Bridge A Life Inc
1680 Fruitville Rd
Suite 315-3
Sarasota FL 34236
Sharing Christ-centered hope with children who have been abused, abandoned, orphaned, or neglected while supporting foster and adoptive families through awareness, training, outreach, and partnerships.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Danny Jones
Board Chair Affiliation E
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2014
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Oct 2018
State Registration Yes Jan 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of Determination of Tax Exempt StatusView
Impact Statement
-Launched a monthly training program called The Gathering, serving 120 families in its 1st year! Foster parents receive a certificate of attendance which helps with the annual relicensing requirement. The program includes dinner and childcare, and is free to attendees. 
-Partnered with 2 new churches to help launch free childcare events. Now a total of 4 churches, with a 5th in process, offer childcare events. Close to 1200 kids are served annually at these events. 
-Hosted our largest foster care awareness event to date, the 7th Annual Superhero 5K.
-In Uganda, installed a deep borehole well, began a school lunch program, led 2 teams in country, and facilitated agricultural training/development.
-Hired a pt program assistant and a pt analyst.
Future Goals:
-Provide services and scholarships for families needing intensive therapies, including OT, individual/family/group counseling, and Empowered to Connect trainers using TBRI principles.
-Offer adoption expense assistance. 
Needs Statement
  1. Regular monthly contributions for the ongoing operational needs of Bridge a Life. This allows us to provide awareness, training, and support for local foster and adoptive families.
  2. $500-$5000 in sponsorship money for Bridge a Life's annual SuperHero 5k and Fun Run -- a local community awareness event that raises awareness for the needs and challenges of kids in foster care. The event attracts 650+ runners and over 2000 spectators/supporters.
  3. $70,000 per year for a full time Executive Director to effectively lead, manage, and grow the organization's activities and programs.
  4. $40k to provide an annual school lunch program for primary school children in Mpongo, in order to meet daytime nutritional needs and encourage better school attendance and academic focus.
  5. $500-5000 in sponsorships for BaL's 3rd annual fundraising dinner, hosted at The Polo Grill, and designed to raise awareness about local foster care and adoption needs and inform supporters about BaL programs and efforts to support families.
Background Statement
Everything Bridge a Life does is focused on children from tough places. From the orphan in Africa, to the child recently removed from his/her home due to allegations of abuse, abandonment, or neglect…BaL's heart is for the kids. We accept and know that our best efforts pale in comparison to the enormous need, but we refuse to stand by and do nothing. With that said, we continue to focus on what we can do, and that is make a difference for each and every child and family we come into contact with, either through one of our outreach and support programs, or in the one-on-one opportunities that come up as we go about our good work.

There are so many strong families in our community, and so many children in great need in our own backyard! We are a persistent and consistent voice for the voiceless as we share the need at every opportunity, whether through our annual Foster Care Awareness or Adoption Awareness events, or within the context of a church small group, our message continues to penetrate ignorance about the orphan and foster care crisis. Every child deserves a loving home and family, and we will continue to speak-up until every child in our community is in a loving and safe family.

Bridge a Life began in the summer of 2010 as a small church group. The group's purpose was to raise awareness about the need for strong families to get more involved in foster care locally.
From that first small group of six people, Bridge a Life continued to grow and evolve, eventually becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a focus of addressing the growing need to recruit and support foster families in the Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto county area, and to assist and support adoptive families as they considered a journey into domestic and international adoption.
Along the way, Bridge a Life also became connected to several orphanages in Uganda, Africa. Over time, land was donated to Bridge a Life for the purpose of developing a community support and orphan care project in the Mpongo community of Uganda with plans for a church, school, medical center, and babies' and orphans' homes. In partnership with Engineering Ministries International (eMi), the master plan for the Ayinza Project was completed in 2013.
