Tag Archives: Karen Mertes

Fulfill Your Destiny’s Business Builder Grant Awarded to “Bricks 4 Kidz”

John Fontana, the founder of “Bricks 4 Kidz,” is the latest recipient of Fulfill Your Destiny‘s Business Builder Grant. The grants are awarded to proven entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to the next level—while also giving back to the community.

John’s company “Bricks 4 Kidz,” supplies Legos as learning tools to schools, child care facilities, camps, events, and wherever kids learn.

Karen Mertes Fulfill Your Destiny

Research demonstrates that playing with interlocking blocks stimulates children’s brains, inspires creativity, and enhances cognitive skills. Additionally, these types of toys are especially beneficial for children with special needs and developmental challenges.

What may not be common knowledge is that this type of toy is often beyond the budgets of at-risk families.

John’s business aims to change this. The grant from Fulfill Your Destiny will help “Bricks 4 Kidz” expand their field trip outreach program to inner city organizations serving at-risk children. It costs approximately one thousand dollars to equip a traveling kit for school visits. The grant will equip a teacher to visit up to 35 different organizations each week.

“Thanks to Fulfill Your Destiny,” John said, “more children will get to experience the joy of using their imagination to create and learn.”


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Fulfill Your Destiny’s Business Builder Grant Awarded to Southern Tree Services

Bryce Perry is the latest recipient of Fulfill Your Destiny‘s Business Builder Grant. The grants are awarded to proven entrepreneurs who have experienced life changing events and are ready to take their business to the next level—while also giving back to the community.

Fulfill Your DestinyBryce Perry is a veteran and the business owner of Southern Tree Services. After the equipment for Perry’s landscaping business was stolen, Fulfill Your Destiny’s grant helped fund a new Komatsu loader—so that this entrepreneur could keep Southern Tree Services and serve his clients by continuing to work.

For more information on the theft, read here.

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What Are Fulfill Your Destiny’s Objectives?

Fulfill Your Destiny helps people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to survivors living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Fulfill Your Destiny’s signature program awards Business Builder Grants to proven entrepreneurs who have experienced life changing events to take their business to the next level.

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  1. Keep People Working: To provide financial support to individuals whose careers have been altered due to permanent injuries or unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to, traumatic brain injuries for the purpose of obtaining vocational counseling, educational or occupational retraining.
  2. Inspire and Motivate: To educate others about those personal challenges facing any of us suffering injuries that permanently change our lives. How we confront our challenges is the key to the core motto of Fulfill Your Destiny—character drives destiny. We teach people that we are all defined by our character, which compels us to pick up the pieces and carry on when confronted with tremendous obstacles.
  3. Build Awareness and Educate: To offer assistance, such as educational, financial, volunteer time and/or in-kind services directly to individuals and other non-profit corporations, to increase awareness of traumatic brain injuries and to support those who have experienced TBIs.

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Karen Mertes Honored as Lightning Community Hero

The Tampa Bay Lightning honored United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Mertes as a Lightning Community Hero. Mertes, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will divide the money among her charities of choice: Dress For Success, MADD, Fulfill Your Destiny, Bay Area Legal Services, and Hands Across The Bay.

karen mertes

A 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Mertes’ illustrious military career was cut short on February 7, 2007, when the vehicle she was driving was struck by a drunk driver. As a result of the accident, she experienced severe brain trauma, which impaired her ability to function, as well as her memory and her ability to process information. Forced to retire from the armed forces, Mertes founded her own 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Fulfill Your Destiny, which is dedicated to assisting others whose career life paths have been permanently altered by injury. The initiative provides scholarship and financial assistance, career guidance, and other support to individuals faced with situations much like her own.

In addition to leading Fulfill Your Destiny, Mertes also generously volunteers her time and talents on the Boards of WEDU Community Action, Hands Across the Bay, and Dress for Success. She serves as a mentor at the Young Women’s Leadership Symposium and also supports a number of Tampa Bay community-focused organizations including MADD and Bay Area Legal Services. Most recently, she was named as one of just seven Unsung Hero honorees at the 2011 Fearless Women’s Conference. Now as a motivational speaker and educator, Mertes often shares her personal story of courage and bravery as a method of providing leadership tips and financial insights to local associations, business groups, and charitable organizations.

You can click here to watch the video.

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Throwback Interview with Karen Mertes on Bay News 9

After serving in the Air Force for 20 years, a near-death experience in 2007 forced Karen Mertes to change her life.

She was hit by a drunk driver going over 100 mph and received numerous injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. During her recovery process, she realized the importance of helping others.

karen mertes

Today she runs the non-profit organization Fulfill Your Destiny, which awards $1,000 grants to people who are going through a crisis.

Watch the interview here.

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What Is a “No-Fault Claim” and Where Is It Applicable?

No-fault insurance” means that the carrier of your auto insurance will take on the task of paying either some or all of your accumulated medical bills, as well as lost earnings, in the case of an accident. This holds regardless of who is at fault.

In these following states, a “no-fault” claim is covered under your personal injury protection benefits, otherwise known as PIP benefits. This includes: Florida, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

In Florida, it is required that all drivers have Personal Injury Protection benefits under their insurance policies at minimum. This includes $10,000 in (PIP) benefits and $10,000 in property damage liability benefits.

Not only does PIP cover the individual in an accident, but there are several very case-specific scenarios in which PIP will cover others. For example, it will cover the individual’s child/children, relatives within the household, passengers without PIP coverage and who don’t own a vehicle, and licensed drivers who drive the vehicle with permission.

In many states, it is not required to make a claim for personal injury damages against another driver unless your medical bills reach a certain level or your injury is considerably serious. This was enforced in an attempt to avoid smaller claims and congestion in the court system.

In Florida, for example, only accidents that result in permanent injury or significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement will allow someone to make a claim outside of the “no-fault” regulations. Since these conditions are quite vague, consulting with an attorney to see if you qualify beforehand would be recommended.

The clearest advantage to the Florida No-Fault Law is that it allows for speedy payment of claims for medical bills and a loss of wages alike, without the need to investigate or determine fault. With that being said, there are also certain limitations like not providing for emotional distress, inconvenience, or similarly linked issues.

For more information like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.

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Mark Your Calendar for Fulfill Your Destiny’s Spring Chari-Tea!

Fulfill Your Destiny’s 6th Annual Spring Chari-Tea event will be returning to the beautiful Empress Tea Room from 2:30–5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019.

100 career women interested in supporting our greater Tampa Bay community through philanthropy will attend for a celebration of women for charity with tea.

While guests enjoy a fabulous high tea, which includes 3-tiered plates with scrumptious tea sandwiches, scones and decadent desserts, everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy live auctions, silent auctions, surprise totes, raffles, and a few other nice surprises.

All attendees will receive a free gift for attending Fulfill Your Destiny’s 2019 Spring Chari-Tea. Please RSVP early as the event sells out each year!


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