Our charity spotlight for this month is a relatively new non-profit based here in Tampa, Moms on a Mission. I have had the pleasure of knowing their founder, Natashia, for the past year and I have learned about her passion and calling for this cause. Moms on a Mission focuses on solving a major problem by equipping low income, working single mothers with the tools that they need to improve their lives, increase their earning power and learn essential financial and life skills that will benefit the communities in which they live in the Tampa Bay area.
Natashia and her Moms on a Mission team strive to focus on a few key areas that they have seen to make the largest impact on the lives of these women and their children. By focusing on education, financial literacy and life skills, a single mother living in poverty or pay check to paycheck can improve her life and teach her children so that generational wealth and success is a likely possibility.
According to the US Census Bureau, the second most common household is a single mother household with approximately 17 million single mom households in the United States.
Per the Census Bureau, “During the 1960-2016 period, the percentage of children living with only their mother nearly tripled from 8 to 23 percent and the percentage of children living with only their father increased from 1 to 4 percent. The percentage of children not living with any parent increased slightly from 3 to 4 percent.”
Single-parent families are among the poorest in the nation and as such, are extremely vulnerable to homelessness. Among all homeless families nationwide, over three quarters were headed by single women with children; two fifths were African Americans (43%). (Source: Singleparentguide.com)
How You Can Help
Low-income, working mothers need to provide for their children all on their own. Moms on a Mission strives to ease this burden. You can donate directly on their website, and we are also asking for some items at our next event at Cantina Laredo on August 16. It is Back to School time, and moms have reported needing help with not only school supplies, but uniforms. To that end, a gift card in any amount to a store such as Target or Walmart that sells uniforms would be a huge help. Please consider donating if you can!
Our charity spotlight for the month of July is Tampa Bay Birth Network. Tampa Bay Birth Network strives to be a source of information on all things birth, parenting-related, and they often host local events geared towards their mission. If you're looking for a Tampa Bay area birth professional, you're in the right place. You can find natural-minded caregivers who will support, educate and empower you on your journey!
Tampa Bay Birth Network promotes awareness of their mission through multiple social media, print and television outlets. Campaigns have included #MyTampaMidwife and #MyTampaDoula; nomination programs designed to recognize members for excellent client service.
In alignment with our mission and principles, they support activities that raise awareness, educate and bring about action to improve the standards of birth in our community. They host educational, community-based events including the Tampa Birth and Baby Expo, Childbirth Options seminars, Networking meetings, Film viewings and panel discussions.
Tampa Bay Birth Network supports activities to support improving the standards of birth in our community. They participated in or supported a variety of events and activities such as the Improving Birth National Rally For Change, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, The Big Latch On, family fitness, cloth diapering and other healthy family events.
How Can You Be Involved?
Tampa Bay Birth Network is possible with the help of volunteers and donations. If you wish to donate, please visit their website. If you would like to learn more about their efforts in the community, you can meet members of their board of directors at our Besito Mexican Girls Night Out on July 11. They would love to meet you and share more about what they do!
Did you know that Tampa has one of the highest rates for childhood hunger? I am thankful to share a non-profit organization in Tampa, Florida that works to help this population of children: Where Love Grows Inc. Their programs address the immediate needs of hungry children while implementing a long-term positive impact. They have incredible programs such as their family dinner night program and mobile cooking classes, both helping to break the cycle of childhood hunger.
Their monthly family dinner night program currently provides an average of 350 hot, home-cooked meals each month to children living with food insecurity allowing them to nourish them body, mind and spirit. After serving their first family dinner night at Zonta Boys and Girls Club in 2013, they discovered 28% of children in Hillsborough County live each day with food insecurity. They are feeding a population that would not otherwise be served, filling much needed gaps. We know that every mouth we feed is planting a seed of victory for a bright and prosperous future.
Their innovative mobile cooking camp brings the kitchen to the children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to be exposed to culinary skills. Students are given hands-on experience in a classroom setting preparing healthy meals they can easy duplicate at home. Mobile Cooking Camp launched March 2016 and has provided over 1000 classroom hours to 420 students. The impact
is immediate and long-lasting.
How Can You Help?
Find out more about the Do the Local Motion walking tours featuring Downtown Tampa by visiting their website. The 16 lunchtime tours are free and held on the first and third Fridays from October through May.
Additionally, Tampa Housewives is spotlighting Where Love Grows at our upcoming brunch at American Social! If you are able to donate, founder Vicki and her team can ALWAYS use Dollar Tree type kitchen utensils for gifts at the end of their mobile cooking class series. Any of the items would be great and they usually have between 20-25 students each month.
