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Tampa Bay area nonprofit works to connect people with disabilities to new activities, social groups

The group is called HUG or Help Us Gather.

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa Bay area nonprofit is on a mission to help change the lives of four incredible people who have disabilities and you get to help them choose. 

The group is called HUG or Help US Gather. Its goal is to connect people with disabilities to new activities and social groups. They also advocate for inclusion, making sure that everyone sees what those with disabilities can do, instead of what they cant.

"We see the full array of their gifts and their talents and their abilities and we want the world to see that. We want everybody to understand how incredible they really are,"  said Kevin Stamper, a digital storyteller on the HUG team. 

He says after a difficult year where COVID isolated so many people, they are ready to gather again and celebrate with their annual event: Beyond Incredible. 

"Beyond Incredible is an opportunity for our friends to come together and have a big formal event where they get dressed up and they look good and they have so much fun together. We do celebrate all of the abilities within that room, but we do especially celebrate four celebrities that we choose every year."

Those celebrities should embody the qualities of: charitable, fearless, inspirational and powerful. 

Mark Fleming was honored with that recognition a couple years ago. He owns a gym called Equally Fit. 

"Equally fit is a gym that specializes in working with individuals with disabilities to help improve their physical health through fitness." Mark is also autistic and he recognizes he's a role model for others. "This allows people with disabilities to have the visible aspect to say that person's doing that, why can't I do that? So it gives them hope. It gives them something to strive for in their life. "

This is where you come in. Hug is looking for nominations for the next Mr. or Miss Charitable, Fearless, Inspirational and Powerful. The people chosen will be paired with a team of professionals to help them achieve their dreams and to help them celebrate what makes them truly unique and valuable.

>>Click here if you would like to nominate yourself or someone else to be recognized at this event.