The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, in partnership with Encore Tampa Bay, invites community leaders and individuals to attend the ENCORE TAMPA BAY TOWN HALL

October 21, from 4:30-7:00 at the Feather Sound Country Club

Millions of Americans 50+ are redefining what retirement means, finding new purpose, and doing meaningful work that enriches their lives and strengthens their communities. This event focuses on:

  • Learning about the encore movement
  • Hearing inspiring encore career stories from people in our community
  • Hearing about a local non profit who has successfully leveraged encore
    talent to strengthen their organization
  • Discovering pathways and programs that can help older adults discover
    and connect to their encore career

The Encore Town Hall will cultivate the beginning of an encore community here in Tampa Bay – where the time, talent and experience of people in midlife and beyond strengthen our economy and community.

For more information and to register for this event go to www.encoretampabay.com


Why I Volunteer

Why I Volunteer

(A letter written to us by Richard P.)

I have been volunteering for the past three years for the United Ways HandsOn Tampa, now called HandsOn Suncoast. Some of the organizations that I volunteer with through the United Way are Lowry Park Zoo, Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity. I also volunteered for groups outside of the United Way with Rebuilding Tampa Together and Building Homes for Hero’s. In addition to my local volunteering I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Guatemala where we built two homes. During the volunteer year that ended in December 2013 I had volunteered for a total of 354 hours through the United Way and I was awarded the Presidential Silver Award for Volunteerism.
This year I am going to Malawi, Africa with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for orphans.

People ask why I spend so much time volunteering. I tell them when I am at the Ronald McDonald house cooking dinner for the parents of children that are in the hospital and they come in at the end of the day and see that there is a nice hot meal waiting for them, the look of relief on the face gives me great satisfaction. Their knowing that there is one less thing that they have to worry about is thanks enough for me. Sometimes they can bring their child back to the house and I get to talk with them and these kids are amazing! Their spirits are always high and they truly appreciate the meal as well. This is why I volunteer!

When I am volunteering at Lowry Park Zoo for $6 dollar day and I see the faces of the little kids that are able to make it to the zoo due to the price and they see the baby elephant or the giraffe eat some lettuce out of their hand, it just warms my heart. During Wild Wonderland at Christmas or Zoo Boo during Halloween these little ones are awestruck by the lights and can’t take enough in. Or the old couple who just walk around like they were young again and tell you how beautiful everything is. This is why I volunteer.

The one organization that I volunteer with that makes the largest difference in people’s lives is Habitat for Humanity. Some people believe that they give these homes away, but that is not the fact. The new homeowners must qualify and purchase the home. Granted it is a zero percent, 30 year mortgage that averages $700 per month, but they still have to work for it.

This past weekend truly brought home why I do this. The homeowner of the home we were working on and I were talking and I asked him how the conditions were where he and his family were currently living. You see, one of the qualifying points is that the homeowner candidate must list substandard or dangerous housing. He was telling me that where he lived with his wife and 5 children it was so bad that during the night he would have to get up several times to wipe the roaches off of his kids! No one should have to live in these conditions in this or any other country! This is why I volunteer!

While building homes in Guatemala the family had 2 small boys ages 4 and 5. They were their grandchildren as their parents just up and left them. The homes that we build in Guatemala are block inside and out, with no kitchen and just a bathroom, yet the smile on the face of the homeowners and especially the two boys was all the thanks I needed for spending 7 days in 98 weather with no shade. This is why I volunteer!

I encourage others to volunteer as well. The first time you do and the first thing you volunteer for may not be the right thing for you, but don’t give up try something else. You will find something that you enjoy doing like I have and you will feel good each time you volunteer and you will make a difference one person at a time and that is a great start. That is why I volunteer!

***Richard is one of our superstar HandsOn Suncoast Volunteer Leaders (who also serves as a United Way HandsOn Suncoast Ambassador as well.) This basically sums up National Volunteer Month!***

USF Stampede of Service

Media Contact: Adam Freeman
(813) 974-9047

Story Source: Mallory Trochesset (contact for day of the event)
(228) 806-5662

Thousands of USF Student Volunteers to Participate in Annual Day of Service

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2013) – About 3,000 University of South Florida students will storm the streets of Hillsborough County on Saturday, Jan. 19 to participate in Stampede of Service, USF’s largest annual community service project. From painting the walls of a preschool to spreading mulch at a local park, students will give back to the community by volunteering time, skills, and compassion at sites throughout the area. Coordinated through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, part of the Division of Student Affairs, SOS is designed to engage students with current social issues and introduce them to the importance of community service.

This year students are adopting the motto “make a difference today, make a difference every day,” in hopes of taking the experience of giving back to the community during the SOS event and inspiring volunteer work on a regular basis. SOS student volunteers will check-in for their team assignment during a kickoff event from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the USF Track & Field Stadium, before heading off to their service experience destinations. Teams will be assigned to do environmental cleanup, painting, canned food sorting, visiting the sick or elderly, and many other activities as students spend about three hours on location volunteering. Overall, SOS serves more than 30 different organizations in the Tampa Bay community. The event concludes with students returning to campus for lunch and a variety of activities, including music and outdoor games.

