USF’s PLEXUS Hospitality nonprofit organization is teaming up with Yogurt Mountain on Thursday to host a public fundraising event in efforts to provide hygienic products to the homeless community of Tampa Bay.
David Andres Becerra Nino, a team leader of the organization, is expecting a large audience for the event.
“Our main goal is to end stereotypes that people have of the homeless population, as well as contribute to them,” he said. “These are people that need second chances. We want to establish conversations with them, and have good relationships with them.”
PLEXUS is a mentorship program that connects current medical and pharmacy school students with undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. The nonprofit consists of a small group of undergraduate students who have a desire to help the homeless.
Nino encourages students to get involved in helping the homeless.
“I invite students to make a part of an initiative that helps unprivileged populations, as it is a very rewarding experience and breaks many judgments about homeless lifestyles,” Nino said.
The proceeds will help to purchase hospitality bags filled with items such as travel-size shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and more.
“While the objective is to raise funds to give basic hygiene products to homeless around Tampa, we want to make awareness of the necessities that unprivileged individuals had to experience on our community and to make an impact on someone’s life by restoring their dignity as human beings,” Nino said.
Students interested in contributing to the organization must show a voucher at Yogurt Mountain before purchasing, which can be found on PLEXUS’ Facebook page. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go toward hygiene items for the homeless.
“We do a lot of fundraisers and we like to be very active in the community,” Barry Keaton, the general manager of Yogurt Mountain, said.
Yogurt Mountain also works with providing outside catering for various homeless shelters throughout Tampa.
“We just want all the different nonprofits organizations to know that you can come in here and we’ll help support your needs, so it’s a win-win for everybody,” Keaton said. “It’s a really good time, we enjoy doing it and we hope to do a lot more.”
The event will be held Thursday from 3-8 p.m. at Yogurt Mountain located at 12817 N. Dale Mabry Highway.