HandsOn Suncoast volunteers

I’m surrounded by HandsOn Suncoast volunteers
on Rebuild Day in Campbell Park.

April is a beautiful month and gives us much to be thankful for. At United Way Suncoast, we’re thankful year ‘round for our supporters and volunteers and in April, we attempted to show them just how much we appreciate them.

Our Sarasota area office thanked our donors at an elegant reception at Michael’s on East. Nearly 150 people listened as Katie Knight, Sarasota area president, thanked them for continuing to support our mission: ensuring more children are ready to learn and succeed in school, helping more families find financial stability and supporting people through crisis. Campaign Chair Charlie Bailey III’s sincerity shone through as he recognized his campaign team and top performers, including FCCI Insurance Group, Sarasota County School Board and Publix.

Charlie’s service to United Way runs in the family. His grandfather was United Way of Sarasota board chair in 1961 and his father Dan, who was in the audience, was board chair in 1988.

During National Volunteer Week in April, we thanked our HandsOn Suncoast volunteers at a dinner held at the Wyndham Westshore in Tampa. NewsChannel 8 anchor Rod Carter, a dedicated United Way volunteer, was our MC and more than 100 attendees cheered on the volunteers, especially Vevelyn Bennett, Tax Site Volunteer Coordinator of the Year; Will Carey, Community Gardens and Hunger Volunteer of the Year; Jake LoBianco, Youth Volunteer of the Year; Cherryl Marlan, Volunteer Leader of the Year; and Diana Nunez, Volunteer of the Year.

We wrapped April up with Rebuild Day in Campbell Park. More than 150 United Way HandsOn Suncoast volunteers joined with partners Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, the City of St. Petersburg, Honeywell, HSBC, WellCare, PepsiCo and Pinellas County Job Corps to rehabilitate five homes in the Campbell Park neighborhood. United Way has worked in Campbell Park for several years to improve access to education. Rebuild Day is the beginning of a year-long effort in the area to make homes safer, healthier and more energy efficient.

Without our volunteers, without our supporters, none of this would be possible.

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Diana Baker, President and CEO

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