Feed the Bay is a coordinated community outreach uniting churches throughout Hillsborough County along with Publix Supermarkets, designed to stock the shelves of participating food pantries. Feed the Bay was started by Bay Life Church, Brandon, in 2006. Now there are over 30 churches and 17 stores participating and feeding the hungry. The vision for a community effort came into being and has quickly grown into community support for one another. Local businesses and churches of Brandon and Tampa come together to shop, collect and supply for the community agencies. Now, nearly ten years later, area churches throughout the county are united as one body with conjoined efforts to Feed the Bay.
Since 2003, the Greater Brandon Community Foundation’s focus has been to raise funds and distribute those dollars to local charities. Each year, the Foundation hosts: Charity Golf Classic & Celebrity Pairings Party, Foundation Spring Coffee, Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival, and the Evening of Hope Annual Dinner & Charity Check Presentation. In 2006, the Brandon Foundation launched the Foundation Angel Program to help families that may not need a charity, but need a helping hand. Over the past 11 years, the Brandon Foundation has given back over $2,000,000 in grants, goods and services to the Brandon, FL community. Their signature events and programs have enabled them to fulfill the Brandon Foundation mission to “improve the quality of life and shape the future of our community”.
Cancer for College (CFC) was founded in 1994 by Craig Pollard, a two-time cancer survivor. Craig fought back from Hodgkin’s disease when he was just 15. He won his second battle at age 19, after a bone marrow transplant at the City of Hope Medical Center. “Knowing that I would ultimately return to college after my bone marrow transplant gave me the strength to keep fighting. It gave me a reason to live,” said Pollard. To help provide others with this inspiration, he created a non-profit business plan to raise scholarship funds to assist cancer survivors in their pursuit of a college education. This is how CFC began, and it has been changing lives ever since. Watch the video below to see Will Ferrell drum-off against Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to raise money for CFC.
Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America through their network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs. While the diversity of each program’s services and operations may vary based on the needs and resources of their communities, they are all committed to supporting their senior neighbors to live healthier and more nourished lives in their own homes. Dynavistics volunteers with the Greater Brandon Meals on Wheels in Brandon, FL.
With the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital located in the Tampa area, the Haley House Fund has a special privilege to serve injured and veteran heroes. The motto in front of the hospital is, “The Price of Freedom is visible here.” Some of the hospital specialties are the Spinal Cord, Traumatic Brain and Blast Injury treatment programs. With the current and past military actions, the center is treating an increased number of these patriots.
The current duty injured and veterans need their families nearby during recovery from illness and injury. For those living over 50 miles from the center that qualify for aid based on income, the Haley House Fund houses the families of veterans during their treatments. To this day, the Haley House Fund has supported hundreds of families. The staff is all volunteer, so every donation in its entirety goes directly to benefit the injured and ill veterans, as well as their families. For more information or to make a donation, please visit HaleyHouseFund.com.
ECHO provides immediate relief in the forms of food, clothing and household items to those residents of Eastern Hillsborough County that have experienced a recent emergency. Since its inception in 1987, ECHO FL has assisted over 180,000 individuals, over half of whom were children, with the basic life necessities. When families experience an unexpected emergency, they are often faced with the decision of paying the bills or buying food for their families. ECHO consistently receives high ratings for financial accountability. Over 93% of funds received go toward programs which serve residents of Eastern Hillsborough County. Visit ECHOFL.org for more information, volunteer opportunities or to make a donation.