HCP Associates Named 2013 Community Advocates of the Year by Voices for Children of Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. (June 27, 2013) At a private reception last evening, Executive Director Betsy Smith with board members and volunteers for Voices for Children of Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County Guardian ad Litem Program named Tampa-based Marketing firm HCP Associates their 2013 “Community Advocates of the Year.”

Smith said, “The level of appreciation and gratitude we have for HCP is impossible to fully express.  They have, without question, changed the way Voices for Children approaches recruiting and awareness goals.  But, more importantly, they have touched the lives of countless future volunteers and they have forever changed the course of the lives of many of our community’s most vulnerable children.  It is my privilege to announce as the Hillsborough County Guardian ad Litem Community Advocates of the Year. ”

HCP Chairman, R. Patrick Hill said, “The development of a marketing plan for Voices for Children was a special opportunity for us to do something very important for our community and those who give their time and talents to make it better. The children in the Guardian ad Litem Program will benefit immensely from the growing support for the mission.   This recognition offered by Voices for Children is humbling and the accolades should extend to the many media partners and production assistants who stepped up in support of the campaign. For those of us at HCP who have participated in the building of the program, the real reward comes from the inner knowledge that we’ve participated in something very important for our community.  The legacy of the effort will live on.”

HCP’s marketing efforts started with 12 VFC volunteers of various backgrounds being interviewed without a script. Eric Polins, Senior Strategist/Partner at HCP worked with Smith and a team of people over the past year to coordinate a regional campaign with limited marketing dollars. “We captured the words of the volunteers and their real-life experiences; it’s highly emotional. Watching these videos makes you want to take on the challenge and do whatever you can to help these children,” Polins said.

Smith went on to say, “Children who have been abused or neglected often want someone to talk to, someone who listens to them, and they clearly need someone who will speak on their behalf. These children cannot be left on their own as they try to navigate an over-burdened court system that is well meaning and which tries to protect them, but which often falls short. There are times when these children feel lost and alone and need someone who will be there — just for them. Becoming a volunteer will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life; that I promise!”

To learn more about how you can become a volunteer with Voices for Children of Tampa Bay, please visit   www.vfcgal.org or call (813) 272-5110.

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