TAMPA, Fla. — Julie Curry and Stephanie Swanz are known for being active in the community while running their own businesses. They came together to find out what they could do to give back to the community they know and love.
"We were together one day and got the idea to start this initiative and just ran with it," Swanz said.
They named the initiative "Hello Tampa," and started on Dec. 3 (Giving Tuesday.) Then, for 13 days they worked to raise funds and awareness for 13 local charities.
The selected charities include:
· Heart Gallery of Tampa
· Bullard Family Foundation
· Live for 24 Foundation
· Apple a Day Foundation
· R.I.C.H. House
· Mary Lee's House
· Beat Nb
· Metro Inclusive Health
· Cure Kids' Cancer Now
· Hillsborough County Public Schools
· Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
"We know that people are willing to give and that they want to give back and support local, but honestly some might not know what all is out there," Curry said.
After creating a website with matching social media pages, the two collaborated with Tampa influencers to raise awareness for the nonprofits.
"Influencers get a bad rep sometimes, but we reached out to them and they were eager to help and work with the charities. Most of them taking time out of their day to visit the organizations and really learn about their message," Swanz said.
Raising awareness online, getting community support, and making an impact were all the right ingredients for a successful initiative.
"We couldn't have done this alone. With everyone's help, we raised $13,000 and can give $1,000 to our 13 charities. It might not seem like a lot of money, but for a nonprofit, it helps a lot," Swanz said.
During the 13 day initiative Curry, Swanz and everyone involved realized the various needs of each charity and made the commitment to continue helping them for years to come.
"Everyone charities needs are different and we plan to help beyond just fundraising, we want to help them find volunteers, share their message, we want to help in every way that we can," Curry said.
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