The Brooksville nonprofit Operation HeartF.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies)--a grassroots, volunteer-run non-profit backpack program--provides more than 260,000 nutritious meals annually to Hernando County children suffering from food insecurity. The meals allow the children to get through weekends, holidays, and extended school breaks.
"We feed about 800 children every week currently, and the need is growing," said Danielle Healis, secretary at Operation HeartF.E.L.T. and Managing Partner for Killingsworth Agency. "And because of COVID, we haven't been able to fund-raise. We watch the bank account, hoping to have enough money for food."
Killingsworth Agency, a full-service insurance agency that sells personal and business insurance throughout the state of Florida (https://www.killingsworthagency.com/), has been a key supporter of Operation HeartF.E.L.T. since the organization's inception in 2010, providing the organization with free warehouse space where the agency team meets weekly to fill and deliver backpacks with enough food to feed children three meals a day through the weekend. Killingsworth also conducts fund-raisers on their behalf and donates food and money to the effort.
And now the organization that has made a pledge that "no child in our community should go to bed hungry," will benefit from a $5k donation--as well as the opportunity to double it, with a little help from the Hernando community. Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance announce that Killingsworth Agency, Inc. has earned a 2021 Make More Happen Award, which according to a related news release "recognizes its exceptional volunteerism with Operation HeartF.E.L.T. and demonstrating its commitment to making a positive change within their community."
Throughout 2021, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance will select a total of 34 independent agents nationwide for a Make More Happen Award donating up to $340,000 to the nonprofits they support. Agencies became eligible for the award by submitting an application demonstrating their commitment to a specific nonprofit, along with photos of an organizational project.
"This was our second year winning the award," said Healis. "We won the award five years ago. And this year, in particular, it's an absolute blessing."
The award includes a $5,000 donation to the nonprofit founded by Patti Stepbach--with a chance to double the amount to $10,000 that will directly benefit Operation HeartF.E.L.T.
The $10,000 would supply Operation HeartF.E.L.T. with the financial resources needed to stock their shelves with food and supplies to provide more than 10,000 meals to children in need.
"It costs $85,000 a year to provide these meals," said Healis.
How can the community help? Beginning Wednesday, May 5, and continuing through Tuesday, May 11, the story of Killingsworth Agency and Operation HeartF.E.L.T. is being featured on the official Make More Happen microsite www.agentgiving.com/Killingsworth-Agency allowing the nonprofit a chance to earn the additional $5,000. If the featured story receives at least 500 votes— in the form of shares and favorites to social media, and comments on their story—the donation will be doubled to $10,000.
“We are forever grateful to receive this Make More Happen Award from Liberty Mutual and Safeco to provide this worthy organization with the much-needed funds to continue their impactful work,” said Healis.
Healis encourages all in the community to like, share, and favorite HeartF.E.L.T.'s post at www.agentgiving.com/Killingsworth-Agency . And donations are always welcome at http://www.operationheartfelt.com/.