The Heart Gallery of Tampa is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that introduces the Tampa Bay community to foster children awaiting adoptive families. They provide a platform to inspire the people of Tampa to improve the children’s quality of life and connect them with Forever Families. They are the ones who need an extra hand in finding their families – often due to factors such as age, race, belonging to large sibling groups, or having special needs. Every year, 80-90 children are featured in the Heart Gallery of Tampa, effectively illuminating lives that had historically been kept in the shadows.

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    The Children's Dream Fund is a 501c3 non-profit organization that makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses living throughout West Central Florida. From puppies to playgrounds, special trips to meetings with celebrities, we help every child referred to us by area hospitals.

    The Children’s Dream Fund was founded in 1981, and is not affiliated with a national organization. Dreams are referred to the organization by doctors, nurses, Child Life and Social Workers, friends, families and other patients.

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    YA By the Bay is a nonprofit 501c3 leadership and literacy movement bringing acclaimed young adult authors, students, teachers, and readers together in a dynamic two-day book festival at the stunning, waterfront Convention Center in Tampa, FL. This event is designed to inspire young people to use the power of words and storytelling to achieve dreams, make a difference, and be the author of their own life.

    80 percent of students in Hillsborough County Schools are on free and reduced lunch, one important measure of poverty among our local kids. Children in poverty are less likely to own books and more likely to drop out of high school with poor literacy skills according to the Florida Department of Education. YA by the Bay was created to provide books for home libraries, foster workshop education lead by renown authors, host educators for professional development credit hours, offer college scholarships to high school students, and promote a love for literature in a county where only 53 percent of students are reading on grade level.

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    Redefining Refuge is a 501c3 non-profit service provider and advocacy agency for exploited and trafficked youth. Through community partnerships and public awareness education, Redefining Refuge works to restore hope in children that have been victims of abuse and trafficking crimes so that they can go on to live with great purpose and walk in the fullness of the love and joy they were created for.

    With research estimating that up to 300,000 American youth were at risk each year to be trafficked within the borders of the United States alone, Redefining Refuge was founded in Tampa in 2010 to advocate on behalf of children without a voice. Since then, the organization has expanded its program with a Case Management Model that has revolutionized the impact on the lives of trafficked boys and girls so much that it has become the primary service offering of Redefining Refuge.

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    Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization before they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. With more than 3 million supporters and a unique non-partisan position, SHP is the only national organization to take a holistic, public health approach to ending the gun violence epidemic: a combination of community-based programs, research, and policy.

    The Wee Macree partnership supports:

    • SHP’s Know the Signs programs being introduced in every school across the U.S. at no cost to teach students and educators early-prevention steps that help keep schools and communities safe.
    • Students learning to notice their peers that are sitting or playing alone during free time and commit to including them in three easy steps taught in the Start With Hello program.
    • Children and adults understanding how to report warning signs and behaviors that could lead to someone hurting themselves or others through the training provided by SHP’s program Say Something.

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    The Taylor Koulouris Foundation honors the life of Taylor, who had the ability to spread sunflowers and sunshine to children of all ages and stages. The nonprofit organization intends to carry on her ability of showing kindness, doing good, and giving back by cultivating opportunities for kids to inspire one another to grow big and stand tall together.

    From the donations Taylor collected for the Humane Society to her service with Best Buddies and Tampa Kids Therapy, this 15 year old world-changer lived to make a difference. It is through the foundation that her good work will continue. Funds raised will not only honor Taylor’s memory, but also send more kindness and light into the world. The organization intends to directly make an impact in ways that may include:

    • Children that require therapy but may not be able to afford the expenses will receive financial support.
    • Plant High School students can apply to advance their education and study for the job they want.
    • Money can be given across the community where there is need, so that good is done in her name.

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    Project Sweet Peas, our Wee Rock...babies partner, is a 501(c)3 national non-profit organization coordinated by volunteers, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing support to families of premature or sick infants and to those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss.

