Alpha House of Tampa offers homeless, pregnant women and young mothers with children, many of whom are former foster teens, safe housing and the tools they need to become self-sufficient, effective, and responsible parents.  Service delivery is based on a case plan comprised of 5 components of care including mental health counseling, social rehabilitative counseling, life skills management, vocational assistance, and collateral services.  School-age mothers are required to complete their academic studies while in the program.  The remaining curriculum of programs offers a wide variety of classes that address critical education and tools for new mothers including labor and delivery, nutrition, motivational classes, individual and group trauma counseling, women’s health issues, child care and parenting skills.

The Parents As Teachers program offers homeless mothers and their children a national, best-practice, evidence-based early child-development curriculum that includes parenting education and training, early detection of developmental delays and health issues, and the tools to achieve measure-able outcomes in the prevention of low birth-weight and substance-exposed babies, repeat unplanned pregnancies, and developmental delays that contribute to failure in school and ongoing dependence on public assistance through comprehensive, hands-on system of care for both mothers and babies. This year, Parents As Teachers has expanded with outreach prevention services that include in-home visits as well as hearing and developmental screenings to at-risk children beyond those served by their residential program. The organization is currently working to establish a presence in each county in the state through strategic partnerships with local public housing authorities and social services agencies serving at-risk children and families.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay facilitates positive mentorship relationships for at-risk children that contribute to brighter futures and stronger communities, serving as role models for children that increase self-esteem and responsible decision-making

The Annual Big for a Day Match Event at MacDill Air Force Base allows unmatched children to be matched with an Air Force service member and esteemed role model and participate in a day of fun, bonding activities including sports, recreation and an educational tour of the base.  Funding also supports the Spring Match Picnic with match activities at a Florida State Park; summer arts activities at the Straz Center; boys and girls group activities; Fall and Halloween Festival; a day at Adventure Island for Littles and their Bigs; and the Annual Holiday Match Party for Littles and their Big Brothers and Sisters.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida provides a safe, after-school environment for low-income students with specialized educational and character development activities that enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.  The Boys and Girls Clubs strive to empower youth to support and influence their club and community by sustaining positive, meaningful relationships with others, develop a healthy self-image, develop educational disciplines and the skills to achieve life-long success.

The Friday Night LIVE program enables students at the Walt Disney World Club who live in the low-income, high-crime neighborhood of Pine Hills to participate in the Friday night expansion of teen services with a wide range of programming including Lego Robotics, Digital Music Production, Multimedia & Digital Arts Technology, and Sports and Fitness. These programs were designed to harness creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills that strengthen academic performance, create a positive outlet and allow for the development of special interests for students with limited exposure to after-school programs. The Friday Night LIVE programs work to foster curiosity, self-discipline and leadership. This year, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida will be expanding the program, replicating Friday Night LIVE at a second club, serving youth at the Universal Orlando Foundation branch.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade provides a safe, after-school environment for low-income students with specialized educational and character development activities that enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.  The Boys and Girls Clubs strive to empower youth to support and influence their club and community by sustaining positive, meaningful relationships with others, develop a healthy self-image, develop educational disciplines and the skills to achieve life-long success.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade expands their after-school activities program that includes dance and performing arts with ongoing support at the Hank Kline Club and now duplicated at the Northwest Club with grant funds this year. These clubs introduce music instruction to the program with additional funding that supports the purchase of the children's music instruments. Students receive hands-on music lessons through partnerships with the New World School of the Arts Music Department and the Miami Symphony Orchestra. The Project Learn after-school programming allows children of low-income families to explore their interests, develop intellectual and creative aptitudes, and learn the importance of self-discipline and personal achievement. Participation in the dance and performing arts program at the Hank Kline Club has demonstrated positive outcomes for the at-risk girls in improving confidence, self-image, teamwork and skill building.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida provides a safe, after-school environment for low-income students with specialized educational and character development activities that enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.  The Boys and Girls Clubs strive to empower youth to support and influence their club and community by sustaining positive, meaningful relationships with others, develop a healthy self-image, develop educational disciplines and the skills to achieve life-long success.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida introduces a computer and technology education program at their newest club location, the NFL YET Club, located in the at-risk community downtown Jacksonville neighborhood of Brentwood Park where the majority of school children do not have access to computers or technology literacy education necessary to excel in their academic studies and compete in a 21st Century marketplace. The club's computer and technology education program works to expand opportunities to acquire workforce skills and exposure to a new world of information that encourage creative thinking and analytical skills. The Club purchases digital arts suite software and equipment needed to support instruction in web design, graphic design, music composition, photo illustration and movie making. The after-school technology program boosts skill-building and proficiencies that gives low-income students the ability to expand their interests and explore potential career opportunities.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County provides a safe, after-school environment for low-income students with specialized educational and character development activities that enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.  The Boys and Girls Clubs strive to empower youth to support and influence their club and community by sustaining positive, meaningful relationships with others, develop a healthy self-image, develop educational disciplines and the skills to achieve life-long success.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County enhances its after-school STEM program serving low-income, at-risk children that augments the Club Tech digital literacy program and lab that enables children with limited educational opportunities to participate in interactive learning experiences that illustrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts with increased awareness and engagement. The STEM program increases each child's cognitive development, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The program exposes economically-disadvantaged students to education and career development opportunities, character and leadership development, computer and digital design skills that build academic competencies, literacy and creativity. Funding supports the purchase of updated computers, video display and other equipment in the program's existing computer lab.

