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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bridge to Hope

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Congregate Meals, Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Education, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Human Services, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: Bridge To Hope provides comprehensive wrap-around supports designed to bridge the gap to self-sufficiency, improve health, well-being, and economic opportunity for income challenged and in-crisis families in a manner that preserves dignity, and inspires hope. Programs are designed to improve health outcomes and economic upward mobility; to raise the quality of life, standard of living & restore dignity & hope to those in need. Bridge to Hope is an equal opportunity provider.

Results: In 2019 Bridge to Hope provided $1.6 million in supports to over 43,000 individuals in need.

Target demographics: Low/moderate income and in-crisis households. Youth at Risk

Direct beneficiaries per year: 43,000 people

Geographic areas served: Miami Dade County

Programs: Food Pantry, Community Kitchen, Make A House A Home (clothing & basic household necessities), Proud to Learn (school supplies, backpacks, books, literacy support and tutoring). Financial Literacy and Workforce Development,

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Danilo_Vargas

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been deeply moved by Rev. Vanessa Tinsley's love and commitment to our community. She is a tireless warrior working to bring hope to people in need in Miami-Dade county, and South Dade especially. Far too many families struggle with food and basic necessities on an average day, but with the COVID-19 crisis reaching its peak, those same families have been thrust into a horrible crisis. I can't sit on the sidelines and watch people suffer. And I can't sit back and just watch as brave people like Vanessa, her staff and her courageous volunteer "Hope Heroes", spring to the aid of so many people in need. That's why I've decided to become a Hope Hero myself! I am a recurring monthly donor and I donate my time and energy to this wonderful organization. It makes me feel good to know that I am doing my part to strengthen my community and make it a kinder place to live. If we all do a little bit to support the vital work of Bridge To Hope—we can make BIG things happen. We can transform our community for the better. You know it's true, together, the Coronavirus is no match for us. So let's go! Hope Heroes—ASSEMBLE!

Donor

Rating: 5

I’m sooo very proud of Rev Vanessa Tinsley and the job she and all of the volunteers are doing to help the needs of the people they serve. She inspires me daily and happens to be my niece!!! God Bless you all!!!

Kamalah F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

If I could direct all my treasure to Bridge to Hope, I would! I met Vanessa when I was doing some community checking after Irma to see how folks were doing down in South Dade. Someone said to me, if you want to check in on what's happening and what folks need in Homestead, you need to talk to Vanessa Tinsley. She invited me down and took me on a tour of their facility. The thing that stuck out to me most, was that all of their services were designed to give people in need, as much dignity as possible as they accessed safety net services. Free clothing is organized like a store, where clients schedule a time and choose the items they like, food is organized so you can select items that connect to your culture or your normal cooking habits. People stopped by jsut to say hello, say thanks, and to see if the volunteers and staff were doing ok.

In this time of social distancing, they have shifted their approach to take the services to the people. We recently got a call from a woman who was homebound and almost out of the her food reserves. She called crying desperately in search of help. My coworker took her some food to cover her for a few days and we passed her contact to Vanessa who said, "We've got her!"

This is what that woman said to my co-worker when she called back to let us know she received the delivery:
"She called me yesterday with tears of joy to let me know that food was delivered to her home. She was happy because she said she received a box of “those shell breads” aka croissants and she’s never had them. She also received vegetables and chicken.

She was thrilled and happy with her food."

Such a small thing, but such a huge thing at the same time.

Thank you BRidge to Hope for all you have done and continue to do!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Bridge to Hope on and off with my organization. The work that Vanessa Tinsley does is beyond amazing And life changing. The people the organization reaches and the lives it touches are beyond incredible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization for over 10 years because of my son’s involvement through his school for community service hours BUT turned out to be a passion to serve the food insecure in south MIAMI Dade. Not only did he serve as a volunteer, he also chose to do his Eagle Scout project to help this organization. He and over 30 volunteers built picnic tables for the patrons to have a place to eat during the monthly cookouts. My son is now in his first year at FSU and I continue to serve as a Board Member for this great organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bridge to Hope is living up to its name by offering a bridge to close the gap of iniquities that are prevalent in our community. Bridge to Hope offers food; services; education; and various services were applicable to the community and seeks opportunities for those that are either unaware of the tools and services that are around them offering a life line. I myself have participated in these services when I was in need. I know the founder to be of a strong moral character; sympathetic to the needs of our community with a genuine and hearth felt demeanor. There is no question about it. Bridge to Hope stands for “Us” and with “Us” in the good times and the bad. Thank you Bridge of Hope. Thank you for caring and showing such support for all those in need no matter what the circumstances are.

