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United Way Suncoast has awarded $125,000 in Community Investment funding to The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation for their M.A.S.T.R. Kids Program.


St. PETERSBURG, FL – July 23rd, 2020 – The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation is pleased to announce that they will be receiving $125,000 in Community Investment funding from United Way Suncoast for their M.A.S.T.R. Kids Program.

United Way Suncoast recently completed the first year of funding (FY 20) of over $5.6 million in community investments utilizing its new investment process. United Way met with over 400 individuals representing non-profit agencies, funders, business leaders, volunteers, and team members. These key stakeholders helped design and shape a new process to guide investments in our community, leading to greater impact and results for our most vulnerable neighbors.  

Community investments were aligned to priority areas and focused on Asset Development, Early Learning, Financial Stability, Workforce Development and Youth Success across Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto Counties. 

“In the true spirit of community and collective impact, United Way Suncoast volunteers did a thorough and thoughtful review of all requests. We are proud to support many high-impact programs that will do so much good across our region. At United Way Suncoast, we never stop advocating for our community. Through our partnerships and expertise, we create bold solutions to our biggest challenges – uplifting lives and achieving equity for generations to come.”, says United Way CEO Jessica Muroff.

“We are absolutely thrilled to become a United Way Strategic Community Partner! This funding will enable SPPF to enhance and expand our M.A.S.T.R. Kids program to serve more students and families in South St. Petersburg. We believe it’s a critical time for these students, given challenges that have occurred due to COVID-19 in areas of academic outcomes, social-emotional learning, and mental health. We are especially excited as we work to reach additional families in the Campbell Park Community.” – Bridgette Heller, Co-Founder and CEO of The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation.

“We are proud to partner with The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation in support of our community impact priority of Early Learning. Our community needs this support now more than ever. We look forward to the impact these dollars will make in serving families and children in St. Petersburg”, says United Way CEO Jessica Muroff. 


About United Way Suncoast

United Way Suncoast fights for the education and financial stability of every person in the community through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed, helping adults achieve long-term financial stability and activating caring individuals through volunteerism. We are proud to serve the people of DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by operating and funding services and programs to help create a stronger, more vibrant community. For more information, visit


About The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation 

Founded in 2014, the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation (SPPF) is a 501 (c)(3) named for a lifelong local educator, dedicated to empowering students, especially those in her community, to achieve excellence.  Our mission: to advance literacy and help close the achievement gap for students in South St. Petersburg, Florida.  We envision: a fully engaged, highly literate youth population in South St. Pete. who have achieved excellence in Reading, Math, and Science; resulting in unlimited post-graduation opportunities for careers and economic success. 80% of students attending the SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids Summer Program avoided summer learning loss each year.

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