Artist Credit: Kenny Maguire
What We Stand For
180,000 Little tummies filled in Pinellas County. Gina Wilkins, an architectural draftsperson by trade, cannot believe this staggering number! Looking back to seven years ago, Gina had no idea when hearing about hungry children in her own backyard, that she and a team of wonderful “Mice” (volunteers) would make a difference in their community.
Upon seeing the CBS 60 Minutes story “Hard Times: The Hotel Generation” that her husband, Stan worked on, she knew she had to help the children of her own community. The next morning, yes the next morning, she contacted the Pinellas County School Board and started the process of opening up The Kind Mouse. A dedication to her father, who nicknamed her Mouse on the day she was born, and her daughter, Hillary – her little Mouse.
Starting out of a spare bedroom in her home, she called upon her friends to help feed the hungry children in the area. Gina and many of her friends were also struggling through the down turn in the economy. They understood what the fear would feel like if they too were not able to feed their children. They started out packing nonperishable weekend meals for five of the hungriest children at a local school. Now approximately 400 children weekly receive weekend meals!
Gina also wanted to help her clients – her friends the contractors and tradespeople, who by now were truly not only losing their businesses, as Gina had, but horrifyingly losing their homes too. Gina will never forget the phone calls – horrible phone calls – from her established business partners, crying on the other end of the phone not knowing what to do. Thus a confidential 90 Day Transitional Family Program was started. Yes, just 90 days where food and pet supplies are given weekly to those who qualified. To hardworking people who never, ever thought they would be in this position. 90 days for them to concentrate on finding employment. A 90 days reprieve of worrying where their next meals were coming from. 90 days to clear their heads. 90 days to feel whole again. 90 days to regain their dignity. 90 days!
Now, seven year into this, over 200 families have walked into the doors of The Kind Mouse. All enter with tears and leave with hope. Someone understands their dilemma. Someone who wants to help. Someone who does not judge. Someone who cares. Someone who treats them with dignity. Gina is proud to say, most of these families find employment within the first 60 days of the program. And many come back to give their thanks either through volunteering or food donations.
Since the beginning more programs have been added! Emergency food for teenagers struggling to get their diplomas. Outreach programs where the Next Generation of Leaders are being formed – Mice In Training ages 5-12 and Mice Interns ages 13-18. And of course their video program MO– USEvision where 14-18 year olds learn to write, star in, shoot and edit awareness videos taught by Gina’s husband Stan a freelance videographer.
Smiling, Gina cannot help but think of a Walt Disney quote. She says it truly sums up her life. She could not have said it better. “If you dream it, you can do it. Always remember this whole thing was started with a dream and a Mouse.”
A word from our friends
“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for us in these 3 weeks. He has developed so much and I am just amazed. You are an incredible person and we are blessed to have you in our lives. May god continue to bless you and Mr. Stan in your mission”
“Thank you Kind Mouse for taking Elizabeth under your wing. You have been so good for her and I hope she’ll keep up her work with the Kind Mouse. You are such an inspiration”
Volunteering with the kind mouse has changed our lives. My son and I help to feed children and families in our own communities who are in need. I am also teaching him to be empathetic, kind and caring human being.
Kind Mouse is good because it helps people eat- Marcus Clark (Age 7)
Food Insecure Children In Pinellas County
Chronically Hungry students in Pinellas county
Chronically hungry students fed each weekend
Tummies filled to date
It's a Mouse Thing!
Did you know a child who cannot read and write has a better chance of being incarcerated? If you don’t eat, you cannot concentrate! Kind Mouse is helping to keep children out of jail. Kind Mouse is giving children hope of a brighter future. There are kids who don’t know where their next meal outside of school comes from, kids digging through trash cans to bring food home for their baby brothers and sisters, children begging for food from their teachers and peers, together we can help change that.
Contact UsGet in touch!
1801 16th St N
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Phone & Email