TAMPA (FOX 13) - The long summer layoff from school can often leave a lot of kids with nothing to do, and that could lead to trouble.
One local church has answered the call for help.
Marisol Sota is like a mother hen to the children at the New Life Tabernacle Church. Her giving spirit comes from her past struggles.
At 15, Marisol was a young mother with nowhere to go.
"I wouldn't want anybody to go through what I went through," Marisol said. "My children were hungry. I was hungry. I was a victim of domestic violence."
Marisol's tough childhood and her challenges as a young mother ultimately led her to steer children away from the life she had to endure.
Through her Guided Path Foundation, she helped to create a summer safe-zone for kids while their parents are at work.
"If I can make that difference I just want to give back," Marisol said.
Breyonna King, 14 has been coming here for weeks and loves what the program does for her and others.
"If they have problems like getting food or need resources that help, this is the place to come," she explained.
The kids are involved in daylong activities as well as free breakfast and lunch. It may not sound like much, but this act of kindness makes a world of difference.
"[The program] keeps them off the street so that they don't get into any trouble, any kind of child that's hungry, they don't have to starve," Marisol said.
It's a safe haven for fun and making new friends during their long summer break.