“There is so much power in 3,000-plus students giving back on one day, and we hope that students realize they can continue to make that same difference every day,” said Mallory Trochesset, Associate Director of USF’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

First held in 2006, Stampede of Service is part of USF’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week, providing large groups of volunteers the opportunity to honor Dr. King by participating in community service. Having grown into one of the most well-attended university traditions, SOS is a meaningful USF connection to the local community. SOS was founded seven years ago by a student who wanted to celebrate the MLK holiday. What started with 900 students participating in the inaugural event, grew to a record of more than 3,000 students in 2012.

“This experience places volunteerism at the forefront, enabling us to impact individuals and our community personally,” said Stampede of Service student volunteer Stephanie Senatus.

Several volunteer sites in Tampa are available for media interested in covering the event, including Feeding America Tampa Bay, located at 4702 Transport Drive, Building 6, Weinberg Village Assisted Living Residences, located at 13005 Community Campus Drive, Bakas Equestrian Center (Horses for the Handicapped), located at 11510 Whisper Lake Drive, and USF Preschool for Creative Learning, located at 11811 Bull Run Drive. USF’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement identified community organizations in need of volunteers with the help of the United Way HandsOn Suncoast.

In addition to Stampede of Service, this year’s USF MLK Commemorative Week features a number of activities, including a lecture by former NFL head coach and Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coach Herm Edwards. Edwards will speak on Jan. 16 in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom as part of the USF University Lecture Series.

For more information on Stampede of Service, visit the website: http://leadandserve.usf.edu/servesos.php.

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF ranks 50th in the nation for federal expenditures in research and total expenditures in research among all U.S. universities, public or private, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving more than 47,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.


Why Corporate Service Matters

-From the Chicago Cares Blog-

Volunteer leaders assemble in a conference room for training. They are excited to be there. The firm has approved their project, and in a few months time, their peers will load buses on their way to make the project they planned a reality for an organization they love. Others will attend projects planned by Chicago Cares both on site at the firm, but also across the city. The partnership means that not only does critical work get completed in the community, but through Chicago Cares, Deloitte associates learn how to build a project for an organization whose mission they themselves are passionate about.

That passion does not die out when the last bus of volunteers arrives back at the doors of the corporate office. The passion lives on, as does the service that they seeded in their colleagues that day.

Companies like Deloitte do not do corporate service as part of a marketing plan. Deloitte does Impact Day because the firm believes in service, and knows that commitment to strengthening communities strengthens their business. Deloitte knows that investing in high school students now is an investment in their future associates as well as the community they live and raise their own family in, which is why their Corporate Social Responsibility goals focus on supporting education and decreasing dropout rates.

Deloitte is just one company of many that have committed to sweat equity in the community.

Business is in the business of business. They are not in the business of philanthropy. They do not exist to solve society’s problems. And yet, many companies show up.

Many companies show up to serve and to support their communities. Many companies have Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives or foundations. Many companies are thoughtful about how they impact the world and how it feels as a person to work for an organization that invests in their community.

And many community organizations need their help to achieve their mission goals.

NCVS was an example of this. Toyota sponsored a volunteer business track at the conference. They had their logo on a few things, a car in the exhibition hall, and a chance to speak about how they engage their communities using what they know as a corporation that is both innovative and also efficient. While being a sponsor of the business track has some marketing perks, they probably won’t sell a lot more cars because of it.

So why say yes? Toyota was excited to stand on stage in front of their peers to talk about how they helped a non-profit streamline their production using proven Toyota processes so that families on the Gulf were in their new homes after 6 weeks instead of 6 months. THAT is meaningful impact.

Toyota was excited about what they had discovered and wanted the chance to share. They wanted other companies to see what they see, to learn what they learned.

It reframed for me, as an experienced non-profit professional, what a company could contribute to my organization, especially when paired with what I know about the community and the needs I see every single day. The partnership between the Non-Profit and a Corporation brings together the best of each to make the communities we share stronger.

The Chase Seeds For Change project at conference resulted in 500 garden kits that will go to 95 different schools who currently have gardens or garden space but no shovels, no seeds, no way to engage the students in using the garden as a learning tool. Now those schools have that resource. Three of those schools received gardens on their grounds because Seeds For Change volunteers built them.

Chicago Cares could not afford to pay for a single kit, a single seed, a single trowel, a single bag of soil, a single plant for Schmid Elementary School without Chase underwriting the Seeds For Change project.

It is easy these days to cast Corporations in the role of villain. It is easy to sit and type out an angry post about how marketing has gone too far. It is easy to say that companies are in it for themselves. Admit that it is a little fun to cast yourself as the David to their Goliath and to say that all funding should be purely altruistic.

