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#TampaBayInspires focuses on those who give back

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Published Dec. 2, 2013

Follow the right people or pages on Twitter and Facebook and you'll see plenty of uplifting stories involving classmates who stand up for a kid who is being bullied, people who save abandoned dogs with soaring, weepy soundtracks playing in the background and other feel-good content you can't resist clicking on for a little inspiration.

There are many inspiring stories going on around Tampa Bay, though they don't always find their way to those social media pages. Some examples:

Helping build homes for soldiers who have been injured in the war. Raising money for medical research in countless fun runs and walks. Volunteering in schools, hospitals and animal shelters. Good deeds that are too numerous to mention here.

We hope to spread the word about these stories this holiday season with a new feature at called #TampaBayInspires.

The premise is simple: Share a tweet, a Facebook post, a Vine or an Instagram photo that documents an unusual act of unselfishness in Tampa Bay. Tag it #TampaBayInspires. We'll gather them all in a special page at, a collection you can visit regularly to find gems of goodness to brighten your day.

Go ahead, nominate your friends who invited their elderly neighbors over for dinner. Tell us about the classroom at your school that's collecting for Toys for Tots. Share a picture of yourself participating in the Jingle Bell Run to help Boley Centers. Don't be shy about sharing your "unselfies," as the Giving Tuesday website called them.

Speaking of Giving Tuesday, is launching its efforts in conjunction with this worldwide day of giving back, which was started to bring acts of kindness into focus for the holidays after the buying frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Get more information at

And one final incentive to get you to participate: The Tampa Bay Times will donate $1 for each unique act of giving shared with the hashtag #TampaBayInspires. Help us reach our goal of $1,000, which will be donated to one of the bay area's best known charities, Metropolitan Ministries.

You do good. We do good. It's all good.