Today, Bridge a Life continues to be a pillar and shining light for orphans everywhere and for foster children in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto Counties.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- DeSoto
Areas Served Comments Primarily, Bridge a Life serves locally in Sarasota, DeSoto, and Manatee Counties, as well as in Uganda, Africa where the Ayinza Project is on-going. Inquiries have been made regarding the expansion of BaL statewide, but no active plan for geographic growth is in place. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Human Services
Tertiary Org Type International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
As Founder and President of Bridge a Life, it gives me great honor to share a little about this much-needed and difference-making organization.

Everything we do is focused on children from tough places. From an orphan in Africa, to a child recently removed from his/her home due to allegations of abuse, abandonment or neglect…our heart is for the kids who lack a voice. We know our best efforts pale in comparison to the enormous need. However, we continue to focus on what we can do, and that is make a difference for each and every child we come in contact with, either through one of our outreach and support programs, or in the one-on-one opportunities that come up as we go about our good work.

There are so many strong families in our community, and so many children in great need in our own backyard. Bridge A Life is a persistent and consistent voice for the voiceless as we share the need and plight of kids from tough places at every opportunity, whether through our annual Foster Care Awareness or Adoption Awareness events, or within the context of a church small group, our message continues to penetrate ignorance about the orphan crisis. Every child deserves a loving family, and we will continue to speak up until every child in our community is in a loving and safe family.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Description Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but we believe everyone has a key role to play in caring for children from tough places, those who have been abused, orphaned, abandoned, or neglected. We currently have outreach teams that offer monthly training with childcare (The Gathering), deliver meals (Stew Crew), update and prepare homes and shelters for foster and adoptive families (Hammer Time), meet in support of women connected to the foster and adoptive world (Ladies' Night Out), and provide respite opportunities for foster and adoptive parents to support the families that are on the front lines of caring for God's children (Parents' Night Out)
Budget $18,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success
The Gathering- A monthly training/support event that offers childcare, dinner, and relevant training for families with kids from tough places.  
Stew Crew - Prepare and deliver fifteen or more meals per month for foster and adoptive families.
Hammer Time - Volunteer work crews will complete projects on an as needed basis to prepare or update homes for the care of foster and adoptive children.
Ladies' Night Out - The accomplishments of this event are not measured in numerical terms, however it is our goal that women attend our monthly meetings and get connected to and feel supported by women in similar situations.
Parents' Night Out - Help churches facilitate programs that provide a night out for foster and adoptive families at least once a month, allowing parents a much needed break
Long Term Success
Thousands of families feel supported so they can focus on the care of the children that have been entrusted to them.  Provide foster and adoptive parents with opportunities to take a break and connect with other adults in similar situations so that they feel connected and refreshed. 
Program Success Monitoring
Meeting the frequency and participation of the short-term goals listed above, while providing opportunities for the community and volunteers to connect with and support foster and adoptive families in a meaningful way.
Program Success Examples
Many families have expressed how valuable they believe BaL programs are, namely The Gathering, which has allowed us to have consistent encounters with families and establish deeper levels of community. One family remarked that The Gathering is their child's favorite night of the month! Another said, "This is truly an amazing community... we have been blessed by their many great speakers each month and the fellowship with other foster/adoptive families. My boys LOVE the children's program. I can't say enough wonderful things..."
Awareness programs include Foster Care Awareness, Adoption Awareness, and the Annual Dinner Fundraiser. The purpose of each awareness event is to generate attention for foster care and adoption and to provide interested individuals and families with the information they need to determine if foster care and/or adoption is for them, and also to inform them of ways that BaL supports families. The Foster Care Awareness event has been in the form of a 5k run the last six years, with the most recent 5k reaching over 650 registered runners and nearly 1400 spectators. The Adoption Awareness event is comprised of speakers from various aspects of the adoption process, from attorneys to adoptions specialists, all with the goal of providing information to prospective adoptive families. Usually, the Adoption Awareness events reach upwards of 100 people. The Dinner Fundraiser has been held at The Polo Grill the last 2 years with around 200 people in attendance each year. A variety of awareness platforms enables us to reach a wider audience of potential foster/adoptive families, volunteers, and supporters. 
