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Kahwa Coffee joins philanthropic effort on pediatric cancer

Kahwa Coffee Roasters has joined a campaign by the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research. St. Petersburg-based Kahwa is introducing a signature coffee blend, called Hope Roast, with 43 percent of the net proceeds donated to NPCF. That's because 43 children in the United Stats are diagnosed with cancer each day, a news release said. The fundraising initiative is called Brewing Funds the Cure and involves craft breweries in more than 30 states. Those breweries will donate proceeds from a signature philanthropic beer, called Rising Hope, to the NPCF. The recipe for Rising Hope was developed by Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing and Brew Bus Brewing. National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, based in Tampa, is a nonprofit that has raised more than $27 million and partners with 26 hospitals nationwide.

Pinellas County Urban League part of workforce initiative backed by Bank of America

The Pinellas County Urban League and the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa will expand their workforce development programs through a $75,000 commitment from Bank of America to each organization. The funding will allow the organizations to add virtual trainings, job placement and relief assistance for minority communities in the Tampa Bay area that were hit hardest by Covid-19. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation earlier launched a nationwide $1 billion, four-year commitment to help local nonprofits address economic and racial equality. The two new $75,000 Tampa Bay-area grants are in addition to $25,000 grants the organizations also received earlier this year to address immediate COVID-19 needs in the pandemic’s early stages.

Lightning, Viniks grant $400,000 to non-profits to improve racial equity and inclusion

The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation will donate $400,000 to the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, for the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals. The latest donations bring community contributions for the 2020 NHL playoffs to $1 million, the Lightning said in a news release. The funding is designed to address racial equity and inclusion in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, and the news release listed the organizations that would receive grants of $50,000 each. They are: United Way Suncoast and R Club, which work to ensure access to education; Community to Develop Communities in Tampa and the Pinellas County Urban League, which enhance workforce development; foundations for the Tampa and St.Petersburg police departments, to support training, education and fostering positive community relations; and University Area Community Development Corp. and St. Petersburg Free Clinic, both operating in the social service and humanitarian assistance space. 

Meals on Wheels for Kids needs volunteers in Pinellas

A program that provides food to children and families in Pinellas County needs volunteers. Meals On Wheels for Kids relies on 125 volunteers each week to help deliver frozen prepared meals, fresh produce and shelf stable food to children and families who have opted to attend school remotely. Volunteer drivers are needed to on Mondays and Wednesdays out of Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg, Catherine Hickman Theater  in Gulfport, and RCS Pinellas Food Bank  in Clearwater. Routes take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Volunteers can also sign up to help pack boxes of shelf stable food on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Click here for more information and to sign up. Meals on Wheels for Kids was launched by the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger in response to Covid-19 school closures. The network also is accepting donations at to help support the MOW4Kids program  

Regions Bank brings Share the Good program to Tampa-St. Petersburg

Regions Bank's annual Share the Good program is serving health care workers in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater who are helping patients and families impacted by Covid-19. Lunch from Chief’s Creole Café was provided to associates at 12 locations of Community Health Centers of Pinellas County, while lunch from Joan’s Catering was provided for associates at 11 TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track clinics. While the bank has provided significant financial support to health care organizations and other community partners, Share the Good provides an opportunity for Regions associates to offer thanks to people who are supporting local communities. Activities are taking place all this week in cities across the Southeast, Midwest and Texas.

Publix boosts hunger relief efforts

Publix and Publix Super Market Charities are increasing efforts to provide support to local communities and families that face hunger. Publix Super Market Charities is donating an additional $3 million to Feeding America member food banks and other nonprofit partners, bringing its total 2020 giving to $5 million. Feeding Tampa Bay will receive $225,000 as part of the new donation. Publix also is continuing a program it launched in April to purchase surplus produce and milk from farmers and deliver it directly to food banks. Since April, Publix has purchased and delivered more than 11 million pounds of produce and 500,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America member food banks throughout the Southeast, a news release said. Publix customers also can contribute toward hunger relief efforts in the stores by making donations at checkout, now through Sept. 13.  

