Successful childhoods start with full bellies

Killingsworth Agency reached their goal of 500 votes + shares and won a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance for Operation HeartF.E.L.T, whose mission is to provide food security to children in Hernando County, Florida. Congrats to the team and thank you for supporting them! 

For a child, food security is the first ingredient to healthy physical, emotional and intellectual development. Yet for too many children, a predictable meal schedule is a luxury. In Hernando County, Florida, Operation HeartF.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies) is doing something about it. At maximum financial capacity with its board on a fully-volunteer basis, this nonprofit serves half of all the schools in the county – they hope to serve all the children in the region who need it. Killingsworth Agency, in the county’s largest town of Brooksville, is one of Operation HeartF.E.L.T.’s most ardent supporters.

Successful childhoods start with full bellies
Operation HeartF.E.L.T. volunteers gather after a shift of organizing and packing backpacks of food for kids.

Putting anything and everything into the cause

Since Operation HeartF.E.L.T. was founded in 2009, Killingsworth has been there to volunteer time, funds, staff and even real estate to the important cause of feeding Hernando County’s children. In fact, nearly half the agency regularly volunteers, packing and delivering weekly food backpacks, taking part in fundraisers and donating and collecting food.

“Whenever there’s something that needs to be done for Operation HeartF.E.L.T., there is always someone here at the agency who steps up and volunteers,” said Danielle Healis, a Managing Partner at Killingsworth Agency and a board member for Operation HeartF.E.L.T.

“Whenever there’s something that needs to be done, there is always someone here at the agency who steps up and volunteers.”

-Danielle Healis, Managing Partner, Killingsworth Agency

Successful childhoods start with full bellies 5
Killingsworth Agency staff works alongside other community volunteers to help Operation HeartF.E.L.T. meet the huge holiday demand for food assistance.

Every meal has the power to change a life

Successful childhoods start with full bellies 6

A volunteer helps load donated food into the Operation HeartF.E.L.T. wharehouse, space that is donated by Killingsworth Agency.

This organization has seen meteoric growth over the last decade. They’ve ballooned from providing weekly meals for six families at a single school to a local mainstay that supports 300 families a week. This highlights a sad but valid truth: these services are essential. Regardless of how big that number gets however, the Killingsworth team has never lost sight of the human impact of each donated food-filled backpack.

“A young boy sitting in the audience at one of our school presentations came up afterwards to ask me for a hug,” said Healis. “He thanked us, sharing that his family did not have much money – that if it wasn’t for his backpack, he wouldn’t have a lot to eat.”

Successful childhoods start with full bellies 3
Operation HeartF.E.L.T. stepped in to help out Santa during the holiday season, donating food and gifts to one of the schools the organization serves.

There’s no pandemic shutdown for hunger

In Florida, more rapid school re-openings and furloughed parents mean even more children in need of food. Operation HeartF.E.L.T. has been firing on all cylinders throughout the pandemic to meet this need, but has had to shift efforts completely to donations.

“The idea that children in our own community are hungry is unthinkable to me. No child in this country or in our community should ever worry about food,” said Pattie Stepbach, Chairperson of Operation HeartF.E.L.T. “COVID-19 has impacted our fundraising opportunities so any donations we receive will go a long way.”

“The idea that children in our own community are hungry is unthinkable to me.”

-Pattie Stepbach, Chairperson, Operation HeartF.E.L.T.

 

Successful childhoods start with full bellies 4
Operation HeartF.E.L.T. chairperson, Pattie Stepbach (left) accepting a $500 donation from one of the many generous local businesses in Brooksville that support the cause.

Operation HeartF.E.L.T. is on a constant journey to ensuring no child is hungry in their region. The organization puts nearly every dime they receive towards food, so $10,000 truly means 10,000 meals. Your vote for Killingsworth Agency can make that possible!

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Patricia Erickson
1 year ago

Such a fantastic organization.

Afeez Agunbiade
1 year ago

What a way to be of service to humanity ❤️

Mark Aaron
1 year ago

Let’s go operation heartfelt!!! Love your work for the community.

Mark Atkins
1 year ago

Love operation heartfelt I support them every time I can.

Isabelle Jean-OBrien
1 year ago

Good work

Santiago
1 year ago

Thank goodness for OPERATION HEARTFELT! <3

Julie B. Maglio
1 year ago

A wonderful cause! Thank you Killingsworth and Operation Heart F.E.L.T.

Jenn Juranko
1 year ago

What a great cause! Love the work Killingsworth is doing for the community.

Britt B.
1 year ago

Fabulous!

Lauren Vossler
1 year ago

Amazing organization!!!

Jennifer A.
1 year ago

Great work. Thanks for all that you do.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jennifer A.
Jen
1 year ago

Great job team!

Cyndi
1 year ago

Thanks to everyone!

Cyndi
1 year ago

Hernando County students are blessed to have such a great support group

Cyndi
1 year ago

Love this charity!

Cyndi
1 year ago

Let’s go. Great job!

Katie Yeager
1 year ago

So Exciting

Khris Eikenberry
1 year ago

Congrats!

Angie Galloway
1 year ago

Keep up the wonderful work!

Lisa Grieves
1 year ago

They are so deserving!

Kayla Yeager
1 year ago

We are so close this is so exciting!

Richard Grieves
1 year ago

Good Job!

Justin
1 year ago

This will be amazing if they win!

Justin
1 year ago

What a great team of people!

Justin
1 year ago

Almost there! Keep helping this great group!

Justin
1 year ago

Lets help them win this!

Justin
1 year ago

Great group of people!

Justin
1 year ago

What a great idea. Good cause!

Justin
1 year ago

This is a great organization!

Justin
1 year ago

Danielle is awesome!!!

Juan Mahfouz
1 year ago

Hola Lisa Waldron at Killingsworth!
Miss you!!
JC

Jesse
1 year ago

Hoping you all get the help you need to keep helping!!

Jesse
1 year ago

Great organization!

Mark Brown
1 year ago

What a wonderful service to our community!

Wayne johnson
1 year ago

Well done Killingsworth group! Good luck with your goal

Jesse
1 year ago

Thanks Kevin, Lacie, Kai and the rest of the team for being stellar humans.

Tracie Maler
1 year ago

Operation Heartfelt makes such a difference in these Children’s lives

Dennis Thompson
1 year ago

So many caring and committed people executing daily to help children have proper nutrition!!

Jesse
1 year ago

Awesome people doing important work. Great job!!

Lynne
1 year ago

Great job !!!

Shelley Hayworth
1 year ago

Great story!

Mechelle Griffin
1 year ago

Great work for such a worthy cause.

Will
1 year ago

Come on everyone! We can do this!

Libby
1 year ago

Fantastic job! Thank you!

Libby
1 year ago

Excellent organization!

Libby
1 year ago

Always appreciated! Congrats! ❤️

Libby
1 year ago

Thank you for giving back!

Shannon Nagy
1 year ago

Wonderful story & cause!

Toni Logan
1 year ago

Not surprising to see the amazing team at Killingsworth involved with such a heartwarming initiative! This is so very touching and just another reason why we are beyond proud to partner with Killingsworth!

Carla
1 year ago

Making a difference! ❤️

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