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People’s Choice Award

This award is driven by an online poll with votes from the general public in the WEDU PBS viewing area. This prestigious award exhibits the connection and relationship the organization has with the community and the people it serves by allowing area citizens to honor the nonprofit that they feel most exemplifies the spirit of the community. Please invite your supporters to vote!

Read the mission statements for each applicant.


To inspire and empower students qualifying for need-based scholarships to become future community leaders through a rigorous middle school program coupled with ongoing graduate support.

To inspire and empower students qualifying for need-based scholarships to become future community leaders through a rigorous middle school program coupled with ongoing graduate support.

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. For 115 years, we have led the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air, whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or fighting for laws that protect the air we all breathe.

Beat Nb drives neuroblastoma cancer research and raises awareness, making a difference in kids’ survival today. We want to change the story for the next family by finding viable treatments and ultimately, a cure for neuroblastoma.

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

We provide donated bicycles to the needy, veterans, underprivileged children and seniors while also ministering to the their spiritual needs and sharing God’s love with them.

Camaraderie Foundation’s mission is to provide healing for the invisible wounds of war through counseling, emotional and spiritual support for all branches of Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their families.

The mission of Children First is to strengthen children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being.

Through the funding of donations, we are able to provide emergency essentials and on-going support for the needs of children in our community that otherwise would be unavailable.

The Community Food Pantry strives to end the physical and emotional hunger of families in a dignified manner. Our comprehensive approach not only alleviates hunger with nutritional foods, but also provides support services such as health screenings, nutritional education for the whole person, veterans and homeless outreach. We serve each client and host each volunteer with grace and dignity and without regard to race, creed, religion, income or perceived need.

The mission of the Crisis Center is to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone.

The mission of Dress for Success Tampa Bay is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Our MISSION is to ensure that Pinellas young people are provided with the knowledge of sexuality and sexual health that they deserve.

One in six seniors in Pasco County are hungry or food insecure. Over 16% of Pasco’s seniors do not know where their next meal will come from. Feeding Pasco’s Elderly provides nourishment & peace of mind for Pasco’s hidden hungry.

Providing non-medical, financial assistance to adults undergoing cancer treatment in Florida to allow them to focus on fighting cancer.

Florida O&P Outreach Team is to provide orthotic and prosthetic services to children and adults of impoverished countries. The foundation is also committed to giving back to the local community and picks one charity organization in the State of Florida to assist annually. The FOOT Foundation will not represent any private or public business or any institution. Florida O&P Outreach Team: Improving lives one person at a time.

We are a not­-for-­profit organization whose mission is to empower educators and other youth services professionals with training, coaching and research-based resources to equip students with social and emotional skills.

Freedom to Walk Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization assisting with funds for the purchase of WalkAides® for children and adults diagnosed with “Foot Drop” due to Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, or Traumatic Brain Injury.

By Living the Volunteer Spirit, GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club clubwomen transform lives each day, not simply with monetary donations, but with hands-on projects that provide immediate impact.

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center’s mission is to change the way the world views Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. We offer free therapeutic and educational programming to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

No other organization in Pinellas County focuses on providing high-level academic enrichment activities aimed at giving your daughter the skills necessary to be successful in an increasingly demanding school environment. Girls Inc. of Pinellas serves girls ages 5 – 18.

In partnership with schools and at our Sarasota center, we focus on the development of the whole girl. She learns to value herself, take risks, and discover and develop her inherent strengths. The combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

To create a learning laboratory where children play, discover, and connect with the world around them to develop as lifelong learners and leaders.

Inspired by Jewish values, we protect the vulnerable and help people achieve fulfilling lives by empowering individuals and strengthening families.

Heels to Heal is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence receive the resources necessary for healing.

In the Pink is a nonprofit (501c3) organization dedicated to serving women, men and children heal, cope and survive the effects of cancer…physically AND emotionally.

Inspire is a non profit 501c3 PATH International member center that specializes in equine therapy for teens and adults with disabilities along with disabled veterans.

Everyday in our country a family is impacted by unpredictable circumstances, such as unexpected loss of employment, hardships, accidents, disabilities, crimes etc. Hands Across the Bay understands during these times of crisis families may feel lost, desperate, and confused.

