By Marcus Fernandez
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the Tampa Bay Community have been dramatically impacted. While health and safety remain a top concern, some in our community are also experiencing economic hardship as a result. Tampa area nonprofits like Metropolitan Ministries, which typically provides 3000 meals to families each day, are also now experiencing added stress on already limited resources.
As part of our on-going commitment to the Tampa Bay community, Kinney, Fernandez & Boire, P.A. has created a matching fund, which we are calling $20K in 20 Days for Metropolitan Ministries. We invite you to donate via our dedicated gofundme page and for every dollar contributed we will match it up to $10,000, ultimately providing $20,000 to those in need in our community.
While you consider giving to this incredible organization, we also wanted to revisit this recent Community Spotlight post in which Helen gave both time and dollars at Metropolitan Ministries.
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. Each month, the KFB Law blog will spotlight a Tampa nonprofit at which an employee has volunteered. We hope to drive awareness, donations and participation from the Tampa Bay community.
Hunger and homelessness is an issue that impacts more than 32,000 men, women and children in our community. Combatting it requires action at nearly every level and the support of donors and volunteers. Recently, that included our employee, Helen, who spent her staff volunteer day at Tampa’s Metropolitan Ministries.
Since 1972, Metropolitan Ministries has cared for individuals who are currently homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. The organization provides food and resources to get them on a path to independence. The organization was founded by 13 local churches who unified to continue their fight against the growing issue of homelessness. By joining their efforts, they were able to reduce inefficiencies that stemmed from working separately.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness State of Homelessness 2019, Florida has the third-highest rate of homelessness in the nation. In Tampa alone, there are nearly 1800 people homeless on a given night. That’s where Metropolitan Ministries comes in – providing nearly 200,000 nights of safe shelter to individuals and more than 1.6 million meals to those in need.
They also help those living in poverty gain the life skills they need to succeed; including job counseling, culinary classes, and childcare. In all, the organization impacted more than 92,000 people and 31,000 families living right here in Tampa Bay in 2018. However, none of it is possible without the generous support of the community. It takes donors large and small, and volunteers to help power their mission.
Making a Difference
For Helen’s volunteer day, she helped in the kitchen and pantry for Metropolitan Ministries. She chose the nonprofit because she loves how much they do for others in need. “They help children and families get back on their feet by supply housing, food, education, childcare, job skills, classes and counseling, adult GED, financial services,” explained Helen. “They do so much and only from donations. It is just an amazing place.” Her Pay it Forward Fun(d) money was also donated to Metropolitan Ministries which can be used to help provide meals to more than 50 people.
If you’d like to care for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in our community, please visit the Metropolitan Ministries website to learn more about how you can help.