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The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay provides a safe, after-school environment for low-income students with specialized educational and character development activities that enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. The Boys and Girls Clubs strive to empower youth to support and influence their club and community by sustaining positive, meaningful relationships with others, develop a healthy self-image, develop educational disciplines and the skills to achieve life-long success.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay's 21st Century Learning Program Middle School Initiative targets students in grades 6-8 attending 3 Title I Hillsborough County Middle Schools: Van Buren Middle School, Webb Middle School, and Shields Middle School. The program utilizes the Club's curricula and staff to provide high quality services that support student learning and development including tutoring and mentoring, academic enrichment, homework assistance, music, art, service learning, character education, physical education, recreational activities, dropout prevention, college and carer readiness. The ultimate goal of the project is to build strong, engaging out-of-school time programs on campus that complement the regular school day activities to provide the tools these students need to succeed in their academic, social and personal life. Funding supports the academic enrichment component of the 21st Century Learning program through project-based learning, promoting academic success and continual progression through school, developing essential 21st Century cognitive skills, critical reasoning, effective communication, collaboration and creativity. Development of these skills help at-risk students to improve academic performance in math, reading and science.

Brookwood Florida provides a therapeutic community-based residential group home for adolescent foster girls who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect and abandonment or those at-risk and placed by low-income families under severe hardship.  Their holistic program provides education, job skills and independent living skills training and counseling in coping with self-defeating behavior and work to instill strength of character and responsible decision-making to maintain a stable living environment upon transition to independence.

The Recreational and Cultural Activities Program offers foster girls, ages 13-18, access to experiential learning opportunities and after-school activities that encourage social and intellectual development, creativity and positive character development.  Activities including swimming lessons, skating, bowling, hiking, art appreciation exhibits and nature center outings.

Caring Children Clothing Children collects and distributes gently-used clothing, new shoes, socks, underwear, books and educational materials to children of socio-economically disadvantaged families.  Additionally, the literacy program offers younger children in preparation for Pre-K and Kindergarten, individual tutoring, assisted reading sessions and interactive learning activities that enhance cognitive development and reading comprehension skills.

Caring Children Clothing Children serves children of low-income families by providing new shoes, socks and underwear that improve self-esteem and healthy functionality in the school setting.  Pre-school age children receive books and learning materials that include Brainy Baby books, learning boards and puzzles as part of the literacy education program.  The literacy program instructs children and their parent of the value of reading and education and provide them with the foundation they need to identify and promote intellectual and developmental gains in their child.

Chapman Partnership provides comprehensive services to support stability and self-sufficiency for homeless families and their children with temporary housing, economic and educational opportunities that work to reduce the cycle of poverty and allows children to grow and thrive in a safe and supportive environment.  Their goal for the youth development program for children living in the emergency shelter care is to expose them to positive social, learning activities that enhance their intellectual and emotional development and create fun-filled childhood memories for children who have had limited opportunities for healthy stimulation and engagement in education and special interests.

The Me and My Family Program will offer children of homeless families to engage in quality time with their family in after-school and holiday activities/events that will be held in conjunction with collection drives that provide clothing and personal items for each child.  These include a Halloween children’s party with costume making, magician and haunted house activities for the children; a Thanksgiving children’s party that will encourage children to give thanks and participate in acts of kindness to others and learn the value of honor, respect and gratitude; a Holiday children’s party with food, games, Santa Claus and toys for each child; a Valentine’s Day craft party where children make their own valentines and bake cookies with family and mentors; and the Easter family event at Jungle Island will host an egg hunt and animal show for the children.  Other activities include field trips for children and families to the Miami Zoo and Sea Aquarium and a 4-week summer camp with the Miami Children’s Museum that includes interactive exhibits and learning programs related to arts, culture, community and communication along with outdoor recreational activities on the playgrounds, rock climbing wall, water play area and in the dance and fitness program.  Funding supports the supplies, materials, admission fees and travel expenses of each activity.

Charity Navigator is the largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities and intelligent guide to philanthropic giving by gathering and analyzing data that reflects the financial health, transparency and accountability of charitable organizations.  Charity Navigator provides information as to the efficiency and effectiveness of operational sustainability and utilization of funding dollars of qualified nonprofit organizations.

