By Marcus Fernandez
Kinney, Fernandez & Boire’s Community Action Program is a unique philanthropic effort that empowers employees to give time in the community through paid time off for volunteerism. As part of our efforts, the KFB Law blog will spotlight a Tampa nonprofit that an employee has volunteered at each month. We hope to drive awareness, donations and participation from the Tampa Bay community.
April was Child Abuse Prevention Month, and this special focus inspired our employee, Sarah, to help create awareness and give back to an organization whose mission, values and vision supported the cause. Her day in the community was spent with Champions for Children, a local nonprofit that strives to build stronger families in the Tampa Bay region through its child abuse prevention and family education programs.
For over 40 years, Champions for Children has worked to stop child abuse and neglect before it ever begins. In Hillsborough County alone, an average of 115 children has entered out-of-home care every month for the past year, leading the state in child removals. The abuse and subsequent removal can have a lasting effect on a child. When a child is deemed unsafe from their families home and removed, they begin the difficult journey through an overwhelmed and under-resourced foster system. The process has physical and emotional impact and can limit a child from reaching the bright future they deserve.
In 2017, Champions for Children committed to putting Advocacy on the forefront of responsibility for the organization. A part of their multi-year strategic plan, the Board of Directors initiated the agency’s role as Community Advocates and aligned with the Council of Accreditation’s eight standards for Community Change Initiatives Principles. Some of these initiatives include their Holiday Store and Champions Diaper Program. They’ve also launched a public awareness program called Talk Read Sing, which aims to educate parents on the ways that their children begin learning from the moment of birth.
Champions for Children also offers a variety of programs that focus on their mission of building stronger families in our Tampa Bay region. These programs range from an ABC Program that provides breastfeeding and childbirth education to expecting families, parenting classes at its Family Learning Center, new mom support groups, child development seminars, and an educational puppet performance about child abuse prevention, bullying & stereotyping called Kids on the Block.
Sarah’s Day Giving Back
During her time at Champions for Children, Sarah helped their team prepare for the 2019 Champions Luncheon, a special gathering focused on raising awareness and critical funds for the life-changing work with Tampa Bay families. She also used her Pay it Forward Fun(d) money to donate to directly back to Champions for Children. Her funds can be used in a variety of ways including, supplying educational toys for children attending Wonder Years playgroup at Baby Bungalow, fund childbirth classes for a low income, at-risk couple to learn the importance of healthy behavior during pregnancy, or fund fathers to attend Boot Camp for New Dads to learn newborn care and supportive parenting practices.
If you’d like to support Champions for Children in their mission of building stronger families in Tampa Bay, please visit their website to learn more about how you can help.