Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition With Publix Super Markets Charities

Publix Super Markets Charities helps you celebrate another revolution around the sun!

Giving back is something that came easily to Publix Super Markets’ founder, George W. Jenkins. He attributed his success to generously dedicating his time and financial support to several charitable causes and investing in his own employees. Mr. George, as he was affectionately known, was once asked, “If you hadn’t given away so much, how much do you think you’d be worth today?” To which his response was, “Probably nothing.” Publix Super Markets Charities was established in 1966 by the company founder to fulfill his legacy of giving back to the community and has successfully achieved that for decades since its inception.

The depth and breadth of the foundation’s impact is far- reaching and continues to grow. It spurs change and improves the lives of people within the communities in which Publix operates through the support of an array of nonprofit organizations throughout the southeast region. To ensure their philanthropic endeavor of building healthier communities, the foundation focuses its support on initiatives for youth, education, reducing hunger, and alleviating homelessness.

For more than 25 years, Publix Super Markets Charities has been a long-standing partner of Orlando Science Center, helping us meet the STEM learning needs of Central Florida. If you have ever hosted or had the opportunity to attend a birthday party here, you have Publix Super Markets Charities to thank for it. From space exploration and chemistry to paleontology and zoology, we provide live demonstrations, engaging experiments, and encourage creativity during your loved one’s special day. Our birthday party program is made possible through a sponsorship from Publix Super Markets Charities.

a group of kids at a birthday party doing a computer project

Throughout the years, the foundation has helped ensure science learning for everyone through their sponsorship of our accessibility program, Science for All. The Explore It! area in KidsTown, our state-of-the-art early childhood exhibit, was made possible through generous support from Publix Super Markets Charities as part of our Unlock Science campaign.

With their generous support, the Science Center provides unique and engaging STEM learning experiences for children and their families throughout Central Florida. We are very proud to honor Publix Super Markets Charities as a member of our Medallion Society, which is an extraordinary group of our most generous supporters. Medallion Society members are leaders in philanthropy through lifetime gifts of $1 million or more benefiting our mission to inspire science learning for life.

STEM learning is critical to community prosperity. Publix Super Markets Charities serves an important role in our ability to impact children and their families. We are grateful for our longtime partnership and proud to honor them as a member of our Medallion Society. 

JoAnn Newman
President & CEO of Orlando Science Center
a little girl digging up fake dinosaur bones

Dedication and support from the foundation enables us to continue providing innovative and engaging learning experiences to help our community grow and prosper. Learn more about Publix Super Markets Charities and its impact today. 

Central Florida PPE Maker Movement Needs YOU to Join the Cause!

In Central Florida, PPE shortages have brought local Makers together even though we're all staying apart. 

In times of crisis it’s admirable to see how many people are eager to step up and lend a hand. But with so many needs to fill for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it can be difficult to know where to start, or what you can do to help fill the Central Florida PPE pipeline. Don't get overwhelmed! Everyone is capable of becoming a PPE hero. You just need the right tools and direction. Here are some tips on helping the cause.

Join an existing organization!

There are many organizations that have pulled together and are successfully optimizing their resources. The Maker Effect Foundation and Orlando Face Mask Strong are local responses for Central and South Florida. They work directly with healthcare providers and first responders to ensure they’re creating the supplies that are most in demand and are front line worker-approved designs. Find an organization near you!


There are more way to donate than you think. While financial contributions and face masks are consistent needs, there are many way to contribute to the Central Florida PPE makers.


  1. Loan or donate equipment.
    Many large organizations are accepting equipment such as sewing machines, 3D printers and filament, and laser cutters.
  2. Donate materials.
    Extra fabric, elastic, printer filament, and more can all go to use. If you have materials lying around that may work for PPE, contact the groups above to see if they need them or can point you in the right direction. 
  3. Donate your time and skills.
    Can't sew? No problem! Many nonprofit organizations are in need of volunteers to help with project management  and running materials to keep their operations moving smoothly.
  4. Share it on social.
    Simply spreading awareness can go a long way! Sharing this article or the needs of your local groups on your personal social media outlets can work wonders. You never know who has the skills, equipment, or time to make a huge difference!