2 Lilah C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization from time to time over the last 10 years. The number of people that they reach as well as the work that they do is incredible. Vanessa is a truly selfless individual who has worked tirelessly to see her mission come to life. So many lives have been impacted by this amazing organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family is out of work due to COVID-19. We participated in the food donation offered by Bridge to Hope and were overwhelmed with their generosity. We received enough food to share with 5 other families in need. You have been a blessing to us! Thank you so much for the help! May God continue to bless Bridge to Hope!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Me siento muy feliz de que existan este tipo de organizaciones, por experiencia se que es un grupo que constantemente ayuda, siempre he escuchado cosas buenas de ellos espero que sigan apoyando su labor para su expancion y crecimiento, para el bien de la comunidad.

2 Daniela11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with this lovely group for about a year and they just welcomed me into the family. Vanessa an her husband are wonderful leaders and the entire group is very friendly and always kind. Every month everyone was committed to gathering food that would have other wise gone to waste to help other families in need. Most of the families that received the food and school supplies were regulars and always expressed immense gratitude the help. This group as built on trust, patience, and faith. I learned a lot from my work here and I am so proud o how much Bridge to Hope has grown. I will always have faith in all of the members of this group and cherish their selflessness, positivity, and compassion towards those others whom are less fortunate.

2 Carlos22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where do I start... I met Vanessa in December of 2015. I was driving by Naranja Park Baptist Church on my way to get my cafe con leche the 3rd Saturday of the month. I was curious so on my way back home I pulled over and asked what was going on. It was explained to me and than asked to be guided to the 1 in charge. Vanessa and I hit it off before anything was said and before giving her my name I asked? " Where do you need me?" It's been 6 months down our journey and we continue to do what we do best. Bridge2Hope is an organization serving the Naranja and Homestead Area for about 20 years now. Vanessa and her husband Mark wholeheartedly serve their community always looking for a way to alleviate the neighbors challenges. She has mastered the art of making a lot out of so little and facing the challenges that come with a non profit but constantly grateful for the ample amount of volunteers and organizations like FarmShare, the USDA, Books and Books to name a few continued support. I look forward to serving aside to her and grateful of being associated with an amazing kindred spirit. We look forward to the future and our purpose when it comes to serving our community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I chose Bridge to Hope from a list to complete service hours for my middle school son, we have been volunteering at Bridge to Hope now for five years. The boys receive their volunteer hours but it is so much more meaningful to them than the service hours. They enjoy helping others, it gives them a chance to see how little things change lives and how much showing others respect and kindness matters.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My wife and I have volunteered many times over the past couple of years. The name is so appropriate since you see people come to get food that have "no hope" in their eyes. They are so beat down with the concerns of life. Seeing them get fed and take food home is very uplifting for them and us. Jerry & Kathy

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BTH is an organization that makes you feel good about giving, expecting nothing in return,but receiving the joy and fulfillment of giving to those that have the least. Love to Give. Carmen

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is awesome! What they are doing for the community is amazing. They are doing the work that is unseen but so significant, grateful to be able to volunteer with people who are making an impact.

Ann_130

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One never knows when it will be their turn in need, Bridge to Hope is that organization to keep you from falling off that cliff. What a wonderful way to give back and help build that "just in case" potentially for your neighbors. This is how we both community and hope by providing not only the goods needed but spending our time putting it together. The world needs more bridges to hope.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such an awesome group of people wanting to reach the community!! I really enjoyed helping out!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome organization and a great place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This orgnization is so awesome. I am glad to be a part

Sheryl23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bridge to hope is such a wonderful cause. Being out here today volunteering with them has really shown me what coming together as a community is all about.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to volunteer with Bridge to Hope its was lots of fun and very encouraging to see ppl do something positive for the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to volunteer & it was great working with them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Really great group to work with that provides hope for the needy

Pia V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization. Having awesome time helping organize incoming food donations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bright to Hope is an inspiration to the community. Keep up the good work!

1 Luisa S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bridge to Hope is such an incredible organization! I was able to participate as a volunteer at the Stamp Out Hunger food drive and learned more about the incredible work Vanessa and her team do. Thanks to Bridge to Hope thousands of families can have a better sense of security and dignity.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is a pleasure to write this review for Bridge to Hope as I am deeply grateful for Vanessa Tinsley's assistance. I am a nonprofit professional, and a client experiencing homelessness. While every story is unique, I have none of the general precursors to homelessness, and my needs often go unmet because they do not fit within systematized eligibility criteria. Trying to secure a new job when one cannot meet the most basic of human needs only extends the time frame of homelessness. When I contacted Vanessa for assistance, I explained I had been living in an airport for a good part of a month waiting for services and a friend had agreed to assist temporarily; however, my friend was also struggling and food would benefit us both. Due to the nature of this housing arrangement, I did not have shelter documentation to substantiate homelessness. Vanessa's demeanor over the phone was kind, supportive, objective, and she offered a "no questions asked" solution: plenty of food for us both on that same day. After we loaded my cart with groceries and toiletry items, Vanessa spent an hour talking with me about my story, and we spoke as fellow women and human beings. Thank you to everyone affiliated with Bridges to Hope. Your assistance is not a "donation"; it is an act of justice and kindness.

