Successful childhoods start with full bellies

Your support can make all the difference for Killingsworth Agency and Operation HeartF.E.L.T. To vote for them, use the social media buttons to share this story, or leave a comment below. If they reach 500 votes, the $5k donation they’ve already earned doubles to $10k!

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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Dane Frasure
1 month ago

Very nice story!!

Robyn Hawking
1 month ago

Congratulations Killingsworth Agency! You are Making More Happen one full belly at a time!

Jessica Wrigley
1 month ago

Great work!

Jamie Dingle
1 month ago

Congratulations! Thank you for supporting the community

Virginia Singer
1 month ago

Operation HeartFELT is such an asset to the Hernando County community!

Kay Cyr
1 month ago

What a great cause! Congratulations Killingsworth Agency.

Clinton Conoly
1 month ago

Love to see you making such a big difference!!

Danielle Healis
1 month ago

Happy to be a part of both of these awesome organizations as we work together to Feed Empty Little Tummies!!!

Chandler
1 month ago

Amazing!

Joan Anderson
1 month ago

This organization is such a blessing to many! With thanks to both Operation Heartfelt and Killingsworth Agency!

Christina Ulmer
1 month ago

I have helped out with this organization and they are phenomenal. It is not going to a broad big cover organization. It goes directly to the kids in our local schools in Hernando County. Awesome awesome organization!!

Laurie Cole
1 month ago

The name says it all, HeartFelt. What a beautiful wonderful organization. The smallest donation can make such a difference in a child’s life. You all at Heart F.E.L.T. are simply awesome!

Last edited 1 month ago by Laurie Cole
Kristin Swanson
1 month ago

This is amazing! Thank you for all you do!

Vicki Parrish
1 month ago

Great organization doing wonderful work within our own community!

Tiffany Wilkes
1 month ago

Operation HeartF.E.L.T is such an awesome organization! Congratulations Killingsworth!

Brad Montgomery
1 month ago

voting

Pattie
1 month ago

Thanks to all who are helping us reach our goal.

Michael Seitz
1 month ago

Awesome!

Tracey Brown
1 month ago

Such an amazing organization run by people with heart ❤️

Marc Stepbach
1 month ago

Great group

Hilda Everett
1 month ago

Wonderful organization! Many thanks to all who care for these children. No one in this country should ever be hungry!

Steve Jones
1 month ago

Awesome story! Congratulations Killingsworth Agency!!!!

Naomi Frechette
1 month ago

Congratulations and thank you!

Kathy Dingle
1 month ago

Congratulations! Great work!

Maria Kardos
1 month ago

Excellent!

Danielle healis
1 month ago

Awesome!!!

Kevin Laielli
1 month ago

Very proud of the work the organization has done, the board members, volunteers and the community!

Richard Grieves
1 month ago

Awesome organization

Bert snow
1 month ago

Love this organization

Brent
1 month ago

Ohf

Lauren
1 month ago

Wonderful organization!

Brendan McAuley
1 month ago

Awesome organization, great work being done by great people!

Brent
1 month ago

Thank you to the men and women of OHF for their tireless work to benefit the children and families of Hernando County.

Carol Cappleman
1 month ago

Awesome organization!

Lacie Laielli
1 month ago

Keep up the great work OHF!

Tadd Moore
1 month ago

Major props to the Killingsworth Agency for finding solutions to help keep our most important generation healthy! Keep up the great work and let’s get this extra $5K for the kids, folks!

Last edited 1 month ago by Tadd Moore
Billy George
1 month ago

Operation Heartfelt is a blessing for that area of Florida. It delivers blessings with every meal.

Sarah
1 month ago

Great job, OHF!

Bonnie Cirrincione
1 month ago

Thank you so much for supporting this amazing organization!

Lisa Timmons
1 month ago

Great charity & great company to lead them to feed more kids!

Emily
1 month ago

Great organization

Rachel Lyn
1 month ago

Awesome work!

Laura
1 month ago

Amazing organization!

Joan Gaddy
1 month ago

Congratulations

Joan Gaddy
1 month ago

Wonderful work

Frances
1 month ago

Absolutely wonderful cause. Great job and congratulations!

Marie Djordjevic
1 month ago

Awesome organization

Donna Knettler
1 month ago

Thank you for all the blessings you bring to so many!!!

Make More Happen - How to Vote

  • The nonprofit has received a $5,000 donation on behalf of the agent and you can help them win $5,000 more by voting!
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