To help the homeless maintain their pride and diginty with the cleansing of their body and soul to restore them into the community.

Our mission is to preserve and celebrate the history of Comedy and to honor the “Great Legends of Comedy” who have dedicated their lives to improve the world we live in by sharing with us their humor and bestowing upon us the greatest gift of all, LAUGHTER.

New Tampa Players is a local 501c3 community theatre in the Tampa Bay area founded in 2002. Over the past 16 years, we have made it our mission to provide quality theatrical performances, educational opportunities, and arts awareness, for a diverse community of all ages, through collaborative partnerships with the community and local organizations.

To diminish the frequency and impact of overdose death through community education, family support and purposeful advocacy. To combat the illegal use of prescription drugs and narcotics, as well as other abused substances.

Operation: Military Matters was started in November 2015, as part of a fourth grade school gifted project by nine-year-old Graci Tubbs. After hearing and seeing veterans speak at a school Veterans Day assembly, Graci felt the need to support our military and let the men and women sacrificing their lives for us, know people back home cared about them. What started out as a school project collecting supplies from the community and sending care packages from home to the military overseas grew into a nonprofit. In December 2016, Operation: Military Matters became a corporation and a 501 (c)(3).

Neighborly is a non-profit 501C (3) organization licensed as a corporation in the State of Florida and dedicated to improving the lives of older persons in need of home and community-based services who reside in Pinellas County, Florida. A champion for seniors, we provide Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Programs, Senior Dining and Transportation. Since 1966 Neighborly has served the elderly with ever-expanding programs to “improve health, wellness, and independent living for individuals and families.”

We exist to meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We care about the people we serve, our employees and each other;
We provide uncompromised service; We believe in what we do; We make a difference.

The mission of Ruth Eckerd Hall is to change lives through the performing arts. As a non-profit organization we depend on our members, corporate sponsors, and volunteers to allow us to bring the best entertainment to Tampa Bay, and maintain quality arts education classes that enrich our community.

Sallybrating With A Cause (And A Little Bit Of Paws) is a non-profit organization that supports causes and charities with it’s main focus on supporting cancer patients and raising funds for cancer research; inspiring youth to become involved in community service; and also offering support to other charities whether humans or animals.

The Patrol helps deter crime in our neighborhoods and business districts by creating a patrol presence that is visible and always on the lookout for the unusual. While we have no police authority, the Patrol works in cooperation with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), and in particular, with its Community Resource Deputies.

Our mission is to provide solutions to community challenges by engaging volunteers age 55+. For over 30 years Seniors in Service has administered national programs in our local region, supporting the mind, body and spirit of at-risk children, low-income seniors, veterans and disabled adults from challenged neighborhoods.

Silly Sock Saturdays is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation which plans on helping kids in hospitals by bringing joy and happiness to them in the form of silly socks with comfort items, such as toys, coloring books, and crayons, and delivered with a smile.

Starting Right, Now ends homelessness for youth by providing one-on-one mentoring, a stable home, assisting with employment opportunities, teaching financial literacy/life skills and promoting educational achievement.

The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation serves the entire range of persons with intellectual / developmental challenges—including persons with autism, seniors, and persons with intense behavioral issues.

Our mission is to assist families in transition and their chronically hungry children while developing the next generation of volunteers to carry on the mission of The Kind Mouse. No hardworking individual should ever feel despair due to economic hardships beyond their control. Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes and no one should ever go hungry…

Blue Butterfly Productions builds inclusive communities using the power of the arts to connect people and change lives through high-quality educational experiences and performances.

TRIBE is a nonprofit organization (501c3) that offers low cost and easy to manage activities for children and families.

Our goal is to help women and babies, in need, live healthier, happy, and safer lives.

Water Smart Tots, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to decreasing pediatric drowning. We work towards our mission by providing water safety education and scholarships for survival swimming skills to children ages 12 months to 6 years who are financially underprivileged. We currently service the Greater Tampa Bay Area.

Wheelchairs 4 Kids is a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children with physical disabilities.

Our mission is to create space for people to experience the compelling authentic stories of real people and to find the common threads that tie us together as human beings.

Interested in sponsoring the 2021 WEDU Be More Awards? Check out our sponsor packages (.PDF)
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