Metropolitan Ministries Bridge Builders 2018

Today is Give Day Tampa Bay which I thought was the perfect day to post sneak peeks from Metropolitan Ministries Bridge Builders event that I photographed last week.  This is one of my favorite, if not my favorite fundraising event each year, and this year their team blew this event out of the water.  The main speaker was going to be WWE wrestler, Titus O'Neil (aka Thaddeus Boullard).  I got to hear some of his story at the Uplift U Metromin graduation last fall.  His story is amazing, his mom was raped when she was 11 and he and his brothers overcame all the obstacles to graduate from college and he is infamous in the WWE.  He was suppose to be there in person but got called out of the country, so they did a series of videos. The first was of the Strong family, which their last name says it all.  The mom walked 18 miles to get to Metromin and how her 3 boys are looking towards college and becoming engineers (I got to talk with them after the event about that:-).  Then they showed Titus' reaction to the video of this family, he teared up at the familiar struggle of their story.  The 3rd video was of Titus having a sit down with the teens from Metromin and he told them he loves them and he believes in them.  He said when someone told him that as a teenager no one had ever said that before and it changed everything for him.  His mom, Daria, was there in person and they had a special hand crafted WWE belt for both her and Titus naming them as Metromin Champions of Hope.  They had Titus record a special video just for his mom, I know words are really doing it justice as to how powerful it was but hopefully you can get a little glimpse of it here.  Their hashtag is #behope and they definitely are making a huge impact to lift up people in Tampa Bay.  Give Day Tampa Bay is a 24 hour online giving challenge for tons of local non profits so whether it's Metromin or whatever your favorite organization is to give back to go on and give to make a difference in our city!