The financial and organizational analysis of 20 additional charities whose missions are in line with the Hobbs Foundation’s charitable focus, those benefitting socio-economically disadvantaged children in Florida and throughout the U.S., is conducted with costs that include obtaining financial data from the IRS and communicating with charities for additional research as well as maintaining and developing the charity evaluator database and website.  Charity Navigator provides research analysis to nonprofits and grantmakers nationwide in evaluating the sustainability and long-term impact of their programs that ensures the growth and development of charitable missions.

Children in Crisis was established to raise and manage funds to build, staff and operate The Children’s Neighborhood, a residential group home and emergency shelter for abused, neglected and abandoned children.  Teen transitional housing provides shelter and care for independent living youth transitioning out of the foster care system.  Children in need of long-term foster care are offered a structured, family-style home environment cared for by a set of dedicated house parents in one of each of their 4 homes, housing 8-10 children. The Children’s Neighborhood’s emergency shelter allows for the immediate placement of children removed from their homes with a capacity to care for up to 16 children for a maximum stay of 30 days until permanent placement can be established.

The Summer Enrichment Program offers foster children in residential care exposure to comprehensive educational activities that foster intellectual and social development, team building, and provide a healthy outlet in promoting personal growth and exploration.  The children’s exposure to hands-on learning experiences will seek to expand their minds and lead to new ways of thinking, living and seeing the world around them.  Activities will explore STEM learning projects, the arts, culture and history with field trips to Wonder Works Hands On Science Museum, The Gulfarium, The Gulf Breeze Zoo, Dolphin Cruise, The Planetarium, Adventure Unlimited, Marianna Caverns, The Heritage Park and Cultural Center, Abrakadoodle, Full Circle Gallery, Gaytowne Wharf, The National Navel Aviation Museum, and the Northwest Florida Symphony.

Children’s Harbor provides a residential, family-style group home for long-term foster children in addition to community-based outreach services for the prevention of abuse and neglect.  The residential program provides a home for 34 children, accommodating large sibling groups, pregnant and parenting teen foster care mothers and their babies, and focuses on keeping family networks together and support systems in tact during a time of crisis in a child’s life.  The children’s homes utilize a house parent model that provides a consistent, stable home-like environment encouraging children to build safe, trusting relationships with adults and their peers and reduce the social and emotional barriers of trauma.

The Academic and Life Skills Program allows Children’s Harbor mentors to work with each child individually to determine their needs for personal growth and development as well as academic competencies that provides every child with the tools they need to succeed.  Children meet with their life coach each week and participate in after-school educational activities based on the results of evidence-based assessments that work to identify gaps in academic, psychological and social skills.  The program model works to improve coping skills, increase self-esteem and confidence that increases knowledge of and demonstration of appropriate skill development in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and responsible decision-making.  Funding supports participation fees and travel expenses for educational field trips and after-school activities, school supplies, school uniforms, clothing, shoes, and other supplementary educational materials.

The Children’s Home provides a faith-based, family-centered residential group home for children who have suffered from abuse, neglect and abandonment.  The Children’s Home seeks to create a home-like community that promotes a loving, nurturing environment that serves as a source of strength and stability for 100 foster children each year.  Their comprehensive program addresses the needs of children who have experienced chronic trauma, negative social behaviors and self-esteem issues and works to help children develop healthy coping skills and build positive relationships.  Their individualized counseling model encourages children to discover their interests, develop their curiosities and build coping skills with caring support and positive mentorship.

The residential treatment program provides a safe home, counseling, nutrition, healthcare, educational support, and enrichment activities for residential care children.  The Explore After 4 Program seeks to build developmental assets through recreational programming during after-school and out-of-school time based on a therapeutic children’s development model using evidence-based practices from the Search Institute designed to address the social and emotional needs of foster children intended to improve gaps in healthy relationship-building, resiliency, self-awareness and responsible decision-making.  These activities include outdoor team sports, biking, swimming, leadership council, music & art, dance, birthday parties and community service projects.  Participation in structured learning activities that encourage peer bonding, positive goal setting and self-discipline helps foster children who have suffered from physical and emotional trauma to build character, integrity, personal responsibility and a sense of purpose.

Clothes To Kids provides quality new and used clothing free of charge to school-age children of low-income families.  The organization conducts its operations on the basis of four core values including compassion, respect, self-esteem and service.  Clothes To Kids strives to provide a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to disadvantaged children that instill a sense of self-worth and dignity.  Qualifying children are referred by a case worker or social worker employed by a local social service agency, a school teacher, administrator or guidance counselor with the school district, or a church leader in their place of worship.  Financial need is determined by Title I or public school free lunch program enrollment.  Children may shop in the Clothes To Kids store and receive clothing up to 2 times per year based on need.

