Hillsborough County courthouse program helps non-profits raise more money

A new Hillsborough County program is helping non-profits raise more money, and it starts at the courthouse with people summoned for jury duty. 

The Spring of Tampa Bay's Donation Center in Tampa has a steady flow of donations coming in. 

"Just to help these people who really need everything," Holly Dumanoski said. 

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People can do more than just donate clothes thanks to a new Hillsborough County Clerk of Court’s Office program. The initiative gives jurors the opportunity to donate the $15 they receive for lunch from the state to a non-profit.  

"They get a check in the mail, and we find a lot of those checks do not get deposited," said Cindy Stuart, Clerk of the Court for Hillsborough County. "So they're not there. It's an opportunity for them to do something more with the $15 that they get paid for the day." 

Every year, the county will pick two local charities. This year it's The Spring of Tampa Bay, a domestic violence shelter and Guardian ad Litem’s "Voices for Children," a non-profit benefiting guardians who help foster children in the Tampa Bay area. 

"These dollars are helping us provide those services to more and more people and transforming and saving lives," said Mindy Murphy, the CEO of The Spring. "So really appreciate the partnership with the clerk's office, both with regards to this program and all the other work that we do together." \

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The innovative effort started this summer and has already given away more than $12,000 to The Spring.

"We can't thank them enough for what they are doing. And we can't people in our community who are our jurors for choosing to make their juror a gift to the spring of Tampa Bay," Murphy said. 

It's a gift that is making a big impact in the Tampa Bay community. Only jurors whose employers don't compensate them for jury duty are eligible for the $15. For more information, visit www.hillsclerk.com