Imagine going to that place “where everybody knows your name” … and they know how to pronounce it.

And then going out into community from that meeting spot and lending the best of helping hands.

That’s a fair description of the Osceola County Sons and Daughters of Italy. It’s a local chapter and part of the Grand Lodge of Florida. That feeds into The Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, the largest and oldest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage in the United States.

On a national level, its missions include encouraging the study of Italian language and culture in American schools and universities; preserving Italian American traditions, culture, history and heritage; and promoting closer cultural relations between the United States and Italy.

Locally, it’s not just about being Italian. It’s about being a good Italian, that cares about his or her community. Those are people like Bob Cardaci and Carolyn Cianciotta, the current and past presidents of the Osceola Chapter of Sons and Daughters of Italy, a member chapter of the Grand Lodge of Florida.

“We like to give back to the community as much as we can. Usually we’d be at community events putting that social piece into place to give back, but there just haven’t been the events to make that happen,” said Cardaci, who took over as local president in March – just it time to watch a virus shut nearly everything down.

The local Order supports charities like Help Now of Osceola County, the Central Florida chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and local autism groups.

The chapter participates in one of the area’s most unique charitable causes – Cinderella’s closet. Members get dresses and gowns donated, auction them off, and the money raised ends up in the hands of Osceola high school seniors in the form of scholarships.

“It’s about getting together and making our piece of the world a better place,” Cardaci said.

You’ll read more here at Positively Osceola in the coming days and weeks about the Osceola County Sons and Daughters of Italy, which Cardaci said is looking to expand its membership.

If you fit the bill – a love of both your Italian heritage and the urge to serve – reach out to the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Grand Lodge of Florida.