A complete week’s worth of new school uniform clothing is provided to an additional 200 children of low-income families that helps to remove the barriers socio-economically disadvantaged children have to participating fully in their academic studies, relating to their peers and benefiting from a positive educational experience.  Each child receives 2 polo tops and pants, 5 pairs of socks, and 5 pairs of underwear during their visit to Clothes To Kids.

Covenant House Florida provides emergency shelter care and vital relief services in helping homeless, at-risk youth escape a life on the streets, combating abandonment, abuse, trafficking and exploitation.  The Covenant House program model strives to combat chronic homelessness and destructive lifestyles with an array of in-house services and educational opportunities including healthcare, GED preparation, job readiness and career training, drug abuse treatment and prevention, life skills training and continuing after care.

The YES (Youth Enrichment Services) Program offers disadvantaged youth, struggling with homelessness, lack of education and the emotional burden of abandonment, the opportunity to participate in cultural education activities and events, field trips and arts performances that facilitates a greater perspective of new opportunities and new ways of life, increasing cognitive development and socio-cultural awareness.  Activities include field trips and weekend outings at science and natural environment education centers, visual and performance art events and local cultural events. 

Dignity U Wear provides new clothing to a network of social services agencies, children’s homes, child welfare organizations throughout Florida as well as low-income school districts in their Duval County and surrounding community through strategic partnerships in the apparel industry.  Dignity U Wear fulfills specific requests to meet the clothing needs of disadvantaged children with a target approach, providing clothing tailored to the individual needs of children rather than relying on those collected through clothing drives and donation boxes that may not bring clothing appropriate to each child’s needs.  The Dignity U Wear warehouse works to distribute new clothing to children living in poverty or in the foster care system that brings a sense of dignity and self-worth, and fulfill the basic needs for underserved children to remove the barriers to education and the potential for a stable, healthy life and a promising future.

Funding supports the expansion of a clothing distribution program to low-income school children in the impoverished area of Baker County where more than 50% of public school students are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program and live below the poverty line in a rural community where resources, public transportation and access to social services is limited.  Dignity U Wear works with local social workers, educators and school counselors in the county’s public school system to identify children in need of clothing and distribute new clothing to low-income students, including pants, shirts, polos, shorts, dresses, underwear and socks.

The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes provide faith-based residential group home and emergency shelter care to abused, neglected and abandoned children, teen pregnancy care and in-house foster care placement.  Florida Baptist Children’s Homes work to fulfill the role as advocate on behalf of each child’s developmental, emotional and spiritual needs during a time of crisis.  By instilling in children strong Christian values and the support of a dedicated, loving family, they have the opportunity to exemplify positive relationships, healthy lifestyles and achieve personal growth.

The Youth on a Mission Program offers foster care children at the Florida Baptist Children's Home campus the opportunity, with the support of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes associated rescue missions and shelters serving disadvantaged families and their children, to engage in community service efforts and experience the value of giving selflessly to others in need that encourages positive character development and trusting relationships.  The program is designed to teach children about the importance of giving back and opening their eyes to the needs of their own communities, and to gain perspective on their own personal struggles with the knowledge that there are others with less fortune in need of physical and emotional support.  Funds support lodging, fuel, food and supplies in traveling both throughout the state and abroad volunteering their time to contribute to mission projects to benefit the poor, homeless families and children.

Florida United Methodist Children’s Home provides faith-based residential group home care, independent living services, foster care placement and adoption services to abused, abandoned and neglected children.  The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home utilizes a house parent model with campus programs that attend to each child’s educational, recreational, healthcare and therapeutic counseling needs during their healing process, facilitating the development of life management skills and emotional well-being that will carry them to successful, independent living.

Florida United Methodist Children's Home's education program was developed to meet the individual needs of foster children who typically are at least one grade level behind their peers, providing academic support and specialized tutoring that works to improve academic progress and develop good study habits. Each child's educational treatment plan addresses barriers to academic performance including assessment of perception and cognitive processing, social and personal relationships, and emotional instabilities that affect a young trauma victims to reach their full potential. Funding supports the introduction of STEM education instruction with the purchase of classroom materials and equipment that works to improve their students' technological proficiencies, problem-solving and analytical competencies in the areas of math and science. The STEM education program promotes active engagement and critical thinking application necessary for post-secondary education and employment readiness.

Joshua House provides therapeutic emergency shelter care and a safe, permanent residential group home for abused, neglected and abandoned children, offering them a stable and nurturing, family-like environment during a time of recovery and personal growth.  Their comprehensive program offers individual counseling, life skills training, educational opportunities and transitional support services.  Joshua House offers a safe, family-like environment with a caring and dedicated staff that provides nurturing home for foster children in Hillsborough County.

