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State Farm awards grant to Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay has received grants totaling $17,000 to fund JA work readiness and financial literacy programming. The grants, from State Farm Insurance, are part of a larger statewide initiative totaling $60,000 that will support Junior Achievement programs in 11 communities throughout Florida, enabling over 5,000 young people to participate in JA’s nationally-recognized economic education programs, a news release said. Locally, the $6,000 allocation of State Farm funds to Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay/Hillsborough County partially funds 847 low-to-moderate income students to attend JA BizTown or JA Finance Park. Both programs help students identify and practice the skills they need to find and keep a job and to manage personal finance. JA of Tampa Bay/Sarasota received $5,000 in State Farm funds and JA of Tampa Bay/Polk/Highlands received $6,000 to support Junior Achievement financial literacy classes for over 400 low and moderate income students. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States.


Hancock Whitney pledges $80,000 to St. Pete Free Clinic, Metro Ministries

Hancock Whitney, one of the larger banks operating in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, pledged an $80,000 investment to local food pantries in Tampa Bay as part of the bank’s Covid-19 community relief efforts. Metropolitan Ministries and St. Petersburg Free Clinic each will get $40,000, a news release said. For Metro Ministries, the funding will provide an estimated 3,000 meals per day for two weeks; at $1 per meal, the donation will impact nearly 42,000 individuals, a news release said. The funding for St. Pete Free Clinic will help the organization meet the increasing demands by purchasing food in bulk. It also will ensure that staff serving on the frontlines of food programs, interacting with hundreds of people per day, stay safe, healthy and compensated with "appreciation pay," the news release said.

Grow Financial picks up the tab at local restaurants, small businesses

Grow Financial Federal Credit Union has launched an initiative designed to support small businesses and local restaurants in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Under the new Grow On Us program, the credit union will pick up the tab for area residents at about 30 small businesses, starting next week and continuing through the end of August. Grow Financial expects to spend about $200,000 on the program, which is designed to counter the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy. Participating businesses include The Blind Tiger, Bella Prana Yoga, Urban Brew & BBQ, Seventh Avenue Apothecary, Mekenita Cantina, Tidal Brewing, and Deviled Pig, among others. Membership with Grow Financial is not required to take advantage of an open tab, the credit union said. More information is here.

Think Big for Kids expands partnership into Pinellas

Think Big for Kids, a nonprofit founded by Tampa tech executive and entrepreneur Tony DiBenedetto, has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast on a workforce development program. The partnership is designed to expand career development planning and will include career showcases, skill-building workshops, mentoring program, internships, scholarships and more. The programs will be offered at all Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast locations serving teens in Pinellas County. Think Big for Kids, launched four years ago, initially partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, which serves Hillsborough County

Nonprofits can now apply for CARES Act funding in Pinellas County

Nonprofits and community organizations serving low to moderate income residents can apply for funds through Pinellas County’s portion of the federal CARES Act. The funds are designed to support public health and testing, feeding operations, emergency sheltering, housing and other services. The organizations must show a direct link between the Covid-19 crisis and their increase in services, as well as demonstrate their ability to meet specific public health objectives defined in the CARES Act. Funds are coming from the Community Development Block Grant Program-Coronavirus Response (CDBG-CV) and the Emergency Solution Grant-Coronavirus Response (ESG-CV) funds. Applications are due by 5 p.m., May 22. More information is here.

Hype Group makes beer labels for a cause

Hype Group is partnering with local breweries to raise money for the Fighting Chance Fund and help local businesses impacted by Covid-19. The St. Petersburg creative agency has created a customizable, St. Pete-centric beer label for the breweries and is offering the label free of charge to any brewery interested in collaborating with the agency on the fund-raising initiative. Hype Group will customize the label with specs to fit a beer bottle or can and will include the respective brewery’s logo. The brewery will then print the label, apply it to any beer of their choosing and a percentage of that beer’s sales will be donated to the Fighting Chance Fund. Each brewery can determine the percentage of sales its wants to contribute. Six breweries have confirmed participation: Avid Brew Company, St. Pete Brewing Company, Bayboro Brewing Co., If I Brewed the World, Dissent Craft Brewing Company and Grand Central Brewhouse.

Bailey Family Foundation donates to Tampa General

The Bailey Family Foundation gave $350,000 to Tampa General Hospital to assist with needs surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Tampa General plans to use the funds for Covid-19 testing supplies, personal protective equipment, new technology and other needs. “Tampa is our home. It’s where we’ve chosen to raise families and start businesses. This gift is about trying to do our part to help protect the community we love,” says Kyle Bailey, president of the Bailey Family Foundation and founder of Replay Guitar Exchange. The mission of the Tampa-based Bailey Family Foundation is to enhance the availability of post-secondary education and to make grants to support our local community.    

