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.
Get a break from our summer heat with Disney On Ice presents Frozen, coming to Tampa's Amalie Arena from Sept 29 – Oct 1, 2017! You’ll be magically whisked away into the wintry world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to inspiring songs, including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all!
Hosted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, with special guest appearances by your most beloved Disney Princesses and characters from favorites like Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, this unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.
Ticket prices start at $18!
Sep 29, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
11:00AM , 03:00PM , 07:00PM
Oct 01, 2017
11:00AM , 03:00PM
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To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa. Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating.
Producers Nicole Feld and Kenneth Feld have selected the brightest and most creative minds in the industry to put together this spectacular show.
The Artist - Nathan Sawaya
When you arrive at The Art of the Brick Tampa, you are welcomed into a small area to watch a 3 minute video about the artist behind the exhibit, Nathan Sawaya. It was fascinating to learn all about his passion for LEGOs and the journey that led to creating the exhibit after being a corporate lawyer in NYC.
After the video, you have a self-directed walking tour of the gallery that houses the exhibit. Each area has a theme, such as the first room with famous art recreated by LEGOs. I loved checking out the title of each piece and the number of bricks that it took to assemble it. The Mona Lisa and Starry Night were my favorites in this gallery!
I will include some photos of the exhibit, but I don’t want to ruin it for you! My boys loved seeing how LEGOs can be assembled to create amazing things of all shapes and sizes. I was in awe of the artistic component. Sawaya truly found ways to take a novel medium to create pieces that were able to evoke emotion and feeling.
At the end of the tour, there is an interactive area with LEGO bricks for everyone to assemble their own creations. There is even a spot for the littlest ones to have fun with the Duplo larger blocks! Everyone will have the chance to be inspired and explore their creativity.
Know if you go - And you should go!
Designated parking is available, but it is a bit of a walk from the museum. There are plenty of lots downtown, just follow signage and pay as posted.
The exhibit is FREE to view, courtesy of the Vinik Foundation, through September 4 at 802 East Whiting Street in Downtown Tampa (District 3 Arts and Event Center). The exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
For Little Ones to Love
The hoodies are highly functional. The sleeveless jumper we have is a great balance of cool for summer and still great for being in the air conditioning in a museum or mall.
While baby boy is probably too young to have a preference on his appearance, his big brothers LOVE the spikes on the hoodie. They can’t agree on whether he looks like a dino or alligator, but they love the design!
For Adults to Love
The Purl Lamb Hoodie Company produces clothing that is organic and ethically made by Fair trade artisans with organic dyes and processes. They are thick, durable, and true to size. My guy is about 20 pounds and close to a year old, and he fits perfectly in the 6 - 12 months size. I love the variety of unique designs! Check out the donuts or French fries!
I happily dressed my little guy in the jumper, and I think these styles would be a wonderful gift to someone with children for any occasion.
Purl Lamb offers free domestic shipping on orders over $75, and a money back guarantee.
FInd Purl Lamb
While all thoughts are my own, I received a complimentary Purl Lamb jumper for my review.
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!