TAMPA, Fla. — Metropolitan Ministries opens its holiday donation tent on Monday and this year, officials there have set some big goals for our community.

Metropolitan Ministries is hoping to serve 42,000 families through Christmas and officials say they need the communities help.

Maria Hernandez is a client of Metropolitan Ministries, and to say she’s had a tough year is an understatement.

What You Need To Know

  • Metropolitan Ministries opens its holiday donation tent on Monday

  • Metropolitan Ministries Tampa holiday tent located at 2609 N. Rome Ave.

  • Metropolitan Ministries

“Let's just say I was a little desperate, hopeless, I didn't know what to do,” said Hernandez.

She caught COVID last year and was hospitalized for two weeks.

She had it so bad, she even lost her eyesight and while she was in the hospital, she received devastating news. Maria learned her fiancé, who also had COVID, passed away. With an eight year old daughter at home, no way to work, and no family here in the US, Maria turned to Metropolitan Ministries for help.

“They took me in, which every day I'm so thankful for," she said. "As I came in here, they gave me time to recuperate, as I said, my eyesight is slowly coming back, I got my job back at the restaurant."

Thanks to Metropolitan Ministries, things are looking up for Maria, and even with the holidays around the corner, she says she knows she’ll be ok because she has all the support she needs.

“Just trying to figure out what's the next step, that was the biggest hurdle I had, and I feel Metropolitan Ministries offers so much support," Hernandez said. "Everyday I wake up and I pray, I'm so happy to be alive, but also to have that network of support."

Hernandez asks, if you have anything to spare this holiday season, please consider donating to Metropolitan Ministries because you could make all the difference for a family like hers.