Friends of Joshua House provides funding directly to support the children at Joshua House for non-operational funds not covered by the Department of Children and Families contract stipends per child, including restoration of cottages, clothing, nutritional foods, allowances, activities, life skills training, and independent living transitional services. Funding supports the Joshua House Activities Program that will allow children to participate in after-school sports, animal therapy activities, prom and homecoming dances, birthday parties, vocational skills training, cooking classes, and community service. The younger children have had the chance to participate in summer and after-school extracurricular activities including little league baseball, football league, soccer, dance, and computer training courses. Joshua House seeks to provide quality of life enhancing, constructive, learning experiences that encourage structure, discipline, creativity and personal achievement. Their children will continue to develop their skills and talents that improve healthy and emotional well-being and interact with their peers to develop positive interpersonal relationships that heal trauma and emotional struggle.  Grant expenditures include support for membership fees, equipment, supplies and transportation for the children’s participation in after-school activities and summer camps.

Grace Place for Children and Families provides quality, faith-based after-school educational and youth development opportunities including literacy, language and life skill development programming to at-risk children of low-income families with a focus on the Golden Gate City and surrounding area that represents the most financially needy and under-served children in Southwest Florida.  Their School-Age Children’s Program offers tutoring, homework assistance, structured cognitive and social enrichment activities, and career exploration field trips.  Grace Place encourages families to become actively involved in the healthy growth and development, and academic pursuits of their children emphasizing the importance of raising the standard of academic achievement for their child.

The AP Leadership Program is a three-tiered program that encompasses all high school grade levels, requiring students to participate in an after-school program focusing on college and career preparation activities, college visits, ACT preparation assistance and financial literacy workshops.  In the final stages of the program, students will be offered part-time employment as teaching assistants in the Academy of Leaders after-school program along with additional mentorship opportunities. Students learn and practice essential skills such as effective communication, problem solving, conflict management, managing tasks and leadership skills.  Leadership and mentorship opportunities incorporate weekly participation in the Teen Outreach Program that includes professional training, team-building and role-playing activities that reduce the risk of problem-behavior, promote healthy choices and empower teens to actively engage in their educational experience, strive for active career development and build stronger communities.  Funding supports fees for college preparation workshops and high school counselor coordination, supplies and materials for meetings and retreats, college visits and mentorship events for children participating in the after-school education program at Grace Place.

The Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco manages adoption services that enable children living in foster care to realize the dream of finding a permanent, loving family while raising awareness and fostering education about foster children in need of a stable, nurturing home.  The Heart Gallery exhibit brings the community closer to the faces and voices of foster children with photography and personal information on each child in search of a family.  The Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco was created in partnership with Eckerd Community Alternatives, the leading, licensed foster care provider in Pinellas and Pasco County with a mission of providing innovative programs that help to promote the adoption and enrichment of foster care children.

The Video Recruitment Project gives children long-awaiting adoption due to age, sibling group, length of stay or a troubling family history the opportunity to play a role in their own recruitment and a personally connected vehicle for reaching potential adoptive parents that is made available online, at exhibits and through care managers. Each child has the opportunity to share their thoughts, wishes, and hopes and develop a personal relationship with potential families that provides insight to each child’s personality and personal needs.  Funding supports expenses associated with production and editing, DVD and digital media copies and website accessibility for approximately 20 children awaiting adoption.

The Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay manages adoption services that enable children living in foster care to realize the dream of finding a permanent, loving family while raising awareness and fostering education about foster children in need of a stable, nurturing home.  The Heart Gallery exhibit brings the community closer to the faces and voices of foster children with photography and personal information on each child in search of a family.  The Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay is a collaborative effort of the Children’s Board and Camelot Community Care, Tampa Bay’s leading child welfare and behavioral health agency providing foster care services, case management, adoptions and therapeutic counseling with the goal of achieving permanency and a successful transition to independent living for foster children in Hillsborough County.

The Video Recruitment Project gives children long-awaiting adoption due to age, sibling group, length of stay or a troubling family history the opportunity to play a role in their own recruitment and a personally connected vehicle for reaching potential adoptive parents that is made available online, at exhibits and through care managers. Each child has the opportunity to share their thoughts, wishes, and hopes and develop a personal relationship with potential families that provides insight to each child’s personality and personal needs.  Funding supports expenses associated with production and editing, DVD and digital media copies and website accessibility for approximately 20 children awaiting adoption.

Heartland for Children is a community-based care child welfare agency that provides child welfare management for the regional foster care system, overseeing the provision of services for abused, neglected and abandoned children including case management, adoption, individual and family counseling services and independent living.  Heartland strives to improve the standard of safety, permanency and wellbeing of foster care youth, providing additional resources for a well-rounded, high-quality of life for the typically underserved children living within the foster care system.

