Our spotlight charity for September is Grow Into You Foundation, a Tampa-based non-profit that supports teens who have been part of the foster care system. Erin NeSmith is the founder who has a strong desire to make a positive impact on at-risk youth through relationship building, coaching and mentoring to support them in reaching their full potential. She holds a Professional Coaching Certification as a Life Coach and her passion for helping these teens shines through as she speaks of her work with them.
Learn More About Their Work
The majority of teens that find themselves in foster care live in residential facilities rather than traditional homes because families are fearful of taking in a teen.
These same teens often age out of the foster care system at 18 years old with little to no support. The possibilities ahead of them don't look like college, starting a family and financial stability. Their possibilities look more often like homelessness, human trafficking, hunger, drugs, jail and returning to the same foster care system- this time as a parent.
Think of a teen you know...can you imagine he or she stepping into the world alone knowing that they don't have a soul to turn to? No family support system that cares about where they go or what they do?
These teens need guidance. They need support. They need someone to empower them to pursue education, employment and shelter. They need the perspective that allows them to seek out wise choices, create healthy plans for the future, learn life and leadership skills, implement coping strategies and experience what success can and does look like for them.
How Does Their Coaching and Mentorship Help the Teens?
It can be difficult to know what kind of difference you are making with teens. They may not open up or express themselves. Grow Into You Foundation has direct feedback from those they have worked with, and it truly shows how important their work in our community is!
How Can You Get Involved?
Grow Into You Foundation would love your help and support as they guide these teens into adult life. They are seeking volunteers, donations for their organization, and gift cards for their teens. Additionally, they are hosting a Halloween Masquerade Ball on Oct. 27th with the Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Plan to support them if you can!
Please plan to meet Erin at our Roux Girls Night Out on September 25 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. She can answer all of your questions and is excited to share more about the foundation with you. If you are able to donate, she will be collecting gift cards for the teens. Gift cards can be for anything from Publix to fast food, to restaurants, etc. Erin uses them to celebrate “little wins” that the teens accomplish and to provide them with when they are struggling.
I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing president of the TAG-IN Foundation (Teaching Another Generation In Need) at a charity benefit in April. Mary Rieves’ warmth and passion for their cause was immediately apparent, and I knew I wanted to spotlight TAG-IN at one of our monthly events. TAG-IN’s vision is to reach youth through youth. Inspiring, motivating, and equipping them for what is needed to operate successfully in their own lives and communities. Their aim is grooming and teaching a strong generation of young men and women.
What makes this foundation unique is their use of young mentors to inspire at-risk youth to set high goals for themselves. The mission is to bring forth youth that are confident in who they are and desire to help other youth in their schools, communities, and around the world.
This year, TAG-IN is working directly with Van Buren Middle School to support the teachers, staff, and students. There are two essential methods that TAG-IN uses to support their schools. Mentoring is a partnership that will occur in one or two forms: youth to youth and/or professional to youth. Through these relationships, youth will know that they have a partner with whom to share challenges and struggles, celebrate the highs of life, and brainstorm ideas. The goal is to build and enhance positive, caring, and supportive relationships
They also have devised a comprehensive tutoring program for youth. While they will have professionals to tutor and support youth in any area where they may struggle academically, they have another avenue of support that will prove equally beneficial. It is peer to peer tutoring.
Mary will be attending our Brandon Ladies Night Out at O’Brien’s Irish Pub on Aug 22. At the start of the school year, her organization strives to support the staff to ensure the highest level of education possible for the students. Teachers are often burdened with purchasing materials for the classroom, so we are asking for school supply donations of copy paper, pencils, and 3 inch binders.
Additionally, TAG-IN is hosting a Walk A Thon on September 16 in Al Lopez Park and would love your support. Details are below.
Our charity spotlight for July is for a cause close to my heart. Supporting Troops Area wide Nationally and Overseas (S.T.A.N.O.) Foundation is built on a foundation of volunteers whose motto is to serve those who serve with a focus of enhancing the lives of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families. They are committed to provisioning support to these selfless individuals who sacrifice so much for us. S.T.A.N.O. Foundation is a non-profit organization also dedicated to being a resource to military families stationed in the Tampa Bay area looking for places to spend holidays or join military related events.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the founder, Paula Stano. She is a single mom of a US Marine who is the inspiration behind this organization. After his enlistment, she quickly learned of how many of our military troops didn’t have any or much support from back home. With her son being stationed overseas, it became painstakingly apparent during the holiday season that these men and women would have to celebrate in either their barracks or maybe a local USO and not with their families. Paula would like to incorporate a program here in the Tampa Bay area where anyone stationed here without family would be able to sign up for a program where they could spend holidays with host families so they didn’t feel so alone. Paula has a great passion of helping others and wants to help our soldiers feel closer to home even when stationed far from their families.
