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Nonprofits in need of emergency help now have a place to turn, tell their story

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Posted at 9:49 AM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 15:58:26-04

TAMPA, Fla. — After being closed for over a year, Lighthouse for the Blind and Low Vision in Tampa was so excited to reopen their doors to the public, when they were met with an unexpected visitor.

“We started having roof leaks, and when we had a roofer out here they went up and they counted over 50 little termite holes,” said President and CEO Sheryl Brown.

The Lighthouse caters to more than 100 children and adults in the area. Brown was all of a sudden looking at an $18,000 problem that they did not budget for.

“And it comes on the heals of 2020 not being able to have our fundraisers,” said Brown.

So the non-profit turned to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s new Critical Needs List.

“It’s for non-profits that really have an unbudgeted, unforeseen emergency, something very time-sensitive that’s affecting their ability to offer services,” said Dr. Jesse Coraggio, Vice President, Community Impact with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

The list is pretty simple, non-profits post their needs and how much they will cost, giving the public an opportunity to read the list and donate directly to the emergency.

“So currently there are five requests on here, you can simply click on them and get more details of what they are,” said Coraggio. “Folks said there is so much need in the community I want to make sure my money means something and is going to result in a change and is going to help.”

Another non-profit organization you’ll find on that list is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay who had four catalytic converters stolen from their buses back in June.

“Our hearts just sank to find out that someone would have done that to us knowing that you can see on the side of the buses that they’re for kids,” said Keith Harris, Vice President of Operations for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.

Not only was their story added to the list, but it was also read.

“The public responds so we did get over $4,000 in support,” said Harris.

If you ask the Community Foundation, it’s more than just a list, it’s a lifesaver when you think about the services these organizations provide.

“These dollars are used for a direct emergency, I mean this is the case of a smaller non-profit that may have to stop doing what they are doing due to some unforeseen crisis,” said Coraggio.

To access the Critical Needs List go to www.cftampabay.org.