The Foster Family Appreciation program holds activities, celebrations and recognition of the achievement for foster children and their families with fun-filled field trips including at day at a local theme park, an outing at Busch Gardens, LegoLand, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, and the opportunity for foster parents, children, and siblings to nurture their relationship, spend quality time enjoying family bonding and create lasting childhood memories, engaging in learning experiences that help to build positive mentoring relationships. Building trusting relationships with positive role models allows children who have experienced trauma find the social and emotional support they need to develop coping skills and make healthy choices. Remaining funds support after-school outings and activities in recognition of academic achievement for children in care who have maintained good grades and attendance in school. Children in foster care rarely afforded the opportunity to participate in many of the social, extracurricular activities that create fulfilling childhood memories. These activities allow foster children to have positive experiences critical to healthy growth and development while providing incentives for their commitment to their academic studies.

Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth (HANDY) provides education and empowerment opportunities to abused, neglected and abandoned foster care youth ages birth-23 with comprehensive programming that focuses on youth development, positive mentoring, and financial self-sufficiency upon transition to independence.  HANDY offers vulnerable youth in need of positive attention and care with personalized case management, educational support services, recreational activities and life skills counseling.  HANDY’s Stars for Life Program gives struggling at-risk youth tutoring and afterschool activities in middle and high school to improve academic performance and motivate each student to reach their full potential, pursue higher education and build self confidence.

The Stars for Life Program provides middle school and high school youth living in foster care the opportunity toimprove literacy and encourage foster children to pursue continued education opportunities, explore academic and potential career interests, and to develop the skills needed to reach for a brighter future and economic stability.  Activities include weekly instruction from certified teachers, educational specialists and community volunteers that provide individualized academic evaluation, tutoring, case management, prevention education, book club and tours to state college and vocational schools to serve as a source of inspiration and real-world perspective to the importance of learning, personal success and the college experience that helps to guide HANDY youth on their options for post-secondary education and a career path best suited for their individual needs.

Jack & Jill Children’s Center is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty for children of low-income, hard-working families through the provision of quality early childhood education, family intervention and support services.  With a unique, holistic approach that combines high-quality early education with caring and structured family support, Jack & Jill Children’s Center works to provide a strong educational and emotional foundation for at-risk children that allows them to explore and experience their world with creativity and discovery.  The early childhood education curriculum supports cognitive, social, emotional and physical development, their goal is to provide opportunities for children of working families with hands-on instruction and activities that promote language and literacy skills, and core competencies in social studies, science, mathematics and the arts.

Funding provides scholarships to support the enrollment of 50 additional low-income children into the early childhood education program that supports learning opportunities that remove the gap for underserved in areas such as language, social and emotional aptitude that inhibit academic performance, high school and college completion rates, as well as economic mobility and lower rates of incarceration.  Jack & Jill Children’s Center utilizes Creative Curriculum, a comprehensive, research-based assessment system that supports effective teaching approaches and children’s cognitive development designed for preschool-age children.  Funding supports the cost of admission, educational materials and snack.

Lighthouse Ministries provides faith-based emergency shelter care to aid children and families who have been the victims of domestic abuse, homelessness and severe financial hardship.  Lighthouse Ministries programs offer guidance, support and stability during critical stages of growth and development and work to minimize the affects of trauma and abuse. Children fives years and younger have the opportunity to attend their on-campus community pre-school while older children attend a local public school.  All children in the emergency care program participate in the Lighthouse KIDCARE program that provides specialized counseling, pediatric healthcare, case management and academic assistance to overcome declines in cognitive and social development for at-risk children.

The Lighthouse Ministries' on-site community preschool serves infants to 5-year old children of homeless and other at-risk families that works to provide care for the physical, emotional and developmental needs of children who have experienced poverty and instability and, in many instances, abuse and neglect. The preschool utilizes a research-based early childhood development curriculum that implements stimulating age-appropriate learning activities for children that provides a foundation for school readiness. Funding supports updates and replacement of supplies and equipment, including activity rugs, mats, toy cabinets and safety dividers for the preschool children's activity area as well as tricycles for children to use in the outdoor play area on campus.

Metropolitan Ministries provides emergency shelter care to children and families who have been victims of homelessness and severe financial hardship with comprehensive programming that aims to alleviate suffering, promote dignity and instill self-sufficiency.  Metropolitan Ministries provides temporary shelter, meals, clothing, education and counseling services to bring wealth of resources to families in need.  The PromiseLand Childcare Center and Partnership School provides education and socio-cognitive development services for children of homeless families with small class sizes, individualized tutoring and a targeted development plan to suit each child’s unique needs along with constructive afterschool activities and summer programs.

