CareFest® is a community outreach program helping disabled, elderly, veteran & single-parent homeowners with minor home repairs, yard work and painting through in-kind donations and volunteers. For over 25 years, Somebody Cares Tampa Bay has mobilized local ministries, community agencies, and businesses to meet the practical needs of our communities through CareFest.
It was the second initiative that was shared from the meeting with the City of Tampa. Mayor Greco Shared the need that the city's budget had difficulties helping the elderly, disabled, and poor with the homes that were in violation of city code. Mayor Greco motivated Daniel to meet the need. Daniel shared that if Somebody Cares were given those needs, they would mobilize volunteers to evaluate the needs of the homeowner; and get churches and businesses to refurbish the homes. Somebody Cares set the last Saturday in September as the annual day for THE CHURCH to go out and serve the communities. Every year, anywhere between 100-300 homes are done. With thousands of volunteers serving, SCTB is bringing a value of over one million dollars of goods and services to Tampa Bay communities annually. CareFest eventually expanded to Pinellas and Pasco counties. It has also been adopted in St. Augustine, Florida; Puerto Rico; Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana. Since the need was so great, Somebody Cares opened the CareFest Program up to be year-round. It was called "caretagious"--making caring contagious is "caretagious." People can give needs year-round. Somebody Cares encourages all groups to participate.
Approximately 5,000 volunteers and over 300 partners from civic groups, businesses, non-profits, goodwill organizations, and ministries are involved in CareFest on an annual basis. CareFest not only blesses the homeowners and the volunteers, but it serves to encourage a sense of unity and good will throughout Tampa Bay.
Each year, Somebody Cares Tampa Bay sponsors CareFest Day, which occurs on September 30th of this year. Set as a day that all those of good will (churches, businesses, and individuals) can go out and serve the needs collectively on one day. Thousands of volunteers in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco neighborhoods come together on Carefest Day to repair the homes of disabled, elderly, veterans, widowed, and single parent homeowners. Hundreds of projects are adopted on this day of caring! After adopting projects, volunteers can be equipped to go out together and complete even large projects in 4 to 6 hours. Projects can include minor home repairs such as yard work and painting etc.
If you can't do the project on that day, CareFest is year-round. Pick a project and do it when it fits your schedule. You can serve as many individuals as you want each year.