Kelly Goulart, founder and president of A Present Project, discovered the number of children in foster care in Hillsborough County and immediately knew she needed to find a way to help these children. She wanted to find a way to share some joy with this population of children, and she had heard about programs that provide presents for children in other areas of the country. Kelly herself is a big fan of birthdays and knew this would be a wonderful way to support these children. With that loving motivation, A Present Project was born!
What They Do
A Present Project partners with local child advocacy groups and their volunteers to gather birthday requests from foster children. They publish that Present Request List on their website with an approximate value for each request.
Many times, generous donations allow them to purchase the gifts themselves, or other times, donors send us the gifts directly. Those gifts are then wrapped by groups of volunteers and delivered with love to the children.
How You Can Help
A Present Project needs your help. There are so many birthdays and so many children in foster care in Hillsborough County. There are many ways you can help A Present Project reach their goals:
When we choose non-profits to spotlight each month, a major focus is to find a grassroots, local charity. I am excited to share about an organization that is striving to support victims of domestic violence by truly considering what victims need the most. Purple It Up has an ongoing mission to develop outreach ministries nationally to support the victims of domestic violence. The main goals are to educate, encourage, support outreach, and empower advocacy. It is a necessary resource for victims to be able to look forward and succeed in the rebuilding process. It's life saving, and becoming a victor not a victim is truly rewarding.
Purple it Up Transitional Housing Initiative
Throughout America, there is limited number of fully equipped locations and resources available for individuals enduring domestic violence. Purple It Up sees a great need for shelters and ongoing resources supporting advocacy throughout each community. In fact, in the state of Florida there is only 1 certified safe locations per county for a victim to go to for safety. The struggle to equally resource these domestic violence centers is an ongoing need to as well as to maintain the care.
Furthermore, when their time is exhausted in the domestic violence shelter, the individual has to start all over looking for a place to call home. These active resources are limited. However, the victim’s safety is even more vital at this point.
We plan to provide:
*Permanent Placement - Home Ownership Assistance
In many cases the victim will go back to the abuser because of the fear of being homeless and/or stranded. Current resources usually give precedence to mothers or fathers in this situation but the single individual needs shelter also. Purple It Up provide services to all victims.
Purple It Up is looking for realtors and homeowners that have (non-productive or rehab) property and would like to put it to good use, by allowing them to secure the property for their Advantage Point Homes Transitional Housing Initiative.
Purple it Up Mandatory Life Legal Counsel
In addition to surviving the imminent danger or making the decision of flight or fight, it becomes imperative to have immediate legal counsel. This continuously remains an uncertainty, which is very unfortunate to tarry this alone. Most victims are repetitively victimized because they have very little legal advice throughout the process.
In most cases, it is very clear the victim is at the point of helplessness, and becomes overwhelmed due to the circumstances. Most of the time the victim does not have the ability to pay for legal services and are left to endure the abuse in silence.
Purple It Up plans to provide:
*Point of call legal representation up to 10 years
*Ongoing Case Management
Purple it Up Advocate Life Link - Network of Support/Resources for Community Advocates
It takes a lot of time and monetary support to keep places available for the support of victims. It is critical to have the resources available to help when needed. Purple It Up wants to utilize all resources that are already in place with other non-profits and be able to assist victims in finding the support they need in the community.
We plan to provide:
*Advocated Outreach Center
*Life Skills Training/Educational Scholarships
*Community Advocacy & Supportive Resources
How Can You Help?
Veronica with Purple It Up is passionate about supporting victims of domestic violence and wants to spread the word about her organization's efforts. If you are able to donate your time and/or resources, please contact her for more information: 813-922-5433 or email: email@example.com
You will also have the opportunity to meet Veronica at our American Social Girls Night Out at American Social on April 25. We hope to see you there!
Our charity spotlight for our February event is The Spring of Tampa Bay. Since their founding in 1977, The Spring has provided sanctuary and services to more than 60,000 abused adults and their children.
The Spring is the Department of Children and Families (DCF) certified Domestic Violence Center for Hillsborough County. They are one of the largest of Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence centers and the first domestic violence agency in the United States to have an accredited on-site school for resident children.
The Spring’s programs and services help victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives and raise awareness to prevent domestic violence from occurring.
Handbags & Happy Hour
This massive "Girls Night Out" event illustrates the magic of giving...and receiving great deals! Cocktails and conversation are flowing as hundreds of ladies gather together to support the women and children served by The Spring of Tampa Bay. New and gently-used handbags collected from the community are featured in an exciting silent auction. This unique and uplifting event brings people together who are passionate about ending domestic violence to create a safer Hillsborough County.
