to No Strings Attached! The plight of the Homeless has always been something that has tugged on my heart strings. I am that person who drives up to a red light and is heartbroken every time I see someone standing on the corner. Every set of eyes tells a different story, and it’s one that I want to know. In early November of 2007, I woke up particularly thankful for all of my tremendous blessings: an amazing family, fantastic friends, employment, a roof over my head and all life’s basic necessities. It was in that moment, amongst others, that I reflected over the passage, “To whom much is given, much is required.” I was convicted that I could do more. That same day, I sent out an email to all my friends and family to ask for clothing donations. I wanted to give the homeless something tangible that could last. Something that they could take with them and have for a longer duration. Something that was a basic necessity that is difficult for them to provide for themselves. It was important to me to interact with our patrons, hear their story, shake their hand, and let them know how much they are loved.
Through the course of doing this and to the scope that it’s grown, WE have had the tremendous annual blessing of donating thousands of surplus items to at least ten other ministries that assist the disadvantaged, homeless, and orphans across the greater Tampa Bay Area, South America and the Caribbean. Including , Dressed for Success, assists the disadvantaged in getting interviews & resume’s. Some of the suits/blouses/slacks and interview type clothes will go to that agency because there is less use for that type of clothing on the street.
The people we serve have big hearts, pride and self-esteem, and anything that is soiled or un-presentable is not needed. All items that remain after Thanksgiving morning are saved for Christmas morning, and anything remaining after that is donated to Metropolitan Ministries, Hyde Park United Methodist’s Open Arms Ministry and Trinity Cafe. If there are any other agencies you might know that need assistance, please let us know, as we would be glad to share with them as well. Between my previous employer, (The Bank of Tampa), my Church (Morningstar Church), Jesuit High School (my Alma Mater), Berkeley Prep High School (where I volunteer as a coach) and other very close friends, I have been so fortunate to build a support network of people who assist the mornings of. If you should like to participate in the distribution as a volunteer, please register on the Volunteer link to get updates on NOSA and important correspondence. You can also feel free to show up on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas morning. We depend on volunteer participation so you and anyone else that you know are welcome.
On November 13th, 2012, I lost my close friend and right hand in this ministry, Dr. Neal Sayers. The response from the entire Tampa Bay Community has been extremely touching and very much appreciated. In 2017, we surpassed 57,000 items donated between Thanksgiving and Christmas and had over 200 volunteers that continue to help us serve a record amount of homeless during the holidays. We have come a long way from year one, 2007, when 1,448 items were distributed. Together, we have reached new heights, and every single item donated matters and will go to good use.
No donation amount is too large or too small. WE have been blessed to provide for many disadvantaged in a big way, and on behalf of the years of recipients, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart! Each year I pray that either every item is given away or that no items are given away. If we give away every item, that means each person’s needs were met. If we give away no items, that means there is no longer a need and that homelessness has been eradicated. Until that day comes, we will press on.
Please help us reach more individuals and organizations by spreading the word and site as well as liking us on Facebook.
Thank you all in advance for your truly amazing past, present, and future support.