|This is when members of PRO volunteered at All Children's Wonder Land last Christmas. (from left to right: Debbie Kampel, Affiliate Mentor; John-Paul Mario, Affiliate Chair, Robyn Fiel, Affiliate Director; David Bennett, President & CEO.|
So many times there are people and organizations that don’t get recognized for the good deeds that they do. I know a lot of them would say they don’t need to be recognized, but sometimes it’s nice to publicly acknowledge the good they are doing for the community.
One particular organization that gives back to the community is the (PRO) Pinellas Realtor Organization Affiliate Business Partners. I am a member of this group and see how passionate they are about supporting their charity All Children’s Hospital.
As a parent and mom I know how important All Children’s Hospital is for our children. This hospital is state of the art and the care is top notch. I have had to take my girls there on several occasions and know what a wonderful place it is.
When Pinellas Realtor Organization affiliate chair John-Paul Mario decided a few years ago to make this hospital the charity of their organization, affiliate partners joined in supporting the cause. In the past 2 years, the organization has given more than $26,000 to All Children’s. “My passion is giving back to others. My need is to have everyone around with positive energy. This is the most important part of my life. I believe in giving because your rewards are much greater. My personal goal is to see everyone with a smile,” said John-Paul Mario.
Last December, John-Paul made it his mission to start taking food on the weekends to the Ronald McDonald House, a housing facility for family members who have children in All Children’s Hospital. It is for family members who want to be close by their loved one, but maybe don’t want to leave the hospital campus. This is a place they can stay the night and have a meal.
Every week, John-Paul delivers food to the house. He loves to cooks, so sometimes he even cooks meals for the families down there. “We average about $525 a month for needed items. I usually go shopping on Thursday or Saturday morning at Sam’s Club and deliver the items to the house,” said John-Paul.
The money collected each month is from the affiliates meetings. Each meeting the affiliate member introduces themselves to the group by name and company name. If an affiliate member adds a tag line or more information about their company, John-Paul will ask you to pay $5 to their charity All Children’s. Most people are glad to pay and even donate more because the money is going to a worthy cause.
The affiliates also collect toys for the children at Christmas and Easter.
“We are so appreciative of the support that the Pinellas Realtor Affiliates has given All Children’s Hospital. They have raised money, donated toys and advocated for the cause of our kids. John-Paul and the affiliates dedication to our patients has been unwavering and a testament to their passion for giving back,” said All Children’s Special Event Manager Taylor Traviesa.
This week is the Affiliate Business Partners 4th annual wine and food festival and all the money raised will benefit All Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. They hope to break last year’s record of raising $7,000.
One man’s passion to give back to others has turned into an organization’s passion into making a difference in the community and the lives of children.
Thank you to organizations like this and others who may go unrecognized, but your good deeds are not unnoticed and your rewards are the feeling you get knowing you made a difference.
**update to article: The organization raised more than their goal. They raised $8,400.