Local Nonprofits Collaborate for New East Tampa Housing Development, Beacon Homes

053872_27b48f47Neighborhood Lending Partners (NLP),  and Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa partnered to host an event on April 26, which announced the establishment of a housing fund for the construction of a new community of single-family houses in East Tampa.The development will be the future site of Beacon Homes.

The NLP, a which multi-bank lending institution providing financing to developers of affordable housing and community revitalization, announced the new Florida Minority Impact Housing Fund (FMIHF) at the event. The event, which was attending by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and one hundred others, also served as a groundbreaking for CDC of Tampa, will develop the land. CDC of Tampa is an organization that revitalizes neighborhoods, improves lives, and strengthens communities throughout Pinellas Counties and Hillsborough, granting access to affordable housing, youth programs, and job training and placement. CDC of Tampa bought the land from Tampa Housing Authority, which a development partner for this project.

“We’re thrilled to establish the Florida Minority Impact Housing Fund and know that Beacon Homes will be a wonderful addition to East Tampa and a vital part of the area’s revitalization efforts,” said Neighborhood Lending Partners President and CEO, Debra Reyes. “Quality, affordable housing should be available to all Florida residents and it is our goal to create those opportunities in as many communities as possible.”

The primary supporters of the $3million dollar FMIHF are Wells Fargo and Banks of America, which offers products and loan programs for the development of affordable housing. The FMIHF serves faith-based organizations, community development corporations, non-profit developers, and organizations, positively impacting minorities and other underserved communities throughout the state of Florida. The fund is a tremendous resource for nonprofit housing developers, allowing for more opportunities to further our redevelopment efforts in Hillsborough and East Tampa.

Give Day Tampa Bay Raises Awareness Around the Work of Local Nonprofits

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network event - NYCGive Day Tampa Bay, designed to increase philanthropy, was observed on Tuesday, May 3rd, and the 24-hour online event emboldened community members and sparked awareness of local nonprofits and they hard work they do.

The NOMAD mobile art studio, located in Saint Petersburg, turned a $2,275 in donations into a $20,000 gift when a donor learned about the terrific work the studio has done in underserved schools and neighborhoods. Tampa-based Meals on Wheels raised $10,000 in one day a year ago to assemble hurricane emergency packs. Also, the Suncoast Animal League raised $27,00 to rebuild part of an animal shelter that burned down.

After three years, more and more are participating in the local and national day of giving. Approximately 50 communities nationwide participate. On a local basis, the philanthropic day is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, which matches donors, professional advisors, community and business leaders, volunteers, and nonprofits.

“We see it as a way to focus attention for this one day on all the work that all of these great nonprofits are doing in our community,” said Wilma Norton, a spokeswoman for the Foundation, according to Tampa Bay Times. “Besides raising money, it’s a good way for particularly the small nonprofits to get out the message about what they do.”

Nearly 600 groups participated this year, which is 50 more than last year, where they raised $1.75 million. Even though Give Day is over, donors can still visit www.GiveDay.org to identify a nonprofit they want to support on the list of participating organizations.

WEDU streamed Give Day pitches from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on wedu.org and GiveDay.org, and many groups held events on that day in connection with Give Day to increase awareness around giving.

6 Quick and Easy Ways To Help Your Community

10959166933_c0fc035521_bIn today’s society, people are constantly busy. It is quite possible that you want to help your community out, but you just don’t have the time. But community service doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Sure, it would be great to volunteer for a few hours at the local soup kitchen or animal shelter, but if you don’t have the time, there are many fast and easy options. Here are a few ways that you can help your community by just taking a few minutes out of your schedule:

1)Pick up litter

Littering is all too common nowadays. Why not be a part of the solution? Take a walk through your neighborhood and bring a garbage bag along the way, picking up any litter you see. This is a great way to make your community a cleaner place while also getting some exercise.

2) Bring your leftover food to an elderly neighbor

Elderly neighbors, especially widowed ones, could use a little help. Why not bring your neighbor a meal one night? If you have a family of four, prepare enough food for five people and give some food to your neighbor. This will help you get to know your neighbors and build a positive community. According to the police, getting to know your neighbor is a great way to combat neighborhood crime. And who knows, maybe next time you can even invite your neighbor over for dinner.

3) Vote in local elections

Many people only vote once every four years in the presidential elections. But elections happen every year and there’s no reason to skip over the local ones. Do some research on the candidates in the local and state elections and vote every year. Having a say in your local officials will make you feel more connected to your community.

4) Write a letter to local elected officials

Local officials will work harder to make your community a better place if they know that you appreciate them. Why not pen them a letter thanking them for making beneficial decisions for your community. Your encouraging words will make an official’s day and push them to work harder for your community.

5) Attend local events and festivals

Many local events are fundraisers that have free admission. You may be wondering how you are helping out if it is free, but typically these fundraisers help non-profit organizations which make their money through sponsorships. This typically means that sponsors look at attendance numbers to decide how much to give. If you attend with your family, you will be increasing the number of people there, therefore increasing the amount that is donated give next year.

6) Shop at locally owned businesses

If you shop locally, you will encourage other people to do so as well. This promotes growth and increases the likelihood of new businesses opening in the area. And bonus: if you shop at locally owned businesses, you will probably save time and money.

Helping out your community doesn’t have to mean taking a large part out of your day to give back. There are so many little things that you and your family can do to help make your community a better place to live.

Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Continues to Give Back

Stephen OvertonJeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL hockey team, has made it public that he and his wife will continue to give over the course of five seasons for the community heroes program. If you’re unfamiliar with the program, it began during the 2011-12 hockey season between the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation. The program is designed to highlight one hero from the Tampa Bay area during every home game and provides a $50,000 donation to the person’s favorite nonprofit. Since it started, there has been over $11 million donated to hundreds of organizations. With a five-year extension and $10 million dollars pledged by Jeff and Penny Vinik, more people will continue to be recognized, and more importantly, nonprofits will receive funds and can continue to make an impact. Over the next five seasons, the program will honor a new addition to the hero list, young individuals from local high schools or colleges who are proponents of social change and helping others. By recognizing extraordinary individuals, while bringing a community together, is a recipe for success and surely a reason for why the Vinik Family Foundation and Lightning Foundation are continuing their efforts. A $50,000 dollar donation is a considerable amount of money too, and for some nonprofits, it can be an unexpected boost that truly makes a difference and can help them for months or years to come.