent family unit. To help fund the program, every June Samaritan Center hosts an annual golf tournament in honor of two of its founding members, and the March Dyer Difference Award will recognize Samaritan Center and help support the 16th Annual Bernard and Betty Egan Memorial Golf Tournament.

Little Birthday Angels 

L TO R: Will & Tatiana Dyer, John Dyer, and Phil Barnes, Youth Guidance Executive Director


Left to Right: Bob McCabe, Carl Fountain, John Dyer, Will Dyer, Tatiana Dyer, President Marty Lewis and Debbie Avery


                             Youth and Community Benefit from Dyer Difference Award

Youth Guidance in Indian River County has been helping at-risk youth for nearly fifty years, with mentoring, nutritious meals, academic support, vocational training, and life skills instruction to help break the cycle of generational poverty that makes dreaming of and working for a brighter future hard for many youth. Every year, Youth Guidance helps more than 250 youth aged five to 24, partnering with other organizations in the area to provide a healthy dinner each evening throughout the school year and assisting with tutoring and homework help to ensure scholastic success. This hands-on, focused encouragement and assistance has made a huge and positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children over the course of nearly fifty years, and it’s the reason why the April Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County recognizes the work and energy of Youth Guidance program.

 Empowering our communities, accelerating the future. 

The Samaritan Center 


Indian River County Award Recipients 2022


L to R : John Dyer, Renee Bireley, Jonathan Hardie, Ben Williams

             Sunrise Rotary Club Receives Dyer Difference Award

In the past 117 years, more than 1.4 million men and women have followed Founder Paul Harris and joined the 46,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide. Part of the reason for the organization’s intense popularity is its mission to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. Business leaders and professionals of the Vero Beach Sunrise Rotary Club who subscribe to this mission have helped support tens of thousands of individuals through 50 service projects annually with funds raised through its annual Florida Craft Brew and Wingfest, which brings in thousands of attendees each year. This year’s February 19th event at Royal Palm Pointe will feature a competition for Best Vero Beach Wings and a chance to taste over 180 Craft and Micro Brews. The January Dyer Difference Award is being presented to the Vero Beach Sunrise Rotary Club to help support the upcoming event and the many contributions the organization makes to our community.