Holiday Donations for CASA

At our luncheon meetings on November 15 and December 6 we’ll be collecting donations for CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) to assist in their mission of ending domestic violence.  This time of year is particularly difficult for those who find themselves in a shelter.  Here’s their “holiday wishlist.”

2018 Hope for the Holidays Wishlist

Advocating for Teenage Girls

Join us on February 15 as BPW welcomes Judith Artis, the new Executive Director of PACE in Pinellas County. Founded in 1985, and started in Pinellas County in 1997, PACE began as a community response to the lack of female-specific programs for girls involved in the juvenile justice system, at risk of dropping out of school, or facing other serious risks. Judith has more than 20 years in the field of Youth Development and has served on numerous civic associations. She has received many awards throughout her career as a result of her professional leadership and community outreach.  Judith has worked in various positions in nonprofit organizations. Throughout her career, she served in executive capacities with organizations in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. In her previous leadership role, Judith raised more than $500,000 for the organization, which operated at two centers, serving more than 500 children in Douglas, Georgia.
Judith has three adult children in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a national judge for the sport of double dutch jump roping. Judith is a graduate of Kaiser University where she received her Bachelors degree in Business Management and is currently finishing up her Masters degree in Organizational Psychology.

Bring Your Donations December 7

At our luncheon meeting on December 7 we’ll be collecting for The Kind Mouse to assist in their mission to assist families in transition and their chronically hungry children while developing the next generation of volunteers to carry on the mission of The Kind Mouse. Here’s their “wishlist.”

Outreach to Special Communities – Lariana Forsythe, CASA 

As Domestic Violence Awareness month draws to a close the work goes on. Join us on November 2nd when we welcome Lariana Forsythe, Interim CEO of CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) to speak about the ongoing efforts that this vital organization makes in our area and specifically reach special communities that may be underserved by other services.
Lariana brings extensive nonprofit leadership experience to CASA, which is implementing a significant expansion of its programs for survivors of domestic violence in southern Pinellas County, Florida. Longtime employee Suzanne Horn, who had served as Interim Director during the transition period, has been promoted to CASA’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Harry Linn has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
“I am honored to have the opportunity to help change the image of domestic violence in Pinellas County,” said Ms. Forsythe. “So many domestic violence survivors live in the shadow of this systemic issue, which effects as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men, and often fear the undeserved stigma and false assumptions that can come with it.”
“Now celebrating its 40th anniversary of service to this community,” she continued, ”CASA is a larger influence than ever before, providing safety and a voice for those who have had theirs taken away.  I look forward to getting to know and working closely with the leaders in our community to ensure St. Petersburg is a vibrant and safe community for everyone.”
Lariana has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, most recently serving as the Vice President/Chief Development Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. In addition to 17 years with the Boys & Girls Clubs, she has held a variety of roles within National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Special Olympics. Lariana has earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.
CASA is the official domestic violence center for southern Pinellas County, Florida. It is also a proud member of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), the professional association for Florida’s 42 independent, certified domestic violence centers.
As a community organization, CASA is in constant need of supplies to support their many efforts. Click Here to see their wishlist and how you might support them.

Take Your Career in a New Direction or Further the One You Have

Are you or a woman you know going to school or continuing or starting a certification program?  The Connie Passmore Scholarship makes awards directly to women, age 21 or over, who live, work or go to school in Pinellas County, who demonstrate achievement, need and well-defined educational goals, and who are attending an accredited program or a program recognized by the licensing agency in the certification area. Several awards between $250 and $1,000 are made each year.

The application deadline is October 15 and all completed forms should be either mailed to BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas, P.O. Box 1063, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-1063 or emailed to so as to be received by the deadline. Checks will be distributed in December. Applications for certificate programs allow for non-traditional start times.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested.  Email if you have any questions.

The Effects of Hunger On Education – Gina Wilkins of Kind Mouse

On August 3rd, BPW welcomes Gina Wilkins, Founder and CEO of The Kind Mouse, to speak with us about The Effect of Hunger on Education. Her organization is a nonprofit established in 2012 to assist local families in transition and their chronically hungry children. At that time, Gina was a self-employed certified architectural draftsman. Upon the decline in the economy she saw many of her friends and peers fall into financial despair. These
hardworking career people were too prideful to ask for help and eventually lost their homes and businesses.