Metropolitan Ministries has expanded their services beyond their on-campus transitional housing, education and counseling targeting children and families that experience homelessness and those at-risk of being homeless to provide outreach and prevention resources in Pasco County, that has some of the highest concentration of homelessness in the state. The outreach center provides intensive support services including addressing basic needs, education, healthcare, and access to housing and employment resources that work to promote self-sufficiency and economic mobility. With children and families becoming the largest growing segment of the homeless population in Florida, the organization utilizes funding to create a children's play area in the Pasco Outreach Center. The expansion provides comprehensive, integrated, wrap-around services to both the child and the family to enhance the likelihood of positive, sustained improvements in childhood indicators of healthy growth and development, school readiness and academic achievement. The new children's play area provides space for children and families to participate in parent education, child development activities and a safe environment for social and recreational interaction with parents and peers.

MOSI is a community-based educational institution dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge and an understanding of science, industry and technology with innovative exhibitions and interactive experiences to engage diverse audiences.  MOSI’s children’s programs supplement the academic curriculum with a wide variety of hands-on programming engineered to make learning fun and stimulate interest in science that inspires the future leaders of 21st century industry.

The Summer Science Camp Program offers a variety of hands-on learning experiences that promote creative discovery, invention and critical thinking skills.  By combining real science with the tools and technology used by science professionals, MOSI exposes children to exciting experiments, simulations, explorations and inventions that help children discover their innovator within.  Funding provides 40-45 economically disadvantaged students with scholarships to participate in a summer science camp.  Qualified students must demonstrate Title I eligibility in the Hillsborough County school system.

Neat Stuff provides new clothing, shoes, backpacks and toys to at-risk children that instill a sense of pride and dignity to young victims of crime, poverty and homelessness.  Neat Stuff strives to fill the gap that separates under-served children from those living in healthy, stable households and inspire a sense of self-worth and support needed to overcome their struggles, participate fully in their education and fulfill their ambitions for a better life.

The School Preparedness Program distributes school uniforms to economically disadvantaged students, aiming to increase these students’ opportunity for academic achievement and self-esteem by eliminating the financial burden that may prevent a child’s ability to attend school regularly, receive a quality education and prepare for successful, independent living.  Funding provides a one-week supply of school uniforms including 5 polo tops, 3 khaki pants, 5 sets of underwear, 5 pair of socks and a backpack for children of low-income families.

OASIS Network provides new and gently used clothing and personal items to low-income public school students by way of school system administrators and social workers in order to meet the basic needs of students and limit the barriers that economic hardship has on the potential for academic success and healthy development of under-served children.  Donated items are acquired through a variety of local partnerships with the YMCA, schools, churches and Publix stores.

With increases in the number of public school students in Hillsborough County living at or below the poverty line, qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program, OASIS Network is opening a 4th facility in the Seffner area that will serve the east side of Hillsborough County’s school children.  Many Hillsborough County schools have implemented a uniform policy for students that helps to eliminate any distractions in the classroom environment and any peer-to peer divide based on socio-economic status.  As such, OASIS Network is expanding their uniform program to address the growing uniform needs among the county’s poorest schools.  Funding supports the purchase of 2 sets of uniform clothing; 2 shirts and 2 shorts for low-income students in public schools identified by county social workers as the area’s most needy schools.

Place of Hope is a faith-based child welfare agency with an array of services for children in need including emergency shelter care, family-style residential group home care for foster children, traditional foster care and adoption services, family outreach and intervention services, transitional housing and a stable, nurturing home environment for abused, neglected and abandoned children, and now, the addition of Hope House, FL, a safe house that offers professional case management, independent living services and educational opportunities for children who are victims of human sex trafficking.  The Place of Hope program model strives to instill a consistent, structured alternative home where children who have experienced trauma or abuse can learn core values in forming healthy relationships, demonstrating personal responsibility and character development.

Place of Hope requests funding support to purchase clothing and undergarments for a growing number of incoming foster children placed in their family cottages, and emergency shelter and assessment center. The organization works to provide a stable, loving home that maintains a sense of permanency that enables personal growth and healthy development, minimizing the trauma and stress associated with the transition to foster care by addressing their basic needs.  Children entering foster care often come from an unstable living situation with no clothing or personal belongings.  Each child receives their necessary clothing and a “blessing bag” that includes a Bible, blanket, toy, and toiletries.

Real Life Children’s Ranch provides faith-based residential group home care for abused, neglected and abandoned children with a family atmosphere and nurturing home environment needed for a fulfilling and productive future. The team at Real Life Children’s Ranch works to provide ongoing support and teach children about the richness of a well-rounded life with the consistency that emulates a healthy family home.  The ranch offers children a variety of after-school, recreational activities on a 30- acre property that includes playgrounds, horseback riding, sports, 4-H, dance and drama.

