On Monday, the Glazer Family Foundation built on a long tradition of helping those who help others, as six local charities from Central Florida received nearly $25,000 in grants at One Buccaneer Place.
"The people who are running these nonprofits wake up every day to help improve the lives of others, and that's what we're all about," said Foundation Co-President Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. "We're just so thrilled to have everybody here to make more of a difference in peoples' lives by having this grant program."
One of the Glazer Family Foundation's most impactful initiatives, the grant program is conducted biannually, awarding grants in the summer and winter to nonprofit organizations whose programs focus on health, safety, recreation and education of disadvantaged children. This year, 11 nonprofit organizations received grants through the program.
As Michelle Walker of Miracles Outreach CDS, Inc. – one of the winter grant recipients – explained, support from organizations such as the Glazer Family Foundation allows them to continue their own successful programs.
"We truly appreciate the support and we thank [the Glazer Family Foundation] for being a foundation that looks for organizations like ours that will truly benefit us," said Walker. "It really does make a huge difference."
Miracles Outreach received a grant to fund the purchase and installation of a fire alarm and sprinkler system, which will increase the capacity of Emma House. The Emma House offers safe haven for young ladies who are awaiting placement options from both the Department of Children and Family Services and Hillsborough Kids, Incorporated.
"This opportunity and grant given to us by the Glazer Family Foundation will help us impact lives, so we're very appreciative for being selected," said Charlene Henry, program assistant for the organization. "We're really looking forward to expanding our capacity to impact more young ladies so they can have a future as well, so we're just very excited and very hopeful."
Walker and Henry attended a presentation and luncheon at the Buccaneers' training facility on Monday, along with fellow philanthropists from The Academies, Inc., Bread of Life Fellowship, Inc., Children's Home Society of Florida, Heartland for Children and Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center of Florida. Kassewitz invited representatives from the six organizations to One Buccaneer Place to participate in a roundtable discussion about their charitable efforts before receiving grant checks and commemorative plaques from the Foundation.
Executive Director Tara Hormell attended the event on behalf of the Children's Home Society of Florida, whose grant will assist the organization with purchasing books for orphaned or abused kids.
"Giving a child or a youth the ability to read is the most important gift that you can give," Hormell said. "This grant goes toward our reading programs as well as books to help the kids develop that passion for reading."
One hundred classic books will be purchased with the Foundation's contribution, and the remaining funds will be used to provide shelter for abused youth living in the Faine House, a foster care facility created by Buccaneers' center Jeff Faine.
"The support from the [Glazer Family Foundation] is just phenomenal," Hormell said. "The fact that they are investing in the children in the community and giving them that opportunity to learn to love to read is a gift that will last a lifetime."
For Kassewitz, the grant presentation and luncheon was not only a chance to help deserving organizations in the community but also an opportunity for nonprofits to build relationships with each other and make helpful connections in the Bay area.
"I feel very fortunate to be doing this and to meet the people that are helping others in such desperate need," Kassewitz said. "My focus is children and families, and my favorite grant is one that helps the most people that we can at one time. They're all speaking to each other, they're all seeing how they can help out each other, and that in and of itself is huge."
Below is a complete list of how the 2011 winter grant recipients will use funds from the Foundation:
- The Academies, Inc. (Hillsborough County)will support the free or reduced lunch program, which has an annual net loss of nearly $25,000. The funding will allow the purchase of food for students on the free and reduced lunch program.
- Bread of Life Fellowship, Inc. (Orange County)will provide 2,000 boxes of cereal for a summer feeding program for students that qualify for free and reduced lunch in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. Nearly 12,000 children will be fed as a result of this program.
- Children's Home Society of Florida (Orange County)will purchase 100 classic books for the "On the Road to Reading Program" and provide shelter for abused youth living in the Faine or Hansen houses in Central Florida.
- Heartland for Children (Polk County)will fund the Heartland Hero Fund, which supports special requests by children in foster care that funding will not cover. One hundred children placed in foster care will benefit from the Heartland Hero Fund.
- Miracles Outreach CDC, Inc. (Hillsborough County)will purchase and install a fire alarm and sprinkler system, increasing the capacity of Emma House and offering a safe haven for young ladies who are awaiting placement options from the Department of Children and Family Services and Hillsborough Kids Incorporated.
- Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center of Florida (Pasco County)will purchase 15 hearing aids to hearing impaired patients, from newborns to senior adults, regardless of their financial circumstances.
The Glazer Family Foundation is dedicated to assisting charitable and educational causes in the Central Florida region. The Foundation aids established nonprofit organizations that work with children and families to help identify and create programs which support positive social and economic development within our communities. The Glazers, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, established the Foundation in 1999. Since that time, the Glazer Family Foundation has given millions of dollars in programs, grants, tickets and merchandise to the Tampa Bay area. Most recently, the Foundation donated $5 million toward the Glazer Children's Museum, which opened on September 25, 2010 in downtown Tampa. To learn more, visit www.GlazerFamilyFoundation.org.