Budget $20,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Foster Care
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) US
Short Term Success
In the near-term, the awareness program creates opportunities for similar organizations to partner for long-term change, for potential foster and adoptive families to connect, and for the general public to rally around children from tough places, making a difference through service, encouragement and awareness.
Long Term Success
The awareness programs contribute to helping thousands of individuals and families better understand the need for foster care and to inform prospective adoptive families about the nuances and different avenues of adoption. Together, the awareness events educate the public, ultimately providing children in need with safe and loving homes.
Program Success Monitoring
The primary factor to measure success for the awareness program is number of attendees and the number of attendees who connect to agencies for further foster care and adoption information, volunteer opportunities, training, and/or orientation.
Program Success Examples
In 2017, the Superhero 5k and Fun Run foster care awareness event resulted in over 650 runners -- many of whom dressed-up in Superhero costumes! Of those, several families took additional steps to become licensed foster parents locally, and several others began to investigate starting foster care initiatives in their church communities. Every child welfare organization in our region is invited to participate so interested families can speak with up to 35 partner agencies at a single event!
BaL desires to partner with the community, only creating programs where services are unavailable or lacking. Consistently we have heard that ongoing support for foster/adoptive families is needed. We hope that families who answer the call to foster/adopt feel fully equipped and supported. We:
  • Provide professional counseling and therapy to parents and foster and adopted children
  • Provide training seminars focused on the specialized needs of foster/adopted children and their families
  • Provide respite and childcare services for foster/adoptive families
  • Provide tangible goods for foster and adoptive children, distributing items to individual families, child welfare agencies, and local youth shelters
Budget $7,500
Category Human Services, General/Other Foster Care
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families Adults
Short Term Success
Current Year Goals:
  • 50+ parents and foster and adopted children will receive effective professional counseling and therapy services
  • 100+ foster and adopted children and their families will receive specialized training
  • 5 foster and adoptive families will receive individual respite and childcare services
  • Visits to local shelters will connect with 100+ children in tough places annually
Long Term Success Thousands of foster and adoptive families and orphaned children receive the education, training, and emotional and spiritual support to become fully equipped Christ-followers and affect generational change.
Program Success Monitoring Number of parents and foster, adopted, and orphaned children effectively impacted by each support program
Program Success Examples Countless families have provided life changing feedback after attending trainings such as Empowered to Connect, where they report that their family has since been completely turned around and set on a path to healing.
We believe we have a local AND global obligation to care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Uganda, Africa is where God has guided and directed our initial global reach to care for children and a community in great need.
Over the last 5 years, The Ayinza Project ("God is able") has been master planned in partnership with Engineering Ministries International (eMi) and will significantly impact the Mpongo community through the construction and ongoing operation of the following programs, to be completed over 4 phases:
  • Transitional Housing
  • Special Needs Housing
  • Medical Center
  • Pre-school
  • Elementary School
  • Church/Community Center
  • Agriculture Projects
  • Staff and Guest Housing
Our mission is to affect generational change and bring hope and a future to orphans and the people of Mpongo and surrounding villages through orphan care, education, reunification, health services, social services, vocational training, community outreach, and sharing the Gospel.
Budget $240,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Africa At-Risk Populations Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success
The first phase for each program is projected to provide care and services as follows:
  • Transitional Housing
  • Special Needs Housing
  • Medical Center: 3,000 to 5,000 outpatient services annually
  • Pre-school: 24 to 30 children (3-6 years old)
  • Elementary School: 50 to 70 children each weekday
  • Church/Community Center: 200 to 500 weekly attendees
Long Term Success
We believe an entire community of thousands of Ugandans will be forever changed for generations to come!
Thousands of orphaned, abused, and neglected children will be provided full physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual care, reunified with biological family members, or connected to a forever family.
Thousands of community members will receive medical care, social services, vocational training, and the Gospel. 
Our goal is that Ayinza will be an exceptional example from which Bridge a Life and other organizations can use to model for other similar global projects.
