Amelia Island Tourism gives Supports Disrupted Industry Workforce 

New Initiative includes $50,000 Investment for Barnabas Center


The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (AICVB) has announced the launch of “Amelia Island Tourism Gives,” a new initiative designed to provide support for the destination’s vital hospitality industry which has been devastated by the ongoing pandemic. The initiative grew from efforts to provide the most meaningful assistance possible to local employees and businesses directly impacted by the dramatic drop in travel. Through the Amelia Island Tourism Gives initiative, $50,000 will go to Barnabas Center of Nassau County, a highly regarded, non-profit, multi-service agency providing food, housing and utility assistance, and medical care to those in crisis.

“The travel industry on Amelia Island has been deeply affected by COVID-19, with more than 2,000 hospitality employees out of work, numerous restaurants and shops closed, and hotels either closed or running with occupancy in the low single digits,” said Jack Healan, chair of the Amelia Island AICVB board, which approved the funding for Barnabas Center. “We consider this an investment in the future of our professional tourism workforce, which will play a crucial role in the recovery of our local industry.”

According to Gil Langley, President and CEO of the AICVB, the Amelia Island Tourism Gives program is being funded by AICVB reserve funds. “Our frontline hospitality workers are highly valued as a key part of the Amelia Island visitor experience, but many of them work hourly positions with few benefits. This is a great opportunity to provide badly needed support in their time of need,” said Langley.

Thanks to the generosity of several private donors to Barnabas Center, the money will be matched dollar for dollar, resulting in a $100,000 cash investment to help fund critical crisis assistance programs at Barnabas Center.

“This investment from Amelia Island Tourism Gives will allow us to leverage a challenge donation, which means we’ll be able to better serve a larger number of hospitality workers who’ve been laid off during this crisis,” said Wanda Lanier, CEO of Barnabas Center. “It’s encouraging to see community and industry leadership coming together in a true private/public partnership to help those who are bearing the brunt of this economic downturn.”

The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is also participating by providing initial screening services to help connect local hospitality workers with the appropriate programs at Barnabas Center. Workers in need can call the chamber at (904) 261-3248 or email


If you would like to make a donation to the Amelia Island Tourism Gives fund to provide investment to Barnabas in support of the tourism industry workforce, please call our office at 904-277-4369. 

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