The STANO Foundation is best known for their personalized care packages that they send overseas. They focus on providing a personal, heart felt touch into every package. This is done by asking “what can we do better?” And “what would you like in your care package?” They send out these packages throughout the year, with particularly large shipments during July and before Christmas time. The packages are made possible by item and shipping cost donations from the community. You can view the entire list of requested donation items on their website.
Paula will be attending our Girls Night Out at Primebar on July 19th and is looking forward to meeting you all! We are requesting donations of beef jerky and/or black crew socks to help fill their care packages. Please bring your donations to Primebar for Paula to collect.
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our June Girls Night Out; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Timeless Photography
It was such a job to have Edna, or Lola as she is also known, capture this event for us! Please view our photos here, and contact Timeless Photography for engagements, weddings, birthdays, everyday moments and any other photography needs! She covers Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
LuLaRoe with Pam Beam
Pam offers fashionable, unique, affordable, and incredibly comfortable LuLaRoe clothing. Her inventory includes shirts, dresses, skirts, kid’s clothing, and of course, LEGGINGS! You can order online or visit her in-home boutique.
LipSense with Amber
Amber shared her inventory of colors from LipSense. LipSense is the premier product of SeneGence and is unlike any lipstick, stain or color. LipSense is a long-lasting (4-18 hours!) liquid lip color that is formulated to molecularly bond to your lips. LipSense is Waterproof, Kiss-proof, Kid-proof, Vegan and Cruelty-free. In addition to LipSense, SeneGence has a complete long-lasting cosmetic and skin care line.
Yoli with Valerie
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Did you have a chance to learn about the Better Body System? It's not magic, it is a foundational, holistic system of synergistic all natural products that support and optimize the bodies physiological systems and processes. What sets the program apart is the patented product called Alkalete. Valerie shared her own mother's health story and how these products have impacted their family.
Premier Jewelry with Elizabeth
Premier Jewelry features the latest trends, to help you maximize your wardrobe and elevate your style. Premier jewelry is high in fashion, packed with versatility and easy on your budget. With almost 500 pieces in the collection, there’s something for everyone, every day! Contact Elizabeth to purchase your favorites for yourself or as gifts!
Bella Mia Medical Aesthetics and Laser Institute of Tampa
Dr. Linette Rivera and Dr. Pina Panchal provide medical aesthetics and medical services, executed or directly supervised by the physicians, ensuring the best care in a safe environment. In addition to skin services, you can visit them for weight loss goals as well! You can learn more about these impressive doctors from our blog feature!
Isagenix with Lili and Cristina
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No matter what your health goals are, Lili and Cristina can help you with their Isagenix product lines.Isagenix is protein based, mineral rich, nutrient dense, super food that combines nutritional cleansing with targeted essential nutrition that feeds the body on a cellular level.
Young Living with Kelly
As the world leader in essential oils, Young Living believes that everyone deserves a life full of abundance and wellness. Their vision is to bring the life-changing benefits of essential oils to every home, family, and lifestyle. Contact Kelly to learn how oils can help you in your wellness journey.
Nspire Network with Greg and Jacqueline
Now We No is the campaign that is informing men and women all over the world about the harmful effects that today’s sanitary napkins and tampons may have on women’s bodies. Visit the websites to learn more about the movement and view the innovative products that Nspire Network offers.
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
Our spotlight charity for the month of June is the non-profit Reality Speaks. Some of you may have even met the founder at our May Girls Night Out at Carmel! Dr. Chinyere Okpaleke, better known as ChiChi, founded Reality Speaks when she experienced first-hand the challenges faced by student athletes after graduation. This is how Reality Speaks came about; a guide to dream and be motivated beyond your limits. Reality Speaks facilitates student-athletes through a series of specialized programs dedicated to the successful transition after sports, while enhancing individuals’ mindset to be motivated beyond athletics.
There are more than 460,000 NCAA student-athletes, and less than 2% of those athletes will go on to compete professionally in their sport. An NCAA study on the experiences of college athletes revealed that 60% of student athletes reported viewing themselves "more as athletes than students.” Many hours are devoted to training, practice, and conditioning during their college years, leaving them unprepared for the professional world, damaging their ability to compete in the job market post-graduation. Reality Speaks, Inc. is a non-profit organization that targets student-athletes in successfully preparing them for life after sports. They aim to discover athletes’ interest outside of their sport, and motivate these young minds to dream beyond their limits, while guiding them in the process. The staff at Reality Speaks believe “a vision cannot be taught, but it can be directed.” A dream beyond sports…this is reality.
How Can You Help?
