TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Natasha Nascimento as the 190th Lightning Community Hero over the past four seasons during the first period of tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings. In total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $9.65 million to more than 300 non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. Nascimento, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Redefining Refuge and Hoola for Happiness.
Nascimento founded Redefining Refuge in 2010, an organization that brings awareness to sex trafficking and provides a safe haven to Tampa Bay area girls aging from 12 to 17 years old who have been exploited. Nascimento has assisted over 100 girls who have been exposed to sex trafficking and is one of Florida's leading experts in Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST). Today, she mentors anti-trafficking projects in countries throughout the world.
One day, Nascimento envisions her program exisitng in every country plagued by child slavery. She is singlehandedly saving hope and providing freedom for children who have fallen prey to these atrocities of human trafficking. She hopes that children rise above the pain from their past and find the courage to rewrite their story and make it one of beauty.