Gina, wanting to help her proud friends, saw a need to assist these displaced families and to also feed the hungry children of her neighborhood. Currently The Kind Mouse is feeding 350 food insecure students every weekend through their Mouse Nibbles Weekend Feeding Program and an additional 90 students monthly through Pinellas County School Board’s Jane’s Pantry as well as assisting families monthly with food, pet supplies and housewares. Over the summer the student number increases to almost 400
students. The Kind Mouse has two peer to peer children’s clubs called Mice In Training and Mice Interns.

Click here for more about The Kind Mouse.




Click Here to Make Your Reservation

Wine Tasting Member Social

bpw-ywca-pcJoin BPW on Friday March 24th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at American Spirits – 230 3rd St S for member social with proceeds benefiting the YWCA of Tampa Bay. The cost is $10  to attend so please bring your friends, colleagues, clients any anyone who enjoys wine. If you need further details, please email

December’s Philanthropic Endeavor: Christmas Toy Shop

December’s Philanthropic Endeavor: Christmas Toy Shop.

Please bring a brand new unwrapped toy to either BPW Meetings in December 1st or December 15th.

History: The Christmas Toy Shop originated in 1921. It was organized in 1952 at the request of The Community Welfare Council to coordinate the efforts of clubs, agencies, and individuals in toy giving. The Christmas Toy Shop was chartered by the City of St. Petersburg in 1959. Since then, many disadvantaged children in south Pinellas have received gifts to help them experience the excitement and joy of the holiday season.


To view the whole list, click on the link:


Linda Owen and Karen Hale from The Christmas Toy Shop

GUEST SPEAKER for December 15th.

The Christmas Toy Shop originated in 1921. It was organized in 1952 at the request of The Community Welfare Council to coordinate the efforts of clubs, agencies, and individuals in toy giving. The Christmas Toy Shop was chartered by the City of St. Petersburg in 1959. Since then, many disadvantaged children in south Pinellas have received gifts to help them experience the excitement and joy of the holiday season.

Purpose: Our goal is to provide toys during the Christmas holiday to less fortunate children in lower Pinellas County so that they can experience the joy and excitement of the holday season.

The CHRISTMAS TOY SHOP PROJECT, INC. is a non-profit, all volunteer organization with the goal of providing both new and refurbished toys to less fortunate children in South Pinellas County.

Since originating in 1921 the Christmas Toys Shop has served thousands of families in need. In 2011 we served over 2,350 children with toys and gave out over 510 bikes and trikes.

Ways to Help: Volunteers are always welcome during the hours Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to sort, wash, repair, paint and pack toys. This includes individuals, corporations, churches, community service clubs, students who need community service hours to fulfill Bright Futures requirements and anyone else who is interested. Call 727-898-3962 or email


Please bring new & unwrapped toy. Ages 0-12 years old with a much need for older children between 8 to 12 years old. Books, sports equipment, purses, hair dryers, Fisher Price toys, remote control cars are just suggested items. 

toy-shop-2 toy-shop-3 toy-shop-1

November’s Philanthropic Endeavor: St. Petersburg Free Clinic

November’s Philanthropic Endeavor: St. Petersburg Free Clinic. Please bring items to the next meeting, November 17th and BPW will deliver. If you would like to drop off directly, below is more information.

Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging for anyone but when that is paired with low income and a major medical need, it can be a daunting task. Our neighbors in need with diabetes are facing just that challenge. To help serve this need in our community we are seeking donations of diabetic friendly food items to distribute through our We Help Services Food Pantry.

Healthy Food Item Suggestions:
no sugar-added oatmeal
low-fat, no sugar-added, whole grain cereals
low-fat, low-sugar, peanut butter
low-sugar or no sugar-added preserves, jam or jelly
low-fat, low sugar, salad dressings
white tuna in spring water
low-sodium red or black beans
dried beans
brown rice
extra-light olive oil
balsamic vinegar
Donations of all non-perishable food & personal hygiene items are accepted and appreciated.

Donations are accepted at the back loading dock of our main building Monday – Friday, 8am to 3:30pm. If you have donations in a large volume please call prior to drop off so we can make sure there is ample support to unload your donation.

863 3rd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701