By Kelly Legg

Riverview residents Donna and Charles Witsell are mission-minded to spread the word about the dangers of bullying and harassment. This issue is forefront in their hearts because in September 2009, their 13-year-old daughter, Hope, died by suicide after being bullied.


“God began to use us as we were going through our own pain and grieving to minister to others as everyone tried to cope and understand such a tragedy,” said Donna, who is a member of The Life Church in Riverview. “Through the years, God continues to use Hope’s story to minister hope and healing to thousands.”


In February 2013, Donna realized she needed to quit her job at the post office and commit herself completely to the cause.


“God led me to open a thrift store in order to continue to be able to financially continue to minister to the needs as He presented them,” said Donna.


The Warriors For Hope Thrift Store opened in April 2014 and carries some basic household items for as low as $1 including clothes, shoes and toys. It also provides free Bibles and Christian books. It encourages donations of Christian books and Bibles.


Warriors For Hope Outreach Ministry provides support to children and parents by providing them access to resources to help them in their time of need.


“Most of the time others just need to hear an encouraging word and the fog begins to lift and they can see more clearly what they need to do to experience peace and joy again in their life, “ said Donna. “We give hope for free.”


The Witsell’s continue to encourage parents to learn about the laws that are in place are to protect the children that are being bullied; public schools have a protocol to follow. Parents need to be diligent and educate themselves about their rights and the rights of their children. Visit and for more information on bullying.


The Warriors For Hope Thrift Store is located at 7410 Commerce St. in Riverview (Near the Riverview Indoor Flea Market.) The store is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  For more information, find Warriors For Hope on its Facebook page or call 748-HOPE(4673).


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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.