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Habitat dedicates sixth home this week

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counites celebrated providing six new homeownership opportunities this week, with four in St. Petersburg. The home dedications began Monday in Tarpon Springs before moving south. Habitat’s busy week follows a recent report stating that Tampa Bay households must now earn $116,000 annually to secure a mortgage.

Grants open for St. Pete arts and culture nonprofits

Applications for the City of St. Petersburg’s Arts and Culture grant program are now open and accepted until June 13 at 5 p.m. Funding levels range from $7,500 to $22,500 according to an organization’s size and budget. Applicants must provide arts and culture programming, performances or exhibitions primarily for St. Pete residents and visitors for at least a year to be eligible. For more information, visit the website here.

How to help neighbors pay city utility bills

The City of St. Petersburg’s Utility Assistance Program enables residents to make one-time or automatic monthly charitable donations to the initiative through their bills. Officials will then distribute the funds through a network of local social service agencies to help struggling families. For more information, visit the website here.

Credit Union expands philanthropic partnership with the Rays

Tampa-based Suncoast Credit Union will donate $90 to local nonprofits for every Tampa Bay Rays base to celebrate the institution’s 90th anniversary. Two organizations will compete for votes via a monthly Facebook poll to determine donation amounts. In addition, the second-annual “Every Hit is a Win with Suncoast” initiative will donate $590 to the Randy Arozarena International Foundation every time he notches a base hit during Friday home games. That amount doubles to $1,180 for every Arozarena home run.

Duke to donate $1,000 for every Rays win

St. Petersburg-based Duke Energy Florida will donate $1,000 to its Share the Light Fund for every game the Tampa Bay Rays win during the 2024 season. The fund helps residents pay utility expenses, and the Duke Energy Foundation matches donations. Share the Light provided $1.2 million in electric assistance in 2023.

Deputies deliver Easter meals to families in need

Deputies assigned to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit will deliver holiday meals to 50 families Tuesday in Ridgecrest, Highpoint, Lealman and St. Petersburg. The agency has partnered with Cavalry Episcopal Church to provide families with holiday meals for the past 19 years. Deputies identify those in need through their community work.

Applications open for South St. Pete advisory board

Pinellas County and city officials are looking to fill three vacancies on the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee. The board helps establish a framework for administering redevelopment plans. Those appointed to the nine-member committee will serve a three-year term starting May 12. For more information, visit the website here.

St. Petersburg increases down payment assistance

City Council members unanimously approved increasing down payment assistance from $60,000 to $75,000 for homebuyers in the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area. While the program is open to residents earning at or below 140% of the area median income, those making less than 80% can qualify for loan forgiveness. Officials are working to secure funding to apply the increase citywide.

Rowdies launch new partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters

The Tampa Bay Rowdies have selected Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay as the franchise’s first official community partner. Several prominent players and head coach Robbie Nielson joined volunteers and children from the organization for an afternoon of bowling Tuesday to celebrate the announcement. Founded in 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation’s donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network. The Rowdies opened the 2024 season Saturday night with a 2-2 draw against San Antonio FC at Al Lang Stadium.

SPC president’s new podcast highlights local women leaders

Dr. Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College, is kicking off Women’s History Month by launching a new podcast March 19. “Standing in the Gap” will feature thought leaders who foster positive changes in their community. The podcast’s first guest is Dr. Kanika Tomalin, CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. For more information, visit the website here.

St. Pete organizations host life jacket giveaway event

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue has partnered with the city's Parks and Recreation department, the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition and Treasure Island Fire Rescue for a life jacket giveaway event to kick off spring break. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children aged 1 to 4. The event runs from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday at the City of St. Petersburg Municipal Beach at 11260 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island.

Local leaders kick off ‘Great American Cleanup’

County Commissioner Charlie Justice and St. Petersburg City Councilmember Lisset Hanewicz are among the local dignitaries participating in Keep Pinellas Beautiful’s “Leaders Against Litter” event Friday at South Gandy Beach. The event begins at 8 a.m. at 13090 Gandy Blvd N. and will launch the 2024 Great American Cleanup initiative to raise awareness about how pervasive litter affects communities. For more information, visit the website here.

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