Free Tax Prep Help, Scholarships Through County & More…

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti, michelle@ospreyobserver.com

Celebrating everyBODY: A Walk For Eating Disorders Awareness

The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness (The Alliance) will hold its first community awareness walk in Tampa on Sunday, March 5.
Held at the Raymond James Stadium, registration for “celebrating everyBODY” will begin at 9 a.m. Guest speaker, McCall Dempsey, will share her story of hope and healing from a 15-year battle with an eating disorder.  The Alliance is expecting more than 300 walkers and community resource exhibitors to be participating. In addition there will be live music, free snacks/drinks, and an arts & crafts area. The Alliance is proud to partner with the Tampa Bay chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals to help spread the word about this important cause and make this walk a huge success.

The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs and activities aimed at outreach, education, political advocacy, and early intervention for all eating disorders. Since its establishment in 2000, the Alliance has offered presentations on eating disorders, positive body image, and self esteem to more than 250,000 individuals throughout Florida & nationwide.

One of the most important missions of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is connecting those seeking help with resources and information to assist them in their recovery.  Each year this organization publishes a comprehensive referral guide of U.S. treatment programs and regional eating disorders specialists.

This invaluable resource will be distributed to Tampa-area middle & high schools, colleges, social service agencies, doctors offices, and made available online. Monies generated through this event will also be used to establish a free support group in Tampa for those who struggle with this deadly disorder.

Visit www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com to register.


Donate to the Afghanistan Memorial Which Will Be Dedicated At Veterans Park

In 2013 Marine Families helped raise funds to erect the Iraq Memorial at the Veterans Park in Tampa. It is currently participating in the completion of the Afghanistan Memorial which will be dedicated on February 25.

These two memorials hold very special places in our heart because these are the two wars that have waged on during the life of the organization. A majority of members, loved ones, and supporters have served, sacrificed or given their all.

Help make sure none of them are ever forgotten by donating to help Marine Families meet its $600 commitment. Donations can be made by visiting www.marinefamilies.org/donate or Afghanistan Memorial Fundraiser on Facebook.

Hillsborough County Helps Students Achieve Higher Education Goals Through Scholarships

Achieving a higher education is an important life goal for young people and their families. Hillsborough County Social Services has partnered with the Community Action Board to offer scholarships for up to $5,000 to eligible students wishing to continue their education by attending an institution of higher learning.

Scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 school year will be accepted through Friday, March 31. Recipients will be notified in writing prior to the start of the fall semester. Applicants who meet the following eligibility requirements may be awarded a scholarship:

Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 22, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent (16-year-olds may apply if they are graduating seniors). Applicants must reside in Hillsborough County. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. The applicant’s household income must fall within 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

The following criteria will also be used to evaluate applicants: Community service and school involvement, application and letters of recommendation, academic record (transcript), essay response, and panel interview participation.

Application materials can be downloaded at  www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/social-services/education-and-training/action-folder/apply-for-a-scholarship.

Detailed instructions on how to apply can also be found on the page. Students may submit completed applications online, via mail, or hand deliver applications in person to any County Community Resource Center. Mailed applications can be sent to P.O. Box 1110, Department of Social Services 24th Floor, Attention Sylvia Wint, Tampa, FL 33601.

In 2016, 52 scholarships totaling $260,000 were awarded to Hillsborough County students through Hillsborough County Social Services.

Hillsborough County Extension Offering Free Tax Preparation Help

Hillsborough County Extension is now scheduling appointments for residents who need expert help in preparing their federal income tax returns.

The free service is available to individuals and families whose Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is no more than $64,000. AGI does not include money contributed to tax deductible retirement plans, or certain other adjustments.

IRS-certified volunteers can provide access to a self-guided tax preparation program, as well as one-on-one assistance.

Appointments are required, and are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from February 7 through April 11, between 2-7 p.m.
On the following Saturdays: February 11, 18, March 4 & 18, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  

To schedule an appointment, contact Denise Kantak at 744-5519 ext. 54141 or kantakd@HCFLGov.net.    
Hillsborough County Extension is located at 5339 CR 579 in Seffner.

Impact Hosts Auditions for Impact’s Got Talent

The third annual Impact’s Got Talent 2017 will be held on Friday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale High School.

Krades K-12 are encouraged to audition for this fun-filled event. Singers, dancers, musicians, theater, soloist, groups are all welcome.

The grand prize is $250. Trophies will be awarded to 1st & 2nd place in each category as well as prizes for certain awards.

Acts must be three minutes or under and you must audition with the act you would be performing the night of the event. You may audition a cappella or with a track. Contestants selected for the event will be asked to pay a registration fee of $15 per person (solos & duets), $10 each person for groups of three or more to help offset the cost of trophies and prizes.

Visit www.WhatIsImpact.com or contact Ali Kagey at 454-9125 or alikagey@whatisimpact.com for an appointment time.

Teen IMPACT is a group of high school teens committed to saying YES to healthy relationships and a positive future by saying NO to premarital sex, drugs, tobacco and alcohol.