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#MyGivingStory: Dana Andrews

We know that every act of giving has a story behind it. Join us as we learn what moves our donors to dedicate their time, talents and financial support to changing lives within Florida.

What inspired you to start giving?

Three years ago I started working with the homeless of Tampa Bay on a weekly basis.  Their kind spirits, openness, and genuine need for the things I take for granted, made me realize that there are so many different areas a person can have an impact on someone’s life.  It can be time, money, or a hug that can make a difference.

What does giving mean to you?

Giving allows you to take the focus off of yourself and realize how much you have to be grateful for.  Giving puts matters in your life in a better perspective.

Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?

I enjoy getting to know the people I serve, and those that are serving with me.  It brings you in contact with people with diverse backgrounds, that you may not have had a chance to meet if you had not volunteered in the first place.

What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back?  Share a piece of advice that will help them get started?

Do not over extend yourself with your time or finances.  For example, I am a “morning person” so my service with the homeless is in the morning.  For someone else, later in the day may work better for them.  Something as simple as that; however, will likely keep you motivated and engaged longer in the project. 

Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization. 

With the USTA Florida Foundation I feel I am just getting started! I enjoy seeing the looks on people’s faces when I share how much the money generated from the Play Tennis license plate has meant to different facilities and projects.  Some people genuinely had no idea the impact a license plate can have on a sport they love!

As to my homeless friends, my favorite moment is that I can call them my friends.  I can walk the streets of Tampa, call to them by name, give a hug, provide a pair of tennis shoes, toiletries or a sandwich.  All are needed and appreciated.

We want to hear your giving story!  Email to be featured next.