Seven Incredible Tampa Bay-Based Philanthropic Organizations That Deserve Your Help

070117-N-2456S-153<br />  Norfolk, Va. (Jan. 17, 2007) - Sailors from amphibious transport dock USS Nashville (LPD 13) raise a roof truss onto the top of the house they are building for Habitat for Humanity in Norfolk, Va. The work being done by Nashville Sailors is part of a ship-wide goal to dedicate 6,000 hours of community service time to the local area this year. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Suits (RELEASED)

Floridians love to give, volunteer and donate, but with the surplus of crowdfunding opportunities and non-profit organizations, sometimes it’s a bit difficult to figure out where one ought to donate their time. More than simply ignoring the internal strain that pulls at your heart, insisting that you give to local charities or volunteer at your neighboring soup kitchen, you should toss your support behind some incredible endeavors and organizations, including Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity is an organization founded in 1976 by Linda and Millard Fuller. There are volunteers needed to construct homes across the Tampa Bay area.

Meals on Wheels: The delivery program that provides meals to shut-in individuals and others who are are unable purchase or prepare their own meals.

Metropolitan Ministries: The local, independent, faith-based nonprofit has long committed itself to providing hope and assistance to those in need located in the Tampa Bay region. By assembling and setting up furniture, and gathering school supplies, volunteers are generally able to help countless homeless adults, women, and children.

Moffitt Cancer Center: H. Lee Moffitt, who was a Florida state representative in 1978, roused conversation about developing a cancer center in Tampa. Though he himself had survived cancer, he’d lost more than more than one friend to the disease. The groundbreaking ceremony for his $70 million, the 162-bed facility took place during the early months of 1983. Today, volunteers can help to renovate the center. Also, they can help to bring in food, clothes, and school supplies, and they can assemble furniture.

United Way of Tampa Bay: A premier platform for community service and volunteering, UW connects helpful individuals with projects that are hands-on, fun, and flexible. Participants are offered a choice of sites to offer their services to.

Tampa Bay Harvest: TBH operates through sponsors and donors who enable city-wide growth. The volunteers who commit themselves to all-volunteer organization transport donated food to individuals who can’t otherwise afford it.

Sunken Gardens: Sunken Gardens is St. Petersburg’s oldest living museums and volunteers attending to this facility are tasked with feeding the birds, tending to the garden, and filing paperwork.
If you’re interested in learning about some other places to volunteer, click here to learn more.

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.

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.