The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has received a significant donation of new clothing from the NFL ahead of Super Bowl LV.
The center celebrated the donation, which will go to the center’s Sexual Assault Services department, with Buccaneers mascot Captain Fear, Mayor Jane Castor and several county officials.
“A sexual assault is one of the most traumatizing experiences a person can go through,” Clara Reynolds, president and CEO of the center, said in a news release. “Receiving something as simple as a new shirt in those hours after an assault can help aid in the initial healing process for a survivor. This donation from the NFL ensures that survivors have something brand-new and comfortable to go home in following their exam, making a difficult situation that much easier.”
Castor was joined by Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, a member of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s team and a member of Rep. Fentrice Driskell’s team, as well as several NFL officials.
The clothing donated by the NFL will be provided to survivors whose own clothing is collected for evidence as part of their rape kit. These clothes ensure survivors have something comfortable to change into after the exam.
“As the certified rape crisis center in Hillsborough County, we know that anyone who comes through our doors is going to receive the compassion and support they need in that moment from our staff,” Reynolds said.
The NFL also provided journals that are used as an emotional healing tool for survivors.
The organization is the county’s only certified rape crisis center, and its Sexual Assault Services department serves individuals 13 years and older who have been assaulted. Whether the assault occurred last weekend or 15 years ago, survivors receive confidential support and resources at the center.
The nonprofit responds to more than 170,000 requests for help each year and offers various programs to meet community needs.