They're collecting new and gently-used purses to repurpose to raise money for The Spring’s life-saving programs & services, and we are supporting this event by collecting handbags at our Ladies Night Out at Cantina Laredo on February 22. Please bring your new and gently used handbags!
Find out more about Handbags & Happy Hour on their website: www.peaceinpurple.org
Our January charity spotlight is Trinity Cafe, here in Tampa. Trinity Cafe is a restaurant, serving more than 380+ hot and hearty meals daily, without charge. They have served more than 1.3 million meals since opening in 2001. Anyone who comes to their door is welcome – without question or qualification.
They serve 3-course, nutritious meals to our hungry, homeless and anyone in need. Prepared by their Executive Chef and his crew, served by a loyal army of volunteers. The guests sit at cloth covered tables, adorned with centerpieces, set with dishes and hand-rolled silverware. They serve each guest with dignity and respect, it is all they ask them in return.
Together with the solidarity and commitment of their team, volunteers and collaborative partnerships, Trinity Cafe strives to be a gateway to positive change in the lives of the guests and seeks to enlarge their capacity for self-help and reconnect them to the broader community.
Trinity Cafe is a place of kindness, compassion, and dignity… a respite to those in need.
Very simply, Trinity Cafe is defined by its daily demonstration of humanity in action.
Many of Trinity Cafe’s guests are homeless and jobless. But the food insecure have quickly become a segment of the population who find themselves at their door – often running out of money before the end of the month to feed themselves and their families. Women, children, the elderly, and physically and mentally challenged individuals comprise many of the multitudes they serve. Their stomachs are empty, and they are eager to receive a nourishing meal – for many it is the only food they will eat all day.
One in six people in our region don’t know where their next meal will come from. Many at risk children won’t eat between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast provided at school.
Each day, Trinity Cafe addresses the nutritional needs of the hungry and homeless of Tampa Bay by serving a well-balanced, restaurant quality meal. It is served with unconditional respect and a sense of dignity. Nutrition is critical to the well-being of those facing “Food Insecurity” in our community. We strive to ensure no one goes away hungry.
As a volunteer, there are a variety of opportunities: serving guests, hosting tables, greeting guests, pouring drinks, preparing silverware, and cleaning tables. The goal is to have one server and one host companion per table. A volunteer coordinator will be responsible for delegating assignments to the volunteers. Servers and table companions should be loving, encouraging, and supportive to each guest, while not being overly inquisitive or questioning them as to how they have arrived at their current stage in life.
Trinity Café would love the support of our Tampa Housewives community in serving those in need. Often, January and February have the lowest volunteer turn outs! It would only take two hours one day during the week, 11am-1:15pm at one of our locations in Tampa. The volunteer experience is fun, easy and very rewarding. Nina Georgette Hickey will be joining us at our Girls Night Out Patio Party at American Social on January 17 to meet us and can answer any questions you may have about Trinity Café. If you are able to volunteer, you can contact her directly: firstname.lastname@example.org C 813-447-4946 O 813-865-4823
Our spotlight charity for our Holiday event is a local non-profit called Created. Created Tampa is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization committed to the restoration of vulnerable women involved in the sex industry to an understanding of their value, beauty, and destiny in Jesus Christ.
Created Tampa advocates for and empowers women to express themselves. They do this through advocacy, offering life skills and partnership with other organizations in order to be a voice for change in the lives of sexually and relationally broken women and the systems that keep them bound to sexual exploitation.
They provide apartments for Created alumni to move into after they've completed the program. Created Tampa provides cleaning jobs and work at our Created Boutique thrift store. You can shop for a cause at their thrift store at 3102 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL. Their store hours may vary, so please call ahead at 813-228-9412.
One of the unique efforts of the Created organization is their outreach. They go into the strip clubs, on the streets, and in the jails with the goal of befriending vulnerable women. The goal of outreach is to love women we're they're at. Their approach is unconditional love. They go into the dark places with gifts for the women, in hopes that we can redeem their past, broken experiences with The Church. It is common for us to here women say, "Wow, I can not believe a church lady is inside of this club talking to me. I can't believe you all care about us enough to come each month with gifts. Why are you so loving? Why do you do this?" This is music to their ears. Their approach is simple, it is consistent love.
Created Tampa has many opportunities for others to be involved in their work. They have Outreach and Volunteer positions available (see their website). Also, they always welcome donations of items to bring to the women they are working with. Examples include gift cards, toiletries, and other beauty items such as makeup or nail polish. We will be collecting donations at our Nov. 29 Holiday Kickoff at Bulla Gastrobar.
