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November  2017
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In this edition of ConnectED:
  • A Giving Tuesday Thank-You
  • Excellence in Education Awards tickets on sale now
  • HEF, partners deliver school supplies 6,500-plus students
  • HEF Spotlight: Denise Becker
  • Change a student's life, become a mentor

Together, we raised $2,200 on Giving Tuesday

We want to sincerely thank everyone who made a donation to HEF on Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that fell on Nov. 28 this year. 

Your donations help send students to college through scholarships and mentoring, put free school supplies into the hands of kids in need and inspire learning by funding classroom innovative projects. 

If you'd still like to donate, it's not too late. Click here to make a gift. 

Thank you for giving the gift of education!

HEF, partners deliver school supplies to 6,500 kids
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Hillsborough Education Foundation and about 100 of our amazing partners surprised teachers and students in 378 classrooms on 12 Hillsborough County Public School Title I campuses with much-needed school supplies, thanks to a donation from Yoobi, a vibrant school supply brand designed 
to make learning fun while also giving back. For every Yoobi item purchased, the company 
contri butes one item to a Classroom Pack, which includes enough supplies for 30 students. The packs are then distributed through the Kids in Need Foundation's nationwide network of resource centers, like the Hillsborough Education Foundation's Teaching Tools Store

During the deliveries, we donated supplies to approximately 6,504 excited elementary-school students. Thank you to our volunteer groups, including Suncoast Credit Union, Caspers Company, Target, T. Rowe Price, Citi, Hillsborough County Council PTA, Long & Associates Architects/Engineers, The Bank of Tampa, Kiwanis Club of Tampa, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Coldwell Banker, VALIC and the Hillsborough County 
Tax Collector's  Office. 

We still need help delivering 600- plus remaining Yoobi classroom packs to various Title I schools. Businesses  interested in forming a team and scheduling a delivery may contact Brandi Melton at (81)574-0275 or

Denise Becker | Associate Director of Programs


Responsibilities include: Managing the Teaching Tools program, overseeing teacher/school relations, managing Teaching Tools in-kind donor relations, donor stewardship, storytelling, spearheading initiatives to better serve students and teachers in Hillsborough County. (She also moves pallets of school supplies while wearing heels!)

Hometown: Wantagh, New York

Years at HEF: 12 (the Foundation's longest-serving employee). Started out as an intern at USF in the Marketing Practicum class and went full time the day I graduated. I was in charge of volunteers in the Store and product donations. I've seen the store grow from serving 50 schools to 150. 

Who was your favorite teacher and why? Mrs. Halpern, my elementary art teacher. She helped foster my creativity, which is a perfect fit for this job. She taught us that art can be found in anything. Who knew you could turn a paper towel tube into a puppet?

What was your first job? Front-office receptionist for a chiropractor's office.

If you could have a super power, what would it be? Be able to fly.

What was your most memorable family vacation? Going to Old Bethpage Restoration to tour historic homes from the 1800s with my parents when I was 10. The best part was the candy stick and the birch beer in the general store. 

Change a student's life, become a mentor
If you are looking for a meaningful way to give back, consider becoming a mentor to an HCPS middle- or high-school student. As a mentor, you will meet with your mentee at their school weekly throughout the academic year.  Click here  to learn more or to fill out an application.

Schools with the most need: 
Durant High  | Strawberry Crest High  | Tampa Bay Tech High  | 
Turkey Creek Middle | Alonso High

To get matched with a student this school year, contact Brandi Melton at or (813)574-0275.