By LOIS KINDLE
May 2 has special meaning for area nonprofits, which depend on public support to make ends meet. That’s when Give Day Tampa Bay is set to take place, the one day a year when area charities seek donations en masse.
Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, it’s a 24-hour online event that promotes charitable giving to local nonprofits providing a wide array of services in our own backyard.
“We (sponsor) this to showcase other area nonprofits and encourage people to invest in their communities. Every dollar donated stays right here.”
It’s a misperception to think a large amount is required to make a difference, Norton noted.
“Many people think you have to have a lot of money to be a philanthropist, but anyone can be one on Give Day. The minimum donation is $5.”
Ruskin veterinarian Hal Ott agrees.
“Give Day provides an opportunity for little nonprofits (like Ott’s Off-Leash Dog Sanctuary) to promote what they do and for people in the community to give back for what they do,” he said.
Any donation helps.
For example, Ott plans to use the funds raised during Give Day Tampa Bay to build a larger pavilion for shade or event staging and to treat the dog park for fire ants.
The Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) will use its donations for its Caring Angels Fund, said board member Penny Smith.
“It provides emergency medical services for animals taken in at the shelter,” she said. “We live month to month on our donations, and our dogs and cats sometimes need help beyond normal
vaccinations and spaying or neutering.”
Ott’s Off-Leash Dog Sanctuary and C.A.R.E. are among 21 South Shore nonprofits registered online at http://bit.ly/2mxkiV0. The following is a list of those charities:
• Ott’s Off-Leash Dog Sanctuary, Ruskin
• Firehouse Cultural Center, Ruskin
• Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), Ruskin
• Haven of Hope, Ruskin
• Ruskin Community Development Foundation
• Samaritan Services, Sun City Center
• South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging, Sun City Center
• Kiwanis Club of SouthShore, Sun City Center
• Pelican Players, Sun City Center
• Sun City Center Emergency Squad
• Military Family Support Trust, Sun City Center
• Sun City Center Campaign Against Human Trafficking
• Our Lady of Guadalupe Food Pantry, Wimauma
• AMIkids YES, Wimauma
• Wimauma Community Development Corporation
• Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Wimauma
• Moms on a Mission, Riverview
• Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force, Riverview
• Israel’s House Social Service Agency, Riverview
• The Seventh Mom Project, Riverview
This year’s annual Give Day Tampa Bay is the fourth hosted by the Community Foundation, which started here in 2014.
The Community Foundation partnered with Florida Next the first and second years of the event, and then presented on its own last year. A total of $4.85 million was donated to hundreds of West Central Florida nonprofits during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Give Day Tampa Bay fundraisers.
The Firehouse Cultural Center will host Live Here, Give Here from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 2 at 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin. The public is invited to go meet representatives from the various nonprofits participating this year in Give Day Tampa Bay.
Computers will be set up so folks can stop by, be directly connected to Give Day Tampa Bay and make their donations. Those who aren’t comfortable donating online can simply write a check to their charity or charities of choice.
Free coffee and pastries will be served from 10 a.m. to noon; wine and cheese from 5 to 7 p.m.
“We want it to be a fun, social event,” said Beth Stein, marketing and operations coordinator for the Firehouse. “We hope people will stop in and not only support the organizations they know but also learn about other nonprofits in the area they may know little or nothing about.”
Secure donations can be made between now and May 2 at http://bit.ly/2mxkiV0. Simply select a category, scroll through the nonprofits listed and click on the one you want. Choose a preset amount or enter any amount of $5 or more. You can even leave a nice comment or two before making your payment.