2 Paula87

Former staff

Rating: 5

My family were in dire straits during the time that Bridge to Hope got started, we received meals from them a few times, then, I got a job and was able to support the family and it was time to give back-my son helped load and unload the truck full of donated materials with Mark, I helped Vanessa set up her bookkeeping system logging in donations, the value of them, and the disbursement of the materials to the people in need, I also helped with food distribution, giving out Christmas gifts to children, helping set up yard sales to sell excess items which monies garnered were funneled back into providing food to the needy. I worked with Vanessa for about 3 years during the late 1990's. This is a wonderful organization started on literally a shoestring that has grown exponentially and thank God for the growth and the spiritual leadership of Vanessa. The Bridge to hope provides people with pride in themselves again, with confidence to go out and try again, nourishes their bodies and spirits and is a great benefit to the community.

2 AliaM

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've had the privilege of being a coach for Vanessa Tinsley during her participation in the Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Miami for over 2 months now. I have witnessed the strength of her leadership, the solid foundation of her organization and the incredible impact she and her team at Bridge to Hope have on the community. This is a remarkable organization that genuinely brings hope and provides for the most basic necessities of her community in South Miami Dade County. I am so excited to continue volunteering, supporting and contributing to the growth of this organization and I can't wait to see how many more lives it will continue to touch in the coming years.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Bridge to Hope volunteer for three years now. I 've always been service-oriented and I was looking for a worthy activity for my kids as well. There are many deserving organizations, but we found a home at Bridge to Hope. Vanessa Tinsley runs the program with the greatest love and compassion, bringing together a diverse group of volunteers in serving an equally diverse group of families that really need and appreciate our help. For our family, volunteering for Bridge to Hope has been a life-enhancing experience and we are truly blessed in having the opportunity to serve others through this organization. For us, Bridge to Hope has truly become a family affair and we thank Vanessa for everything she does and for showing us what great love, compassion and sacrifice are about. Gretchen Ferrer and family.

1 David324

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at Bridge to Hope for around three years. They're caring help to those in need whether it is for food,clothes, or home basics Bridge to Hope is ready to provide them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known the directors of Bridge to Hope for close to 30 years now. You will not find more loving, caring, and honest people. They are truly committed to this ministry and to helping the poor with dignity and grace. We support them wholeheartedly and volunteer at their monthly outreaches. It's our way of saying thanks and atta boy/girl for all they do.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing experience with great people, every for the same objective, help our community

7 Heather80

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I showed up with my husband and a few of the members of our community organization (the North Miami Jaycees) to help some of our friends who volunteer monthly at Bridge to Hope. As a person who regularly organizes events, I was immediately struck by how organized the whole operation was despite the many and varied tasks to be accomplished in a short time. My group was immediately put to work and we did not stop for at least three hours. We had the opportunity to meet and talk with Pastors' Stone at the end and we all left feeling like we had done a really great thing. The November event included a full Thanksgiving feast, canned foods to take home, and even clothing. Despite being an hour's drive from our neighborhood, I suspect we will return (hopefully a couple of times) next year.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

info215 11/26/2012

Thanks. We really loved having the North Miami Jaycess with us. You all jumped in like pros to help us get the job done. It's clear that you understand the mission. Your compassion toward the people we served was noticeable. We sincerely hope you will come again, and soon.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am the volunteer photographer for Bridge to Hope's events. I just shot thier Thanksgiving Day Meal last Saturday and I really saw the difference this organization makes in the community. Over 500 individuals from all walks of life attended, were fed, and given canned goods and more to take home with them. I personally got to speak to a few of the subjects I photograged, and they do really appreciate Bridge To Hope's efforts with the community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to volunteer to help this organization from time to time and have always found it's directors to be very giving, generous people who are dedicated to serving as many people as they can through this npo. They have often sacrificed themselves in numerous ways in order to continue to distribute food and basics to the many needy families that live in the Homestead area.Yhey are truly an inspiration and a blessing to many.

3 Jim_43

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known the directors of this organization for 25 years and have assisted in their outreaches to those who are in need. Friends my wife and I have brought to the feedings have been deeply touched by Bridge to Hopes care for those who have little. It's been a honor serving with them.

1 Isa B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Bridge to Hope for a few years now, and I am feel lucky to be able to help them. Their commitment to their work brings warmth to my heart. They are great!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have cooked for Bridge to Hope for several years now at their monthly food distribution. I went one time just to help out my friend Vanessa and was immediately hooked. The small children and families who count on this service are wonderful. I have watched the need grow vastly in the past year and somehow Bridge to Hope keeps filling the need. It is an amazing group and I love working with them.