Reality Speaks will be having their 3rd annual clothing drive on June 18th. Every year, they donate kids, men's and woman's clothing, jewelry, accessories, and shoes to handpicked organizations who need them most. During our drives, they use student-athletes to volunteer at the events. Their experience volunteering helps with the Reality Speaks mission to help build resumes and volunteer exposure. The last couple years they’ve had USF and UT Mens and women's basketball teams volunteer. The collected clothing will be donated to local charities in need: ECHO, The Spring, and Generation Next.
In support of this spotlight charity, please consider bringing a clothing donation to our June 13 event. Dr. ChiChi will be in attendance to collect your donations and answer any questions you may have about Reality Speaks. For more information, you can also visit their website, RealitySpeaks.org.
We just had our fourth amazing event last week here in Tampa. I’d like to give a big thank you to Vuelo Mexican Grill for being so accommodating and welcoming to our group! Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend. I love seeing so many familiar faces and meeting new guests every month. With each passing month, I see how ready Tampa was for a group like this, and I hope you will all continue to come out and support each other!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our Spring Fling; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs.
PHOTOGRAPHER: IME Independent Mobile Entertainment
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Tabetha from IME Independent Mobile Entertainment did such a great job with our photos from this event. Check them out here! IME is a mobile entertainment service specializing in DJ services and photography. Competitive prices and they can play any genre of music.
LuLaRoe with Lisa Lett
LuLaRoe is an American fashion brand specializing in clothing from size 2T-3XL. LuLaRoe features everything from dresses, skirts and tops to leggings and more! There is no catalog, as each unique and comfortable piece is part of a print that is only used for approximately 2,500-5,000 garments. Which is where the Unicorns come into play! Lisa is available for in-home pop-up parties, on-line parties and shopping (both on-line and in person for locals) as well as FaceBook Live sales!
Pure Romance with Zaeda
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With the best in bath, beauty, and bedroom accessories, it's easy to find something you'll love. When you place your order from Zaena on her private, secured site, your order will arrive at your home promptly and wrapped in discreet packaging.
Young Living with Kelly
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Young Living sets itself apart from other essential oils with its Seed to Seal® process. This meticulous, five-step approach allows them to deliver nature’s most potent and pure essential oils from their farms to your family. Kelly is passionate about the ability of oils to improve a family’s daily lives and would love to share her knowledge with you!
VOXX Life with Cathy
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Tired of always being SORE and ACHY? Both comfortable and affordable, Voxx Socks and Insoles can help you live a better quality life! Check out Cathy’s Facebook page and website to learn more about the incredible technology in VoxxLife’s socks and insoles.
Isagenix with Lili, Alejandra, and Estrella
Isagenix has solutions for whatever goal you have with their effective nutritional programs for weight loss, performance, healthy aging, and energy. You will love the convenience, taste, and health benefits!
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
Our monthly charity organization spotlight this month is the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. In order to understand the impact this organization has on our community, the best place to start is its mission: to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone. It has been in operation for 45 years in Hillsborough County, and provides a “gateway to healing” for the community. The Crisis Center has a multitude of services available to achieve their mission.
2-1-1 Call Center
The 2-1-1 Call Center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and received over 110,000 calls for information and services last year. Staff and volunteer Intervention Specialists provide immediate and confidential short-term crisis intervention, and information and referral to over 4,600 human services available in Hillsborough County, including resources for: basic needs for food, rent, clothing, shelter and utilities, relationship counseling, senior services, health and substance abuse issues, depression and suicide, teenage issues, parenting help, disaster assistance, legal affairs and financial support.
You can reach the 2-1-1 Call Center by simply dialing 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone in Hillsborough County. They have Interpretation service available for more than 150 languages and translation services for people with hearing impairments.
You can also access 2-1-1’s collection of over 4,600 on their website www.211atyourfingertips.org. The database includes resources in Hillsborough County and some for the surrounding areas, the state of Florida and nationally.
Learn more about the Call Center on their website.
The Crisis Center provides up-to-date information about their services on their user-friendly website. Access these links for the topics below to learn more:
The Crisis Center has some needs to continue to operate and support our community. If you would like to donate, they are always in need of gift cards (Walmart, Target, Publix, Restaurants) and currently need yoga pants in any size for sexual assault victims. Sandy, the VP of Development, will be attending our Girls Night Out event on April 6 at Vuelo Mexican Grill to collect donations and answer any questions you may have about the Crisis Center.
Thank you to all who attended our Bar Louie Girls Night Out! We had so much fun, and I know the vendors loved meeting all of the guests! I also know traffic was difficult and we were all feeling the effects of the day after the Super Bowl, so here is a recap of our AWESOME vendors!
Many of you are just learning about Housewives in the City, or were just unable to attend our launch event, so I'd love to share some local businesses with you! These businesses were featured at our vendor tables and we just love them! Please reach out to them to support their businesses if they have something you need or want!
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!