Carefest: What is it?

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COVID-19 Update: CareFest Projects are beginning again June 1st. Please review guidelines below.

CareFest is a year-round community outreach service program.

For over 15 years, Somebody Cares Tampa Bay has mobilized local ministries, community agencies, and businesses to meet the practical needs of our communities through CareFest. The object of CareFest is to, literally, do all the good we can by all the means we can. 

Each year, Somebody Cares Tampa Bay sponsors a CareFest Day, a work day in which thousands of volunteers in different locations throughout our service area come together to beautify and repair homes and neighborhoods. These projects are identified through local government offices, churches, synagogues, and civic groups.  At the end of the day, the volunteers and the homeowners come together to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments. Food and beverages are provided for all involved. These celebrations also provide opportunities for volunteers to meaningfully connect with people-in-need that live in their community. However, the CareFest program is a year-round program, so volunteers can participate on their own schedule, as well!

COVID-19 Response Guidelines & Expectations for CareFest

Updated 3/23/20

At this time, CareFest projects will be suspended until May 4th. However, we realize that people continue to have urgent needs and need ministry. With that in mind, we are expecting to resume CareFest projects as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so. At the time projects resume, we will continue to recommend social distancing as an important part of protecting the health of CareFest recipients, almost all of whom fall into a high-risk category. We will support CareFest projects that are performed by volunteers if they agree to meet the following guidelines.

Once your volunteers have contacted our office and receive details of the project, please abide by the following:

  • Call the homeowner directly to schedule a time to visit the home and view the project needs
  • Please contact us if you find you need additional supplies. Our warehouse will be accessible to CareFest volunteers
  • When on the property, please DO NOT come within 6 feet of the homeowner. Most CareFest homeowners are in a high-risk category. Touching or hugging, as much as all parties may want to share in that kind of encouragement, MUST be avoided. Once this crisis is over and safety is not a concern, our volunteers are encouraged to visit with the homeowner, again, to hold hands and pray with each other.
  • If the homeowner invites you into the home or asks you to address a project inside the home, please advise them you have to decline at this time but that their indoor project will be addressed at a later date.
  • Please bring your own bottled water and refreshments.
  • After performing the project, to the best of your ability, please wipe down handles, knobs, or anything that you have touched that the homeowner may later touch with a disinfecting cleaner.
  • Please do not allow a volunteer on your team to participate if he or she has a cough or any signs of illness. Even if it's just seasonal allergies, this can cause concern for the rest of the team and be frightening to a homeowner.
  • Please offer to pray with and for the homeowner, even if through a screen door, etc. In this tumultuous time, many homeowners are not hearing positive or hopeful words. You may be the only people they see for a week or more who can offer them words of compassion and encouragement.
  • Please gauge where the homeowner is regarding urgent needs. If your organization is open to "adopting" them during this crisis, this could be a wonderful opportunity to bless them with supplies, or just a phone number of someone they can contact in an emergency.

These guidelines will, likely, remain in effect through the end of June. Please return to this website for the most updated information.

Approximately 5,000 volunteers and over 100 partners from civic groups, businesses, non-profits, 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.

Your company or organization can create a Culture of Caring

  • Enjoy a fun team-building experience
  • Develop a Culture of Caring within your company or organization
  • Build morale within the workplace
  • Develop good will within the community
  • Be promoted on our websites as a Caring Company
  • Be featured in our email blast with your company information and picture of your team serving as one of our Caretagious companies for the month
  • Receive photos for each team member and the company
  • Receive recognition at our Annual Banquet as a Caring Company
  • Eligible to be recognized as our Caring Company of the Year

Find out how to be a Caretagious Company HERE