When she arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 2011, Claire Elisan found it challenging to connect with like-minded individuals. She was seeking a positive group of people with whom to collaborate.
Spurred by the need for community, Elisan founded the social group, She Runs With Scissors, alongside a prior business partner in 2013.
She Runs with Scissors provided social meeting and volunteering opportunities for the lesbian community in Tampa and beyond. Although its success was short-lived, the Florida group gave Elisan a springboard from which to launch her next project.
After parting ways with her prior business partner in 2014, Elisan chose to pave a new path moving forward. Recognizing the need for unity throughout the entire LGBTQ+ community, and not just the lesbian community, Elisan partnered with now CFO Stewart Phillips to create the now 501(c)3 organization, Project No Labels.
Project No Labels’ mission statement focuses on uniting all LGBTQ+ Supporters in Tampa Bay through positive activities and events promoting volunteerism & activism.
“Project No Labels started with, “One Love,” a monthly event designed to bring in volunteers, employees, and speakers from outside organizations inclusive of LGBTQ+ people.” says Elisan.“ It became a big monthly celebration at which, we collected items to support various organizations throughout our community.”
Additional volunteer events were added to the monthly calendar, including events with C.A.S.A., Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, Meals on Wheels, Eckerd Youth, Friends of Strays, Metro Wellness, RCS Food Bank, and Tampa Estuary, Blood Banks and so many more! The monthly One Love social parties moved to once per quarter beginning 2017.
In 2016, Project No Labels re-focused their energy on connecting LGBTQ+ people outside of the bar scene, in healthier settings to create empowering and positive experiences beyond the One Love events.
The organization has since hosted a variety of events to promote health and wellness, including; Monthly Co-Ed Kickball, Monthly Meditation in the Park and Mind, Body & Brunch. Project No Labels also created the Products of Love Campaign, to celebrate families and provide fun and engaging activities to parents, and children. In February, Project No Labels hosted their first “Don’t Break Her-Art Show,” which paid homage to local artists within the community.
Currently serving Tampa Bay with hopes of expansion, Project No Labels has big plans, but little space. With their increasing volunteer needs, event supplies, and entertainment equipment, Project No Labels desires to establish a Home Base right here in Tampa Bay to support their continued growth.
“We aim to further our mission by providing Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ residents with positive activities, events, and opportunities to promote volunteerism, activism, and unity,” explains Elisan.
As Grand Marshals of St. Pete Pride, Project No Labels asks you to walk with them on June 24th at 6:30 PM during the St. Pete Pride Night Parade. It will be a celebration of love, a united community, and a push for equality amongst everyone.
To learn more about Project No Labels, Sponsorship Opportunities or to become a community partner, visit their website at www.projectnolabels.org or contact 813-438-3537.