TAMPA, Fla. —
It takes a village. It seems to be especially true right now. In Seminole Heights, a non-profit community center is coming up with creative ways to help families stay positive.
TRIBE Seminole Heights created a life-sized game of Candyland. They put out donated pinwheels all over the neighborhood to spread joy. This week, they’re helping neighbors show teachers that they are truly appreciated.
“I just want teachers to feel seen right now. I think that’s the hardest thing. They’re alone in their homes with their families like we all are, right? And, struggling and I think sometimes we are critical first and compassionate second and so I just want teachers to know that they’re seen, that we know it’s hard and that we’re grateful,” said Kristen Brown.
Kristen runs the non-profit community center located inside of Seminole Heights United Methodist Church. TRIBE is meant to nurture kids with creative activities, assist families through a no-questions-asked community closet and support schools and teachers.
Teacher appreciation week is always big for TRIBE and distance-learning wasn’t going to change the importance.
TRIBE sent a wish list questionnaire to teachers who work at Seminole Heights Elementary, Broward Elementary and those who live in the Heights neighborhoods.
“Many of these hard-working people asked for things for their students. People wrote things like, ‘A Publix gift card to buy food for my students,’ or ‘Some of my kids can’t see well and so I need a dry erase board so I can do better on my Zoom class,” she said.
They asked the community to give. TRIBE collected enough money to give each of the 260 teachers a $10 gift card to a local Seminole Heights restaurant. The non-profit also received generous wish-list donations including two bicycles for teachers.
“We’re going to get to play fairy godmother to some teachers and I think it’s gonna be really fun because some of the gifts are great and everybody was very generous.”
Kristen also asked neighborhood kids to make cards. 250 handmade cards showed up to show teachers they’re appreciated.
Then came the kids. Several were there with signs, whistles and smiles as teachers who live outside of the neighborhood dropped by Seminole Heights Elementary School to pick up their gifts.
“Thank you, teachers!” shouted the kids. Teachers thanked them right back.
“Find a way to serve every day. What can you do today to be kind? How can you help somebody today? What can you do to make a difference? And our kids are doing it. It’s amazing,” said Kristen.
TRIBE Seminole Heights is entirely grassroots. It is powered by community support. If you would like to give back text TRIBE to 43506 and you’ll be sent a link with instructions.
This story was inspired by a local resident who let 10News reporter Courtney Robinson know about the awesome things happening in their neighborhood on Nextdoor. She’s looking to share the positive stories of neighbors helping neighbors. Click here to see and comment on Courtney’s Nextdoor posts.
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