Program Success Monitoring
Entire project and individual programs will be formally evaluated by the Ayinza Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Board of Directors (consisting of Bridge a Life representatives and Ugandan partners and leaders) and executive leadership annually and on a periodic basis as required by Uganda NGO laws and regulations.
Other success measurements:
  • Number of orphaned children cared for
  • Number and percentage of abused and neglected children reunified with biological family members
  • Number of children educated
  • Number of medical services provided to the community
  • Project and program operational costs within developed budgets
Program Success Examples
Several professionals and their families from the Sarasota/Manatee area have already committed to move to Uganda for a year or more to manage project construction and help initiate and manage program services.
Many (at least 50) other professionals and volunteers in our community have committed and/or expressed interest in short term and extended mission trips to provide training and services for the Ayinza Project.
We have the plan...we have the people...we just need the funding!!! 
Program Comments by Organization
As the number of local children removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment increases, so does the need for more quality foster and adoptive homes. Additionally, current homes that are open to children are exceeding capacity, meaning more support services are needed in order to retain good homes. We must remain focused on continuing to raise awareness while simultaneously wrapping around families so that they can effectively parent children with trauma. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Jody Jester Executive Coordinator
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 150
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
West Florida Foster Care Services
Family Partnership Center- Chosen Families Program
Kristen Bohan, OTR
RADical Healing, Dr Bruce Sogolow 
Tim and Amy Crowe, Empowered to Connect Train the Trainers, implementing TBRI principles 
Florida Baptist Children's Homes
Safe Children Coalition
Heart Gallery of Sarasota
Guardian Ad Litem Program
Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida
Manatee County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association 
Engineering Ministries International
Bayside Community Church
Woodland Community Church
Sarasota Christian Church
The Bridge Church (Venice) 
Central Church of Christ 
Bethel Mennonite Church
First Church of Downtown Sarasota
Harvest United Methodist Church 
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
All-Stars Among Us - Bridge a Life President, Danny JonesBradenton Herald, Bradenton Marauders2014
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Other Documents
Other Document 2
Whistleblower Policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Danny Jones
Company Affiliation E
Board Term Jan 2013 to Dec 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Danny Jones Raytheon
Ann Marie Jones Community Volunteer
Matthew Leake Gilbane Building Company
Kaitlyn Leake Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 2
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $155,310.00
Projected Expenses $151,777.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates Jan 2019 to Dec 2019
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$64,863$92,270$49,746
Administration Expense$69,792$45,178$20,012
Fundraising Expense$630$0$6,781
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.211.371.38
Program Expense/Total Expenses48%67%65%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%7%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$147,272$117,678$66,720
Current Assets$147,272$117,678$66,720
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$147,272$117,678$66,720
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $75,734Contributions, gifts, grants $132,662Contributions, gifts, grants $80,072
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $65,471Fundraising $28,597Fundraising $13,188
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundation & Corporate Support $15,143Program Service Revenue $26,527Mission Trip Income $11,683
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Raising funds for personnel and general operating expenses proves to be difficult for any organization. Community partnerships are an ongoing emphasis, specifically with the faith-based community and local churches. Initiatives like Undie Sunday give congregations and businesses an attainable goal while opening doors for future partnership with BaL and raising awareness of the local foster care and adoption climate. Excellent and consistent communication with current and potential partners, as well as ongoing follow up, is proving to be valuable as BaL spreads the word about local and global child welfare needs.
BaL is also pleased to announce that it was successful in attaining its first grant in 2016, which will allow us to add personnel and will also provide sponsorships so that our awareness and support events can reach and strengthen more families. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information for 2013 was taken from their unaudited compilations, as the organization filed a 990-N.  No balance sheet information 2013 has been provided. For 2014, financial information was taken from Federal 990-EZ. For 2015 and 2016, financial information was taken from both the Federal 990-EZ and the organization's financial compilations.  For 2017, financial information taken solely from the unaudited compilations as the Federal tax return was not available at time of review.
Nonprofit Bridge A Life Inc
Address 1680 Fruitville Rd
Suite 315-3
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone 310 422-7179