By Jessica Muroff, Frameworks of Tampa Bay
One of the reasons why many of us applied for Leadership Tampa was to learn more about how we could best serve our community. It was very fitting that Community Outreach Day was our first official program day following our kick-off retreat.
Community Outreach Day was more than just learning about the social services so many incredible nonprofits provide in our community. We were able to experience first-hand how many in our community access and utilize these critical services. This gave us the best perspective possible in understanding the demand, and many times lack of enough resources, to provide services to so many in need in our community.
We spent our morning learning about the number and variety of nonprofits in the Tampa Bay community, the economic impact these organizations contribute, and how they are evolving to meet the needs of so many. Our class of 60 was grouped into small teams to volunteer at 14 nonprofit organizations. In just one day, our class donated approximately 120 hours to our community.
The afternoon was spent literally walking in the shoes of those in need in our community. It was a sobering experience for all of us, getting a real glimpse at the lack of resources, waiting lists, and daily struggles that challenge so many people. Even in this stark reality, we saw hope, opportunity, compassion, and support provided by terrific people and organizations in our community. This day made us grateful for the kind-hearted individuals serving in these incredible organizations.
We wrapped up the day by better understanding what we can provide to our community and how we can best serve these nonprofit organizations to generate the resources they need. Every organization we visited was hard at work eliminating poverty, hunger, homelessness, substance abuse, and so many other challenges in our community. We can all still do more to help. It was a tremendous day, and we’d all like to thank the long list of agencies below which participated:
- Bridging Freedom
- Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
- Dress for Success
- Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office (DACCO)
- Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
- God’s Pedal Power
- Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County Florida, Inc.
- Meals on Wheels
- Metropolitan Ministries
- The Spring of Tampa Bay
- Feeding America, Tampa Bay
- MacDonald Training Center
- Alpha House of Tampa, Inc.