Federal Grant Enables USF St. Pete Students To Help People Served By Nonprofits

They've done it before, and they're about to do it again. St. Pete USF students enrolled in a philanthropy program received $395,000 from the federal government and plan to share that wealth with community nonprofits.

The campus' Live Learn and Serve program is run in collaboration with the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and the Center for Civic Engagement to teach students how to be good stewards of the community and its resources. Fifty students are chosen for the program each year, and as part of the curriculum must choose a worthy nonprofit to shepherd. Each chosen nonprofit receives $5,000.

Last year The Haven at RCS was chosen, and the $5,000 grant bought the organization five computers for the women and children sheltered there. RCS CEO Duggan Cooley says the computers have been invaluable to its mission of getting women and their children who have escaped domestic violence back on their feet.

"The new computer equipment at our safe house allows them to connect with loved ones to let them know they are safe, to look for jobs and to do homework," he says. "More places are looking for people to fill out applications online, and these new computers are much faster and more effective than what we had before. In domestic abuse situations, the woman is often the one who loses financially. They need jobs and so many of them have gotten jobs from these new computers."

Creative Clay also was chosen by a student of last year's program. "The grant funded equipment that was used for children attending our inclusionary summer arts camp," says Executive Director Grace-Anne Alfiero. "Ours is the only summer arts camp in the Tampa Bay area that includes children with disabilities. Thank goodness for the funding support. This equipment was essential to the success of our program!"

Sources: Duggan Cooley, RCS; Grace-Anne Alfiero, Creative Clay
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh

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