‘Legacy of Giving’ Highlights Week Of Caring

Constance Killen-Richardson, Alex Wynn III, Nicole Richardson-Wynn

   On a recent Monday afternoon at the Home Plate Food Market inside United Way Suncoast’s Campbell Park Resource Center, visitors found fresh collard greens, wholesome carrots, cans of tuna, frozen chicken patties and breakfast cereals. They also found a legacy of giving that proved to be one of the highlights of United Way Suncoast’s annual Week of Caring.

   Constance Killen-Richardson came to volunteer at the food pantry, which is sponsored by the Tampa Bay Rays, with her daughter Nichole Richardson-Wynn and her 17-year-old grandson Alex Wynn III. The three have come together for years to serve the community in Tampa and St. Petersburg, but the connection extends back to the 1960s.

    Primus “P.K.” Killen, Constance’s father, spent years serving on the St. Petersburg Police Department. He etched his name in history as one of the Courageous 12, a group of African-American officers who successfully sued the city of St. Petersburg to gain the full rights and authority of their white counterparts.

   Constance said her father invested in community policing before leaders coined the term.

   “He didn’t take young men to jail, he took them home,” Constance said. “He knew the fathers, he knew the mothers. When someone got in trouble, he spoke to their parents. He knew back then that ‘it takes a village.’”

Carrying On For P.K.

   Inspired by the memory of her father, she makes a point to come from her Tampa home to St. Petersburg to lend a hand. A retired Florida Department of Health nurse, she also serves in Tampa, supporting Feeding Tampa Bay or working at LifePath Hospice’s Life Treasures Store.

   Nicole and Alex are often by her side.

   “It keeps you grounded,” Nicole said. “It keeps you humble.”

   Nicole and Constance introduced Alex to their legacy of service when he was in grade school. They convinced him to find time during the holidays to support other children. Since then, the Tampa Bay Tech junior has continued to join his mother and grandmother in volunteer efforts.

   “It’s just part of what we do,” said Alex, who hopes to attend Florida A&M after graduating from Tech in 2025. 

Loving Our Volunteers
The BMO Team

   The story of Constance and her family’s multi-generational volunteer work stood out among inspiring Week of Caring activities. The 32nd annual celebration of volunteering – staged in April to coincide with Global Volunteer Month – resulted in nearly 400 volunteers producing 1,200 hours of service in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties.

   Week of Caring was fused with our Read Across Suncoast campaign. That led to several efforts including FPL staff spending time with preschoolers at Allen’s Daycare in Arcadia.

   Meanwhile, BMO Bank employees came armed with rakes and gardening tools at the Women’s Resource Center in Bradenton.

Together, We’re Great

   Overall, it proved to be a true collaborative effort. The United Way Suncoast team and board members joining with community volunteers to support nonprofits and create impact.

   “Volunteers shared their experiences and why they got involved,” said Rebecca Cain, United Way Suncoast’s Vice President of Philanthropic Engagement. “Nonprofit partners were grateful for the extra hands to support their work. Just as important, we shared how our work is crucial to supporting the community through the services and programs we provide.

   “Week of Caring is a great demonstration of the work UWS does all year, uniting our community.”

   That work continues in May with our Monthly Engagement Opportunities. This month will focus on getting students ready for summer.

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