WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neill has partnered with Metropolitan Ministries this holiday season with his Bullard Family Foundation (BFF) to provide food boxes for over 40,000 families and toys for over 50,000 children. The collaboration will end on December 18, 2021, with the Joy of Giving parade around Faddeus M. Bullard Square in the Sly Magnetic High School area, followed by a family celebration that includes a winter exhibit titled Titus’s Wonderland.
The annual Joy of Giving event, which was held in Sliga in 2019, is returning after a hiatus due to the pandemic. The partnership between the BFF and the Metropolitan Ministries was inspired by two wishes: to bring about transformational change in 33610, where the BFF has concentrated most of its resources and efforts, and to bring joy and hope to more families in the six Tampa Bay counties.
To influence the region and reach 40,000 families, BFF has joined the Metropolitan Ministries to help with their annual holiday tent, which provides families with food, toys and services in a unique and inspiring setting.
Continuing their efforts in several counties, FIVE pre-selected worthy families from Pinellas, Pascoe and Hillsborough counties will each receive a vehicle from the BFF to support the job. These families will be surprised with their new cars during the “Joy of Giving” campaign.
And to continue targeting Thaddeus M. Bullard at Sligh Magnetic High School, the Gasparilla-style parade featuring Krewe floats will once again kick off a Joy of Giving celebration that will benefit students and their families from Sligh, Foster Elementary, James Elementary and Carter G Woodson.
The parade is hosted by WWE and Love, Tito’s. It will feature Gasparilla Krewe floats, marching bands and corporate partners. Retired Major Rocky Ratliff, after three decades with the Tampa Police Department, will serve as Grand Marshal.
The holiday includes free food and entertainment, as well as unwrapped gifts for students and their siblings from Sly, Foster, James and Woodson. The delivery of cars will take place during the event.
New this year will be a complete gym makeover, with families taking a stroll through a winter wonderland with scenes from the elf, snowman and family toy factory and winter villages. The extravaganza, called Titus’s Wonderland, is free for the family, like the rest of the event.
The holiday will last from 9.01. – 13:01. The start and end times for Event 01 represent O’Neill’s drive to bring people and organizations together to bring about positive change in the community.
“The pandemic has created an even greater need for our community, and I can’t think of a better way to respond to this call this holiday season than through our Joy of Giving event.” O’Neill said. “Seeing the joy on the faces of these families as they watch the Gasparilla boats drive past their homes in eastern Tampa brings tears to our eyes. And the opportunity to see joy in the eyes of parents choosing toys for their children fills our hearts with love. That’s what this whole season is about. “
The two organizations have worked together for the past three years, said Tim Marks, president and chief executive officer of Metropolitan Ministries, resulting in greater influence in the region.
“Metropolitan Ministries values the leadership of Titus O’Neill and the Bullard Family Foundation for transforming the Sligh community, and supports the InspireHope initiative to help families in need across six Tampa Bay counties,” Marks said.
The joy of giving highlights:
The ongoing partnership with the Hillsborough School District to connect families from our most disadvantaged communities to the event allows BFF to identify families most in need.
The parade starts at 9:01 am in front of Foster Elementary School. It runs east on E. Diane Street, north on 22nd Street, west on Sly Avenue, and ends at Thaddeus M. Bullard at Sly Magnetic High School.
Five pre-selected families will receive vehicles from Fuccillo Automotive Group, Hyundai from New Port Richey, Ferman, Elder Ford from Tampa and Stingray Chevrolet. Families don’t know they will get cars.
About the joy of giving
Inspired by the late Pastor Greg Powe, Sr., The Joy of Giving was launched in 2009 as a way to bring joy to all children in our most disadvantaged communities. With the blessing of Pastor Paue, Thaddeus Bullard, also known as WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neill, turned the event into what it is today: a movement to inspire companies to help their communities; trying to connect families with important non-profit support services; and a celebration of gifts that brings life-changing moments.