Helping Project Corp

aka Help Us Gather   |   Clearwater, FL   |


The Helping Project’s mission is to improve lives by advocating for diversity and inclusion and creating opportunities for all.

Ruling year info



Robin Lally

Main address

1180 Ponce De Leon Blvd Ste 201

Clearwater, FL 33756 USA

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NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (G01)

Single Organization Support (N11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Helping Project

Our programs:

Help Us Gather:
Help Us Gather (HUG) is a program with a mission to advocate for inclusion and connect people with disabilities to social events and activities.

HUG fills a dire need for social connection for people with disabilities. 76% of people with disabilities feel lonely and isolated. These feelings of separation contribute to depression, anxiety, sickness, and a higher mortality rate. HUG solves this problem by working with organizations to create adaptive programs; managing a digital platform that allows organizations to reach a large base of children, teens and adults with special needs; offering individual counseling to help individuals with special needs find social connections in the community; and hosting a full calendar of unique, engaging events throughout the year, all specifically designed for adults with special needs.

Online Calendars at
Many families struggle to figure out how a loved one with special needs can have a place in the community and make new social connections. HUG created a solution for the greater Tampa, Florida area by launching a website to host online community calendars for children, teens and adults. Each month, HUG calendars connect 2,000+ unique users to local events and activities like social hours, inclusive tennis lessons, sensory-friendly movie screenings, adaptive dance and so much more. Organizations that serve individuals with disabilities use HUG’s website to create awareness and advertise events for free; thus, HUG reduced barriers to entry for new groups by connecting them with the public they serve without any marketing costs.

Friends of HUG Events:
Many families report that after high school ends, there is a great risk for depression because individuals with disabilities no longer have daytime activities or social opportunities. HUG changes this by hosting a full spectrum of events throughout the year specifically designed for adults with special needs. The Friends of HUG social group provides 100 to 250+ adults each month with social activities and opportunities to connect to the community and others in the Tampa Bay area. Through donor contributions, these events are always free for participants and a guest. The Friends of HUG social group serves more than 1,500 adults each year.

Posting events for people with disabilities on the calendars at is great exposure. HUG currently works with more than 80 businesses, organizations, and government agencies to unite the efforts for inclusion for people with disabilities. In addition to posting local events, the HUG team creates a specific page for each partner organization—all at no cost to the user. HUG also encourages and helps plan adaptive programming and events designed for people with special needs.

HUG Ambassadors:
HUG Ambassadors serves hundreds of individuals in the Tampa Bay area. HUG Ambassadors are people of all ages and abilities who share the HUG message of inclusion, reach out to other people with special needs who need help making friends, and represent positive images of people with disabilities at events and in the community. They raise awareness, educate others, and advocate for inclusion. Ambassadors help those who may be feeling lonely or shy by being the first to welcome people at events. Ambassadors build friendships with newcomers. The rapidly growing program offers people with disabilities the opportunity to instantly become part of a friendly and compassionate team while providing inclusion and purpose. HUG Ambassadors help further the mission of social inclusion, addressing misconceptions about people with disabilities, and highlighting the wonderful opportunities that inclusion offers everyone.

We Include:
We Include, a national advocacy program, aims to create a more inclusive world for people with disabilities. This mission is accomplished through a platform of educational resources, inspiring interviews and compelling stories, with the goal of educating the general public on how to include people with special needs in all aspects of life.

We Include is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities and advocating for their inclusion in workplaces, schools, and society as a whole. We Include also aims to fund advanced research into key areas to improve the quality of life for individuals with special needs.

HUG’s local success inspired We Include as a way to create a world that wholly embraces people with disabilities. 1 in 4 adults has a visible or invisible disability. This is a large group of individuals who deserve attention, respect, and admiration. We Include is a platform for the boldest voices, latest research, and inspirational success stories that make sure the message of inclusion gets heard loud and clear.

Inclusion Influencers:
We Include unites celebrities, politicians, businesses and powerhouse people with disabilities to produce change in schools, organizations and the everyday choices of individuals. Together, we are creating a more inclusive world. We Include shares the stories of game-changers like Temple Grandin, Josh Blue, Senator Tom Harkin and many others whose strong voices and inspirational lives are leading the charge.

We Include helps administrators, teachers, and peers feel educated and comfortable with incorporating inclusion into classrooms and schools. The three main areas of focus are inclusion, understanding sensory sensitivities and discouraging bullying of students with disabilities. We Include aims to raise awareness of these issues, educate and provide resources. The goal is to provide the best possible educational experience for students with special needs.

People with disabilities can be highly successful employees and entrepreneurs. In fact, research proves businesses that hire employees with disabilities see 28% higher revenue, 30% greater profit margins and are four times more likely to see higher shareholder returns. Despite these facts, 81% of people with disabilities remain unemployed. We Include aims to develop a work culture that recognizes the value of diversity. We Include creates resources for hiring employees with disabilities, like it’s “Including People with Disabilities in Business” guide, and connects hiring managers to useful information. We Include also highlights successful businesses that hire employees with disabilities and promotes entrepreneurs with special needs.

We Include helps individuals of all abilities create a happier, fuller, more diverse world by being more inclusive in daily life. 2/3 of people say they are unsure of how to interact with someone with a disability; that’s probably why 53% of people with special needs feel they face barriers when making friends. We Include aims to help individuals identify inclusive behaviors, language and best practices.

Black American Engineering Scholarship:
The Helping Project Corp is dedicated to creating diversity in the field of engineering and working to dismantle institutional racism toward Black Americans in STEM careers. The Black American Engineering Scholarship Award provides up to $10,000 per school year. The award also includes mentorship from top engineers dedicated to diversity in the profession.

Creating Opportunity Through Education:
With only 7% of STEM programs comprised of Black Americans and 9% of engineering degrees awarded to Black Americans, the need to provide opportunities and level the playing field is vitally important—especially since diverse teams are 21% more likely to outperform competitors and 33% more likely to create industry-leading profitability. This flexible scholarship of up to $10,000 per year ($5,000 per semester) provides a pathway to achievement for Black Americans pursuing careers in any aspect of civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. Selected candidates receive substantial financial assistance that can be applied to school expenses including tuition, books, fees, and housing. Recipients are also invited to re-apply each year for up to four years, providing a complete Bachelor’s degree.

Robust Mentoring Program:
Scholarship winners also participate in a mentorship program with experienced professionals at top companies in their field. These mentors are excited to create opportunities for a new generation of talented future engineers. Studies show a strong correlation between mentors and the success of underrepresented students in college. The Black American Engineering Scholarship Award’s mentorship program is designed to give recipients the network and support they need to make the most of their talents in school and in their future careers.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Ethnic and racial groups
Family relationships

Where we work


Helping Project Corp

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Helping Project Corp

Board of directors
as of 4/22/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robin Lally

Carrie Harrill-Smith

Kiffie Hester

Melissa Caulfield

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No