3 Daughters Brewing buys $10K in local gift cards to give away

St. Petersburg brewer, 3 Daughters Brewing, was featured Tuesday on national talk show LIVE with Kelly & Ryan, where they were presented with a $5,000 check for their generosity toward the St. Petersburg community shown in last month's hand sanitizer giveaway.  Instead of keeping the money, owners Robin and Mike Harting decided to match the $5,000 with their own dollars to purchase $10,000 of gift cards to local businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores and bars in increments of $50 and $100. 3 Daughters will give away those gift cards starting today via social media to local community members.

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🚨Gift card giveaways!🚨 After @livekellyandryan gave us $5,000 for doing good in our community, we decided to pay it forward to the people we appreciate the most. . . . We’re matching that $5K with another $5,000 of our own and buying $10,000 worth of gift cards to area restaurants, bars and stores. And now we’re giving it away to you. Together, we can all help support our favorite places when and as they re-open. Local Supports Local. . . . Our first four giveaways: $50 to @theburgbarandgrill, $50 to @dogbarstpete, $50 to @thelurestpete, and a whoppin' $100 to @thebirchwood! . . . Want to win one of the gift cards? Just tag the friend you’ll take with you in the comments and tell us what you’ll buy when you go, then we’ll select one winner for each spot. For example, we're ready to get our hands (and mouths) on The Burg's Burger of the Month, The Panos - a 1/2 pound black angus burger topped with pork tenderloin souvlaki, tzatziki sauce, crispy French fries and crumbled feta cheese. That, and at least a beer or seven. You can practically taste it now... . . . #DrinkLocal #DrinkFlorida #Drink3Daughters . . . (Please only enter if you are nearby and able to come pickup the gift card.)

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Local entrepreneur donates $25,000 to Fighting Chance Fund

The City of St. Petersburg announced Thursday that local entrepreneur Daniels Ikajevs donated $25,000 to the Fighting Chance Fund. In a statement, Ikajevs expressed empathy for entrepreneurs and startups experiencing hardships due to Covid-19, and explained that he wanted to help preserve and grow the local startup community. “It’s not always easy to start and grow a business, you have to be strong and resilient, often not only for yourself, but for the many people who rely on you, be that your team, employees or your family," Ikajevs said. "Smaller businesses, with great ideas that generally expand their grassroots operations, in many ways become the job creators and future backbones of the local economy." “Daniels Ikajevs has a passion for entrepreneurship," said Mayor Rick Kriseman. "He recognizes the challenges facing our business community, especially those in the nascent stage of their operations. We recently expanded our criteria to include businesses that have been in operation for less than one year, and the contribution Daniels has made will help to ensure our funding of those businesses can continue. We are grateful for Daniels’ presence in our region and his interest in St. Pete’s success.” To see a full update about the Fighting Chance Fund, click here. 

Edwards Foundation gives $100K to Meals on Wheels for Kids

The Edwards Family Foundation has donated $100,000 to the Meals on Wheels for Kids program. The program was launched in March in response to Covid-19 school closures. The funding will allow the program to distribute at least 25,000 meals to children in St. Petersburg who are home and unable to access emergency feeding sites, said Caitlyn Peacock, executive director of Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger. "I hope others realize how crucial programs like Meals On Wheels for Kids are, to families during these pressing times. My goal is to bring in as many donations as we can, from my affiliated foundations and surrounding businesses that are able to do so," said Bill Edwards, CEO of the Edwards Family Foundation.

Suncoast Credit Union donates $1 million for Covid-19 relief

Suncoast Credit Union is donating $1 million to provide economic relief to those affected by Covid-19 in the communities the credit union serves. The donation is the first of its size during the credit union's 86-year history, a news release said. The credit union is donating the funds to 20 organizations that focus on  healthcare, hunger and education. Several recipients will get $100,000 each, including Feeding Florida (statewide operation), Tampa General Hospital, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the city of Tampa's One Tampa Fund. Seniors in Service-Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Meals on Wheels of Tampa are in line for $50,000 each as is Feeding Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg College will get $25,000.

New York Life, Cigna launch Covid-19 fund

New York Life  partnered with Cigna to launch, through their foundations, the Brave of Heart Fund. The fund will provide financial and emotional support to the families of healthcare workers and volunteers nationwide – including doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies, cafeteria workers, custodians, and others – who lose their lives to COVID-19, a news release said. The fund is launching with initial contributions of $25 million each from the New York Life Foundation and Cigna Foundation. To further support the fund, the New York Life Foundation will also provide a dollar-for-dollar match on the first $25 million in individual donations received. Cigna (NYSE: CI) , a health insurance firm based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, has committed to provide behavioral and emotional health support to the families to help them cope with grief. Individuals and institutions that want to contribute can click here. New York Life is a mutual life insurance company headquartered in New York City and with an office in Tampa.

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