Blue Star Families launches Tampa chapter

Blue Star Families, a nonprofit organization that supports military families, has opened a chapter in Tampa. The chapter will work to support more than 100,000 locally-based military members and their families and Florida’s 1.5 million veterans by creating and utilizing virtual resources to connect them with their civilian neighbors, a news release said. The Tampa chapter is an extension of CSX Pride in Service, a commitment by Jacksonville-based transportation company CSX to honor and serve veterans, military, and first responders. Courtney Bilyeu is chapter director. To learn more about how to support or join Blue Star Families, click here.

Local foundation leader joins Newman’s Own board

Bridgette Heller has joined the board of directors of Newman's Own Inc., the food and beverage company that was created by the late actor Paul Newman. Heller is the co-founder and CEO of the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation, a nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap for underserved students in South St. Petersburg. She previously served as president of Nutricia, the specialized nutrition division of Danone and has led major businesses and business units at Merck Consumer Care, Johnson & Johnson, Chung's Gourmet Foods and Kraft Foods. Newman's Own Foundation continues Newman's commitment to use 100 percent of the royalties and profits that it receives from the sale of its food products for charitable purposes. 

Three ways to get involved in the community this week

The St. Pete Catalyst is dedicated to helping residents get involved in the community through our Impact Connector. Want to donate supplies for kids returning to school? The Kind Mouse will drop a collection bin off at your house September 8 and pick it up on September 22. Interested in giving back? The Arts Conservatory for Teens is seeking volunteers in a variety of capacities. Are you an attorney or a law student? Gulfcoast Legal Services is looking for pro-bono volunteers to provide legal aid for vulnerable individuals across the Greater Tampa Bay area. If your organization is looking for volunteers, click here to submit your opportunity and we'll share it on our platform. 

Bay Area Legal Services gets innovation fund grant

The Legal Services Corporation awarded Bay Area Legal Services a $286,426 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients, according to a news release from LSC, an independent nonprofit established by Congress to support civil legal aid for low-income Americans. Bay Area Legal Services will use the grant to support its Tampa Bay Disaster Relief Pro Bono Initiative. The project will increase access to pro bono disaster relief legal aid for 200 low-income disaster survivors residing in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. It will work to engage 65 pro bono volunteers in disaster relief legal assistance by employing disaster-related legal training and improved technologies. The project’s goal is to deliver high-quality client legal services in the event of a disaster. Bay Area Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm providing free legal help to eligible low-income residents in the Tampa Bay area.

Run with the Rays (virtually) to raise money for charity

Registration is now open for Running with the Rays, a virtual 5K race, presented by United Concordia Dental. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Rowdies. The foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of those in need in the community, focusing primarily on education, youth development, wellness and social responsibility. The Running with the Rays virtual 5K allows fans to run, jog or walk the 3.1 miles at their own pace and at the location of their choice anytime between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. Participants have the option to upload their race time to the Running with the Rays 5K Results Platform and share photos on social media using #Rays5K. There's a standard registration, for $30, and includes a commemorative finishers’ medal, race bib and downloadable finishers’ certificate. For $50, premium registration includes all the items in the standard registration plus a voucher for two lower reserved tickets to a 2021 Rays regular season home game, subject to availability. For more information or to register, visit

Bank of America provides 100,000 masks to local nonprofits

Bank of America is partnering with three local nonprofits to provide personal protective equipment, specifically 100,000 masks, in the Tampa Bay area. The masks are intended for the most vulnerable populations, including low-to-moderate income families, at-risk schoolchildren and migrant farm workers, said Bill Goede, Tampa Bay market president for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). Metropolitan Ministries received 40,000 masks to be distributed in partnership with the Bullard Family Foundation’s Back to School Bash to more than 9,200 families. Feeding Tampa Bay received 40,000 masks to keep their frontline staff and volunteers safe as well as to be distributed to families hard hit by the pandemic. Another 20,000 masks were given to Beth El Farmworkers Ministry to be distributed throughout the Wimauma community as part of the Wimauma Together Collaborative. The donation is part of the bank's $1 billion, four-year commitment of support to help local communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by a global pandemic.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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