Stay Informed!

As situations and supply chains change, the needs of an organization may change as well.


It’s always a good idea to ask what supplies are most in demand.  GetUsPPE.org along with Open Source Medical Supplies and Nation of Makers are working together to have a single national database of PPE needs and suppliers to enable more rapid response at scale: https://getusppe.org/makers


Please remember that not all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is created equally and to do your research to ensure your masks will be as effective as possible.


Here are some medically reviewed PPE Design sites:

Thank you to all of our Central Florida PPE heroes!

2020 – A Vision for the Future of Central Florida’s STEM Workforce

Just imagine – by 2050, your child could wake up to be driven in their autonomous vehicle to work on the Space Coast where humans will be taking off to colonize Mars. Orlando is home to the fastest growing STEM job market in the United States. As our global economy moves closer towards technology and automation, Orlando Science Center works to inspire and prepare the next generation for jobs in industries that may not even exist yet.


Our schools are preparing students academically and so is Orlando Science Center – with exhibits and activities that make learning fun and engaging. But preparing financially for postsecondary education is just as important.


As the newest Corporate Partner of Orlando Science Center, Florida Prepaid is helping to build the future STEM talent pipeline by helping families start saving early for college tuition costs. And now they’re supporting Orlando Science Center’s vision to create prosperity in your community through their generosity.


Technology has the power to create entirely new industries while automating positions that are routine and predictable. Many fear this rapid change in our economy and what that means for the future workforce, but Orlando is poised to grow exponentially during this new industrial revolution. In a new report from the Orlando Economic Partnership, it is anticipated there will be a huge demand not only for more jobs, but jobs that pay more. By 2030, Orlando is projected to create between 254,000 and 482,000 new jobs.


Of course, a career in autonomous vehicles, working on the next mission to Mars, or saving ocean wildlife from plastic contamination will require a new set of skills. K-12 and postsecondary education is a key component for the next generation of STEM workers who will fill these positions and change our world.


But with costs growing, a college education can seem out of reach for the average family. Orlando Science Center’s partner, Florida Prepaid, is a trusted resource that assists Florida families with saving for their child’s future. Florida Prepaid allows you to secure rates for tomorrow’s tuition and save, stress-free.


No one knows what the future holds, but we strive to create a bright future for the next generation and beyond. We thank Florida Prepaid for their generous support of our STEM learning experiences and look forward to the incredible achievements that participating students will accomplish in the future!

Special Offer from Florida Prepaid


Florida Prepaid Plan prices have dropped to their lowest levels in FIVE years— starting at $44/month, and in an effort to provide some financial flexibility for families during these unprecedented times they are waiving application fees and deferring payments for new and current Prepaid Plan customers until July 20, 2020.


We are also pleased to share that Florida Prepaid’s Open Enrollment period which was scheduled to end on April 30 has now been extended to May 31, 2020.

Use promo code OSC1920 to have the $50 application fee waived.

Please Support: A Message From Captain

It’s your best friend Captain here!

A lot has happened since I last wrote you in November. I’m reaching out to you today because I miss you!


Orlando Science Center cares so much about me, our community, and our whole world. As you may know, for our safety, we have made the decision to close for the time being. While I definitely miss seeing your happy faces and the cheerful squeals you make when we meet, I know this is for the best. My friends and caretakers, Tori and Madison, still visit each and every day and are taking such great care of me.


You are amazing. I’m always so happy when you buy a ticket to visit, or an annual membership to visit even more. Sometimes you give donations because you believe in me and my Science Center. Wow, that’s the best! All of these contributions give me the opportunity to educate you and your families and share the many ways that you can make a difference in our big, beautiful world. As a nonprofit, we couldn’t do it without you!


I, along with all my friends at Orlando Science Center, are asking you to consider supporting our operating fund that helps my 350  animal friends and our staff who call Orlando Science Center home.


I do hope you’ll join us. After all, we have a lot of work left to do together!


I look forward to seeing you all again very soon.



With all my love,