TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Madeline Saft as the 16th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Winnipeg Jets. Saft, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half the money to Clothes to Kids, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for her own education.
Madeline, a junior at Berkeley Preparatory School, has been actively volunteering in the community since she was nine years old. One of the many organizations she is involved in is Clothes to Kids (CTK), where Saft has volunteered over 200 hours by organizing clothes and performing other administrative tasks. CTK provides new and quality used clothing to low-income school children whose families may struggle to provide them with basic necessities. Through her experience here, Madeline has seen how big of a difference CTK has made in kid's lives by boosting their self-esteem and giving them the opportunity to express themselves through their clothing.
CTK currently lacks the transportation to travel to each location, so Saft's initiative eliminates the transportation dilemma by creating the Clothes to Kids Pop Up Shop. This shop would bring clothing samples of a CTK wardrobe to children in need and provide a mechanism for volunteers to take their orders and act as their personal shopper. Workers will customize orders through an online application that Madeline has created, which will allow the kids to identify their clothing preferences. She plans to start the program this summer with her fellow classmates.
Madeline Saft becomes the 287th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $14.45 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10-million over the next five seasons.