Daystar Life Center was founded in 1982 by Monsignor John P. McNulty as an outreach ministry of Saint Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, FL. Monsignor McNulty’s compassion for the poor and his belief that we are called to serve compelled him to take action in a bad economy with high unemployment rates and more and more people unable to meet their basic needs. Daystar has grown into a major non-profit organization serving all residents of Pinellas County. We provide the necessities of life to our neighbors in need in order to alleviate hunger, homelessness, and hopelessness.
Most of our clients live below the federal poverty level. They are the working poor or unemployed. We help individuals and families who are food-insecure; struggling to stay in their home, in transitional housing, or homeless. They may be elderly, veterans, or recently released from incarceration. Florida’s economy is growing stronger but tourism remains the state’s main business. Many workers in that sector are employed seasonally and receive no health insurance, pension, or other benefits. Our clients may work multiple jobs but still find themselves short at the end of the month.
Our clients are referred to us by utility companies, 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, other social service agencies, the faith community, concerned family and friends, and other clients. The people we help may be emotionally or physically challenged, or are simply experiencing a personal emergency. Each case is evaluated individually by a trained volunteer. We have general guidelines as to the help we offer, but no hard and fast rules. We focus on each client as an individual, treat them with compassion, and respect their dignity. We provide hope to those who have nowhere else to turn. At Daystar, our clients often leave with more help than they came in seeking.
Daystar is funded by monetary donations from generous individuals, businesses, churches, and civic associations; in-kind donations from the community of food, household goods, and personal care items; and grants from Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg, and local businesses.
We are responsible stewards of our resources. Thanks to our committed core of over 200 volunteers, we have a very small paid staff and were able to devote 95% of our income last year to program services. We have only 5 full-time employees, including the manager of the Thrift Shoppe, and 2 part-time employees. We spent only 5% on fundraising and administration. At Daystar we are committed to continually improving our services. These are our core values.
Daystar Life Center, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions are deductible for federal income purposes as allowed by law.
Kathlyn Mackovjak, President of the Daystar Life Center Board of Directors, who co-founded the Immigration Law Group of Florida in St. Petersburg, is passionate about helping those less fortunate. Her firm is the recipient the 2017 Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation in honor of its “significant contributions in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis.” Read more . . .
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From grateful clients. .
“Daystar didn’t make us feel bad about needing help. When you walk in their doors, you’re family. They never gave up on us, so we never gave up on ourselves.”
“I had nothing. I had so much support from Maria and the volunteers. They helped me with food, shelter, my kids, and a CNA course. I would be lost without them.”