But the rest of us live in the real world, with real need, and real responsibilities and very real bills to pay. When mission meets interest of a corporate funder, it would be bad business to turn away that dollar because promoting the brand through a marketing initiative makes their motives for service not pure enough for you.

As companies evolve their corporate social responsibility programs to meet business needs, non-profits can be there to marry those interests with the needs we see in the community; in fact, it is our responsibility to do so.

Post is by Kris Smart, Chicago Cares Vice President of Programs. Posted on August 24, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Corporate Volunteer Programs |

HandsOn Tampa Bay Day

We want YOU to join us on Saturday, April 28th for a day of volunteering to benefit the men and women who have so proudly served our nation!

United Way’s HandsOn Tampa Bay (HOT) is teaming up with VA HealthCare System to celebrate HandsOn Tampa Bay Day 2012 with special projects at the Bay Pine VA campus in Pinellas County.

We are looking for 250 volunteers to: landscape; beautify hospital grounds; revitalize the on-site greenhouse; clean the shoreline; visit with the veterans; and help create hand-made cards for veterans.

Must be 14 years and older to participate. But you do not have to be a current HOT volunteer! We will hold a new volunteer orientation on-site, and invite anyone who would like to make this their first project with HandsOn Tampa Bay.

HandsOn Tampa Bay Day 2012 is part of Florida Volunteer Week, which promotes the spirit of volunteerism throughout Florida, and raises awareness about how volunteering changes lives and strengthens communities.

The learning-socializing-networking-motivating ways to help others

About the Prosperity Campaign

The Prosperity Campaign is the name we’ve given to our free tax filing project. United Way, in partnership with multiple other agencies and organizations throughout Tampa Bay, is proud to offer free tax preparation services at locations throughout the bay area. Each year we help thousands of people file their federal returns at no cost and ensure they are filed accurately and that taxpayers receive the tax benefits they qualify for. We couldn’t do any of this without hundreds of dedicated volunteers, however! Volunteers are the foundation of the free tax program and serve in various roles, from preparing and e-filing returns to assisting at the door as greeters/intake specialists. As you’ll learn, you don’t need to have had prior experience with preparing tax returns to help out. We provide all of the training you need for whichever role you are interested in. All we ask is that you come ready to learn, ready to meet and work with a wide variety of people, and able to serve for as much of tax season as possible.

Is volunteering with the Prosperity Campaign right for you?

We are committed to providing a quality service to the community, and we also want this to be a meaningful, positive experience for you. We realize that not every volunteer project is “one size fits all.” The following questions can help you determine if working at our free tax sites is the right project for you and something you will truly enjoy.

The following questions will help you determine if volunteering with the Prosperity Campaign is right for you.

Tax Preparers and Tax Site Assistants

1. New tax preparers will need to complete at least eight hours of training and, depending on the filing program utilized, sometimes up to thirty-two hours. Greeters/Intake Specialists will need to complete a brief training and orientation to learn the duties specific to their role. Can you commit to attending all required trainings for your position sometime between October and January?

2. Tax preparers use on-site computers to prepare returns electronically. For tax preparers, are you comfortable using a computer and able to learn new software?

3. Our sites serve a diverse group of clients. Do you enjoy working one-on-one with a wide range of people?

4. At our sites, every day is different. Are you comfortable in a changing environment where you may be asked to take on different tasks as necessary?

5. The families who visit the sites each year- as well as the coordinators who run them- rely on volunteers showing up at the site consistently and giving their best. Can we count on you to work at least one shift a week (typically 2-4 hours) for the duration of tax season and/or to notify your coordinator if you’re unable to do so?

If you answered yes to all of the above questions for the role you are interested in, then the Prosperity Campaign would be a good fit for you! We invite you to take the next step and fill out an application and/or sign up for an orientation.

Apply Here — Job Descriptions

If you want to volunteer in Pinellas County, please click here.

Day of Caring

How much work can 2,000 volunteers do in one day? A lot, if you ask social service agencies and schools who participated in United Way’s Day of Caring in October.

The volunteers were from companies such as Mosaic and Tech Data, Publix and Allstate, cities in both counties and from the Tampa Bay Rays. They completed 125 projects that ranged from painting and mulching to computer rehab and mock job interviews.

How much is it worth? $341,760.00, using the estimated dollar value of volunteer time from independentsector.org of $21.36 per hour.

Priceless, if you ask the agencies who could not afford to pay to have the projects done. See what it meant to one agency in the article on Community Preschool in this newsletter.

Our workplace fundraising campaign season is in full swing and we’re seeing positive results already. USAA, Gerdau, Citigroup, Clear Channel and GE Aviation are among a few companies who are reporting that they are ahead of goal. Ring Power has started its 50th United Way campaign during its 50th anniversary.

If your campaign has begun and you’ve pledged to help your community, thank you. If it hasn’t, please consider that when you give to United Way, your donations are used where there’s the most need in the community. They’re used wisely and efficiently thanks to oversight by our volunteers. And I’ve come full circle, thanking volunteers for their help, whether it’s weeding or reviewing budgets. We could not do it without you.