TECO brings “Backpacks of Hope” to Metropolitan Ministries

Tampa Electric's Credit & Collections team with a list of other TECO departments that contributed to the Backpacks of Hope drive.

Tampa Electric’s Credit & Collections team with a list of other TECO departments that contributed to the Backpacks of Hope drive.

Just in time for the new school year, hope is in the syllabus for students who will receive donated school supplies from Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas team members through Metropolitan Ministries.

The utility’s Credit & Collections team solicited donations from throughout the company for the Backpacks of Hope program, which helps prepare disadvantaged students for school. Binders, pencils, paper, you name it – including backpacks, of course – will go to students from elementary to high school who struggle to acquire the things they need for their education.

“It was great to see other departments at TECO help us with another Backpacks of Hope drive,” said Lori O’Keefe, supervisor of Credit & Collections. “We have a lot of amazing people to thank. I’m also looking forward to the next drive for TECO team members starting this week and hope we can get even more departments involved.”

Karl Celestine, director of Outreach Services at Metropolitan Ministries, added thanks of his own to TECO (“One of my favorite organizations,” he said).

“Your donations make a huge difference,” Celestine told O’Keefe and Gerri Drummond – coordinator of Credit & Collections – who delivered to the charity’s Tampa location at 2301 N. Tampa Street. “We let the kids pick out the backpacks they want. It’s all about helping people walk out of here with a lot more hope than they had when they walked in.”

Celestine said the longstanding connection between TECO and Metropolitan Ministries goes beyond donations.

Folders and pencils and binders, oh my! A look at some of the school supplies for the Backpacks of Hope drive that TECO team members donated.

Folders and pencils and binders, oh my! A look at some of the school supplies for the Backpacks of Hope drive that were donated by TECO team members.

“We’re doing more with TECO lately because we’re seeing more people who need help paying for their utilities,” he said, adding that this type of assistance is just one of the many services the organization provides. He cited the Metropolitan Ministries employment lab, food and clothing stores, a new partnership school and more as critical tools the organization offers to help the homeless and those otherwise struggling to get by.

“At any given time, we have 100 families at our Tampa campus alone,” he said. “Everyone who comes through here is in crisis mode. But our goal is to help everyone become self-sufficient – and with dignity.”

For anyone interested in donating to Metropolitan Ministries, it’s always eager to accept the following items that are in constant demand:

  • Canned fruit
  • Cereal
  • Beans
  • Deodorant
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Socks

Bring your donations to Metropolitan Ministries locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties, or visit this page for more information about how you can help.

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2 Responses to TECO brings “Backpacks of Hope” to Metropolitan Ministries

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  2. Tammy Rios says:

    I applaud what TECO did through this event and I do not want to take away from it in any way but I am desperate for assistance. Recently DAVEY trees was on Davis Islands doing a substantial amount of work, which I again applaud as a proactive measure by who I was told was TECO. Branches were removed near wires that I’ve routinely had to call 911 about when they spark in windy weather. That said when branches were cut in our back yard at 126 Adriatic Av an enormous amount of debris was left behind that we are unable to pick up. I’ve contacted DAVEY was advised they do not service this area. I don’t wish to hire them, only to have someone remove the debris that they left. I’ve tried to call through TECO and there isn’t an option that quite fits this dillema :-/ … Please help me with information on how to resolve this. Thank You…. Tammy

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