    Project Sweet Peas acknowledges the importance of parental involvement in caregiving and decision-making in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and seeks to promote family-centered care (FCC) competencies in hospitals nationwide. Care packages, hospital events, peer-to-peer support, financial aid, educational materials, and other Project Sweet Peas services, support the cultural, spiritual, emotional, and financial needs of families as they endure life in the NICU.

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    Metropolitan Ministries, our Wee Love Tampa partner, is a nonprofit organization that cares for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in Tampa, FL through services that alleviate suffering, promote dignity, and instill self-sufficiency. First Hug, run by Metropolitan Ministries, is a child-centered case management program for families struggling with homelessness with children at birth through middle school ages. First Hug assures children are ready for school and connects parents to school and safety resources.

    Case Managers work with families by:

    • Assessing the unique needs of each family and work together to develop a client-driven self-sufficiency plan.
    • Reducing family stress and the impact of trauma.
    • Meeting weekly to assist families as they work towards stabilization.
    • Offering resources and tools to support healthy family relationships and safe living environments.
    • Providing employment, adult education, connection to job placement services
    • Identifying safe housing options.

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    Give Kids The World Village, our Wee are the World partner, is an 89-acre nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida, that provides week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world who want to visit Central Florida. During one transformative week, wish families laugh, play, and create priceless memories together away from hospital visits and medical procedures. It's a magical week where wish kids can experience the simple joys of childhood, and where families can recapture some of the precious moments that may have been missed due to illness.

    Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 177,000 families from all 50 states and 76 countries. The Village is made possible by the support of donors and community partners, as well as thousands of volunteers, who give their time and talent making wishes come true.

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    Feeding Tampa Bay, our nonprofit Wee and Mighty campaign partner, is ending hunger by fueling human potential in every family, child, and senior across a 10-county region in West Central Florida - because food makes tomorrow possible. In this area, 1 in 4 children are experiencing food insecurity. Feeding Tampa Bay has evolved its programming to serve nearly 1 million people in our community, and anticipates it will serve more than 85 million meals in 2022.

    Hundreds of thousands of students across Tampa Bay rely on programs by Feeding Tampa Bay for balanced, nutritious meals. The following programs complement the free and reduced cost school meal offering to make sure students receive the proper nutrients they need to learn and grow throughout the year:

    • Feeding Minds program opens food pantries at schools where the risk of food insecurity is prevalent, bringing groceries to students and families who may struggle to make ends meet.
    • After School Meals Program brings free meals and snacks to children in need through existing after school activities in the community.
    • Summer Meal sites provide children with lunch and snacks throughout the week during the summer months when school is not in session.

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    Canines for Disabled Kids is our national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for Wee Pet Dogs. Their mission is to increase independence for children with disabilities and their families by promoting service dog partnerships, understanding, and awareness throughout the community.

    This is accomplished by:

    • Helping to connect children with the service dog that can best help them overcome limitations caused by a variety of disabilities. Since 1998, CDK has sponsored over 130 service dogs to support children with different disabilities.
    • Developing a strong educational presentation program to provide information to the public about service dogs, public access, and their role with individuals overcoming limitations of a variety of disabilities. These programs are offered all over the country to schools, civic groups, and businesses. Advocacy and awareness efforts have flourished from this. 
    • Scholarships to help cover the training costs required for specific medical needs of a child. By providing needed funding to the training organization, CDK was able to increase the number of children being accepted for service dogs to between 3 months and 1 year, rather than 2 years or more. Over 200 training programs are eligible for the scholarships offered.

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    TRIBE Seminole Heights, our Tampa Bay local partner, is a is a 501(c)(3) community-focused nonprofit that integrates unique learning experiences, family support, and strategic outreach with a focus on the wellness of children and families. 

    These goals are achieved by:

    • Offering more than 50 fun and educational activities per week, each for only $5. 
    • Maintaining a community closet that provides free donated clothing and shoes to children.
    • Aligning as a community partner to Seminole and Broward Elementary School, and continuously running community outreach programs.

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