CLEARWATER, Fla. – Eckerd Kids announces an $11,000 grant from the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation to help abused and neglected children in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties through the Eckerd Kids’ Raising Hope program. The grant will provide children with new clothes and belongings as they enter foster care.
“Many of our foster kids have more sad memories than happy ones,” said Kelly Rossi, Director of Raising Hope. “They are brought here as victims. Through the Suncoast Foundation grant, we will be able to provide children with clothes and belongings that help them fit in to more of a normal life. This grant provides items they not only need, but deserve. We are grateful to the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation for their continued partnership which ensures local foster kids have essential items when they need them to most.”
In the Tampa Bay area, Eckerd Kids offers Rooms of Hope, which are store-like rooms filled with goods where children “shop” at no cost. The Raising Hope program relies on private contributions, such as the grant from the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, to fulfill basic needs including clothes, new socks/shoes, toiletries, baby items, school supplies and comfort items, such as blankets and stuffed animals. The items are then packed in duffle bags which allows dignity in the process.
“Since the beginning, our foundation has promoted the education, health and emotional well-being of children in the communities we serve,” said Cindy Helton, Executive Director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation. “By supporting Eckerd Kids’ Raising Hope program, we impact many children who are in immediate need. That is a very good investment from our point of view because foster children face uncommon barriers that new clothes and basic items can help alleviate.”
Eckerd Raising Hope is funded entirely through private donations and grants from the community. With more than 250 foster children visiting the Rooms of Hope each month, there is a constant need for resources to support this program.
For more information about Eckerd Raising Hope and how you can help local foster kids by making a donation, volunteering and/or organizing resource drives please call (855) 450-HOPE (4673) or visit www.eckerd.org/raisinghope.
ABOUT ECKERD KIDS
Eckerd Kids is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, that has given much-needed second chances to nearly 200,000 children and families since its founding by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968. Eckerd Kids serves over 25,500 children and their families each year through life-changing child welfare, juvenile justice, workforce development and behavioral health programs in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Our mission is to provide and share solutions that promote the well-being of children and families in need of a second chance. To learn more about Eckerd Kids, please visit our website at Eckerd.org. Follow us on Twitter at @eckerdyouth and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/eckerdyouth.
ABOUT SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership and the 13th largest in the United States based on its $7.7 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 61 full-service branches and serves more than 723,125 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated over $16 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit: suncoastcreditunion.com, facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion or @SuncoastCU.