The Outdoor Adventure Program provides a safe and educational camping experience that promotes personal growth, self-discovery, teamwork and leadership skills at regional parks and campsites.  Activities include backpacking, whitewater rafting, zip line excursions, biking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.  The program seeks to give disadvantaged children a fun and memorable experience that builds character and self-confidence.  Funding supports admission fees, supplies and travel expenses for children living at the ranch.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay provides a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving medical treatment in bay area hospitals and allows parents and guardians to stay in close proximity to provide comfort and loving care to their child during a critical time of need.  The Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Care Mobile Program, in partnership with the University of South Florida Department of Pediatric Medicine, manages and operates a mobile healthcare van that houses medical and dental examination rooms, reception and medical records area with state-of-the-art digital radiology and screening equipment.  Care Mobile is designed to deliver high-quality medical and dental care to at-risk children of low-income families attending Title I public schools.

The Care Mobile Program in Partnership with the University of South Florida and other community partner agencies supports operations in providing quality healthcare to under-served children in the Tampa Bay area.  The Care Mobile van houses patient examination rooms, laboratory, reception and medical records area designed to delivery pediatric health and dental care services that bridges the gap for low-income children and teens receiving immunizations, physical exams, prenatal care, health screenings, diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease and health education.  Care Mobile continues serving children in high poverty school districts as well as those living in emergency shelter care at Metropolitan Ministries and The Salvation Army.  Funding supports operational expenses including fuel, office and medical supplies, Internet access and digital filing system to serve children in Tampa Bay's low-income public schools.

The Salvation Army, St. Petersburg provides family-style residential group home, emergency shelter care and child-focused counseling services to abused, neglected and abandoned children with a diverse team of community volunteers, officers and staff who are passionately committed to meeting the urgent human needs; encouraging salvation and offering hope, dignity and the opportunity to achieve self-reliance. Children’s Village offers long-term foster children a stable, caring living environment in traditional single family homes where they can learn to count on family, friends, school, church and their community with a dedicated support system in place to guide them as learn and grow.  Sallie House is a safe haven for emergency shelter care for children who have been removed from their homes until a more permanent placement can be established.

The Enrichment Experiences Project provides foster children with the opportunity to experience and be exposed to positive social and cultural influences that lead to a greater sense of perspective, purpose and self-esteem while increasing critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for higher academic performance.  Activities include educational field trips and after-school outings to parks, zoos, movies, museums, sporting events etc.  Remaining funds support the Community Outreach Center where children served in both Sallie House and Children’s Village have a space for organized sports and other recreational activities that promote a productive, safe outlet for children to grow socially, emotionally and physically, learning the importance of team work, goal-setting and discipline.  Grant funds purchase equipment and supplies for weekly and seasonal community events at the Community Outreach Center in addition to a media center in the Family Shelter that serves homeless mothers and children, engaging them in family bonding and relationship-building activities for their children living in foster care.

Voices For Children provides support for abused, neglected and abandoned children in the Tampa Bay community while the judicial system searches for a safe and healthy permanent foster home to place those children removed from their homes.  The state child welfare system does not have the resources to fully address all of the needs of children in care.  The goal of Voices For Children is to augment the supportive services by providing personal, educational, medical and legal support and appointing a Guardian ad Litem to act in each child’s individual interests, identifying and developing additional resources in order to ease the transition of children to foster care.

The Children’s Needs Fund provides children placed in emergency care under the state child welfare system with the basic needs that allows them the opportunity for a higher quality of life and a feeling of normalcy that eases their adjustment to their new environment, facilitates their involvement in everyday childhood activities and emotional stability that prepares them for placement with a foster family or group home.  Funding is used to provide clothing, personal items, toiletries, school supplies, furniture, and bedding to fulfill the basic needs of children who have been abruptly removed from their homes, often times, with no personal belongings with them.  Remaining funds supports the costs of foster family recruitment efforts that help connect each child to the Heart Gallery and Eckerd Youth Alternatives to facilitate their adoption with a forever family.

Youth Haven provides a residential group home, emergency shelter care, and social support services to abused, neglected and abandoned children including life skills education, child and substance abuse prevention, homelessness and crisis intervention, and individual and group counseling services.  Youth Haven’s comprehensive continuum of care offers children a safe and caring home environment with the inspiration, guidance and support needed for healthy growth and development.  Their secluded campus affords children who have suffered from trauma and abuse a sense of comfort and security with a range of outdoor recreational and social activities.

Youth Haven provides a library and tutoring space for foster children living on their campus that acts as a center for after-school education and mentoring program through a collaboration with Friends of Foster Children Forever. Friends of Foster Children Forever contracts certified teachers who specialize in the educational needs of displaced children. Youth Haven mentors guide their children in improving their academic, social and cognitive skills. Funding supports the purchase of additional computers, workstations, and tablets to expand their children's accessibility to facilitate homework assistance, academic tutoring, college preparation courses, school projects and other learning activities.