The Tampa Bay HEAT is a Christian, 501c3, homeschool support group that was established in 2010. Over the last 13 years, we have grown from 4 core families with a dream to over 750 member families.

The original vision for the HEAT was to provide an avenue for competitive, homeschooled, high school athletes to play in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) on a team comprised completely of homeschooled athletes. Currently, we are one of only 4 homeschool cooperatives in the FHSAA.

Shortly after the inception of HEAT, it became obvious that God had other plans for our organization. We were given a 501c3, sports equipment, reasonable rates for facility usage and the homeschoolers started pouring in! The vision of high school focus quickly expanded and we currently offer support and activities for PreK-high school families. The HEAT has evolved into a full-time ministry that offers Homeschooling 101, Homeschooling Thru High School, and other informative sessions to encourage homeschooling families on their journey.

Our Current Space

We opened the Homeschool Resource Center in January of 2011. This facility is 3500 square feet and we are bursting at the seams! The concept of the Homeschool Resource Center is to offer a place for homeschool teachers to offer classes and other activities to the homeschooling community at an affordable rate. We also hold HEAT sponsored clubs (Drama, Art, Dance, Choir, Band, Music, Photography, Fencing, Chess, etc.), socials, meetings and academic classes at the facility. Last year, the HEAT spent over $40,000 renting space for our sports programs and events that our facility is too small to accommodate. We have been able to pay all operating expenses on our current location (close to $70,000 last year) thru renting space, profits from club programs and sales of HEAT shirts, concessions, etc.

Our Vision

We feel God has been preparing us for a bigger location and the business plan that we have in place has proven to be successful. Our dream space would have plenty of classroom space to continue our community outreach, a gymnasium to allow our homeschooled athletes a place to practice and to host home games, a performance area for our arts programs to hold events, dance studio, art studio, homeschool curriculum bookstore (our current Book Pod is housed in a 40 ft. shipping container), etc. Our vision is a metal building with 24 ft. ceilings for volleyball, 2 stories of classroom space, and performance area. Gym space is difficult to find in this area (costing $75-400 per hour). Having a performance area included in the renovation would further increase the income potential. In our area, many dance studios and churches are renting public school auditoriums for their performances to the tune of up to $1,500 per event. There are many start up churches that can’t afford their own facility and having a reasonable priced location to hold services would bless them greatly!

Our Future

We feel that having a “building fund” in place will drastically improve our chances of negotiating a lease/purchase on a larger facility. It will show the owner that we are serious and that the organization is capable of taking our program to the next level. As a homeschool organization, we do not receive any federal funding like public schools, do not charge tuition like private schools and the HEAT is completely independent and volunteer driven. Having access to a larger facility will offer our homeschooled families the advantages of being in traditional school (sports facilities, classroom space, having a “home” court, ample practice time) while reaping the benefits of being homeschooled (awesome friends, Godly mentors, flexible family time, Christ-centered schooling, strong character, etc.). This larger facility will allow us to bless even more families in the community and support small Christian businesses by opening up reasonably priced rental spaces.

MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION

Thank you for your consideration! Every dollar raised will go into our Big Dream Fund and be used towards our goal of obtaining a bigger facility for HEAT!

The Parable of the Mustard Seed:

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32

And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20