TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Jason Sowell as the 31st Lightning Community Hero of the seasonduring the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. Sowell, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Current of Tampa Bay and two other organizations.
In 2008, while spending time in California, Sowell heard stories about families struggling to afford the means to have clean laundry. Upholding the perspective that something as simple as clean laundry ought to be considered a basic need for every human being, Sowell sprinted to action. That same year he started The Laundry Project through his non-profit organization Current of Tampa Bay. It is an initiative aimed at assisting low-income families with the cost of laundering their clothes.
Since the start of the Laundry Project, Sowell has organized more than 180 projects that have served nearly 20,000 individuals with washing more than 42,900 loads of laundry.
His efforts in the Laundry Project have caught the attention of both national and local media with features on NBC Nightly News and My FOX Tampa Bay. He has also been awarded the Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Award for “Best Young Hopeful” in 2011 and the 2014-15 Southern Early Childhood Association “Friend of Children” award.
Sowell’s designated organization, Current of Tampa Bay Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that started with young adults educating others on current social initiatives and mobilizing them to bring about change. Current of Tampa Bay establishes community groups for awareness and education and organizes local initiatives such as the Laundry Project, Hope for Homes Project and Affordable Christmas.