When young professionals from Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay gathered for the 10th annual Nonprofit Fair, organizations set up to share their stories at the United Way Suncoast-sponsored event.
Michele Schach of The Skills Center delivered one of the best testimonials during the Oct. 25 event at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club. She shared how The Skills Center, a sports based youth development nonprofit organization in Tampa, helped a basketball-playing student make the transition from Pittsburgh to Tampa during his high school days. The player eventually earned a spot on a collegiate roster. He also used the life skills training he gained from the center to advance his ambitions. He focused his future on attending medical school and learned this week he had gained admission into a prestigious program that will move him closer to a career in the medical field.
The story is all the sweeter when you learned the student is Michele’s son Christian.
Party With A Purpose
There’s a goal behind the nonprofit presentations: inspire a new generation to embrace philanthropy. Over the years, the fair has led young professionals to address some of the community’s most difficult challenges. They’ve given support to a variety of charitable organizations, many of whom are United Way Suncoast strategic community partners. The event included a renewal of the 1,000 Hour Challenge For Change, an invitation to Emerging Leaders members to combine for 1,000 volunteer hours before the 2023 event.
“The need in our community is growing, so the fact that there is a challenge launched tonight could not come at a better time,” United Way Suncoast community engagement director Autumn Pandolfo told the group. “With more than 75 partners throughout the region seeking United Way volunteers, we know you’ll find plenty of opportunities to give back, connect, and discover ways you can give our community members the Freedom to Rise.”
A QR Code made it easy for the leaders to sign up for the challenge. If last year’s results are any indication, they should again meet the mark. In 2021, 65 leaders combined to produce more than 1,100 volunteers. (Continued below)
Collectively, they volunteered in three United Way Suncoast pillars: early learning, youth success and financial stability. They also gave support to community-wide initiatives such as the 9/11 Emergency Preparedness Kit Build, Week of Caring and Feeding Tampa Bay’s Mega Food Pantry.
Follow they hyperlink to learn more about 1,000 Hour Challenge For Change.