Our charity spotlight for our November 2 event is Alpha House of Tampa, and I am in awe of the service that this Tampa non-profit provides to our community. Alpha House of Tampa was founded in 1981 to offer homeless pregnant women and mothers with young children safe housing and the tools they need to become self-sufficient and effective, responsible parents. To meet this mission, they provide a safe, temporary place to stay and assistance with housing and employment, as well as address the underlying issues that contributed to homelessness.
Alpha House of Tampa has a comprehensive residential program serving an average of 100 homeless pregnant and parenting women and their infants and children each year in 39 units of emergency shelter.
Pregnant women and mothers with young children experiencing or at risk of homelessness are provided with safe housing along with an array of support services while living in emergency shelter. Each mother works with her case manager to connect to community resources, develop a plan to secure permanent housing, access counseling, participate in parenting support and healthy child development programs, and pursue education and employment opportunities. The campus is staffed 24 hours a day/365 days per year.
The most important goals of the Alpha House of Tampa are healthy births, maximizing each child’s developmental potential, improving the mother’s ability to become and remain employed, and securing safe housing upon leaving the program.
Be sure to take the time to read some of the powerful success stories of women who have been helped by the Alpha House.
Support Alpha House of Tampa
Alpha House of Tampa relies on generous donations of time and money. At our monthly event on November 2 at Cantina Laredo at the Shops of Wiregrass, we are collecting new women’s panties (sizes M – XXL, with an emphasis on the larger sizes) and new Children’s underwear (2T-6T/X, boys and girls). You can also see the list of needs on their website: http://www.alphahouseoftampa.org/how-you-can-help/donate/wish-lists/
Additionally, Alpha House is preparing for the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week during November 11-19. “No one should have to worry about whether they will have food on their plate or a roof over their head. But the reality is that hunger and homelessness are widespread problems that affect far too many people.” The Alpha House of Tampa offers 39 units of shelter to pregnant women and parenting mothers who are homeless. In addition, they assist women to access government assistance that helps to purchase food for themselves and their children. Help them get the word out about their services and the all too widespread issues that are facing too many people today.
Our charity spotlight for this month is My Hope Chest, founded by Alisa Savoretti. We are so thrilled to bring attention to this non-profit! My Hope Chest is the only national breast reconstruction organization working to help uninsured and under insured women heal completely after undergoing cancer treatment.
My Hope Chest was founded by Alisa Savoretti. A breast cancer survivor and Las Vegas Showgirl, she was 38 and without insurance at the time of her diagnosis. Following a mastectomy and only 5 months after finishing her chemotherapy, Alisa returned to the Las Vegas stage and her career as a professional dancer – this time however, minus one breast.
Billing herself as the “Lop-sided Showgirl”, Alisa shared her personal story and plans for an organization as a result of it, gaining media attention through a news story on the local CBS affiliate. Alisa had to wait nearly 3 years to acquire her own reconstruction. She realized then that there is a huge gap in treatment that existed for “uninsured” women suffering from a mastectomy.
“I realized how my own self-esteem, confidence and self worth as a woman returned when I could look in the mirror and see my whole “physical” being once again. It was my healing, a restoration in body mind and spirit.” – Alisa Savoretti
Experience shows that most advocates and donors to breast cancer organizations believe every aspect of the disease is covered by the larger few breast cancer charities. Unfortunately, this is not true. Thankfully, nearly 10 years since My Hope Chest began, the problem is getting press.
In 2010, they learned that an estimated 22,000 women a year lose their breasts and are uninsured or under insured. Each passing year, we uncover the epidemic proportion of the problem. The reality, there are probably millions of survivors/women and men who gave up hope long ago to ever afford this surgery.
The problem expands as in this economic climate we are seeking a growing number of insured applicants applying for assistance with their Co-pays of $2500-$5000. The good news today… there is hope for survivors who had none. My Hope Chest has changed lives and is diligent continue their mission to heal more survivors heal every year.
How can you help
Their waitlist is long, and funding is their major hurdle. My Hope Chest is looking for corporate sponsors to create long-lasting, win-win partnerships.
In addition to donations, My Hope Chest appreciates volunteer assistance and has multiple upcoming events. Check out their Facebook page for all of the details! Be sure to save the date for their amazing Glo Walk 5K Fun Run on Tampa's Riverwalk on April 14, 2018!
They are also looking for new members for their board, which is a great opportunity to change the lives of their waiting list of women. Meet Alisa at our Irish 31 Westchase event on March 29 to learn more about this organization and see how you can help.
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!