On Saturday, April 21, 2012 over 2500 volunteers painted 100 houses of low-income, elderly Tampa residents in the 24th annual “Paint Your Heart Out Tampa!” This was the 22nd consecutive year of participation in PYHOT from the Hillsborough Community College team. As team captain, every year I am amazed at the growing HCC turnout for this project. This year we had 81 students, faculty, and staff in our group. In addition to many student volunteers from Dale Mabry campus, faculty and staff who stepped up to join the team included Mark Switzer, Eric Joost, Sherry Sippel, Mara Manis, Diego Grilli, Rachel DeSanto, Darwin Driggers, Hatem Ali, Chris McDermott, retired SGA advisor Ken Turley, and myself. Paul Rocha, president of the Criminal Justice Student Association at Ybor City campus, also participated along with many student club members.
With its generous volunteers and the financial support of Dale Mabry’s Student Government Association, the HCC PYHOT Team year after year has shared time and talent to assist those in need. HCC’s team has helped Tampa demonstrate to the world that this city can and does put forth its best efforts to show people care about one another. These efforts add up to more than just a fresh coat of paint. Paint Your Heart Out improves homeowners’ property and renews their faith in community spirit. It beautifies our city’s neighborhoods and creates a sense of pride among the volunteers and sponsors who make it happen. Their presence and exceptional effort reflect the type of selfless people who live and work in our community.
Thank you to the entire Dale Mabry Paint Your Heart Out Team for being part of this wonderful, warm, and successful program. The gratification that comes in helping someone less fortunate than yourself is what makes Tampa the great city that it is. To sign up to paint with our HCC team next year, contact Kathryn Pantelis at 253-7261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.