Find events and activities specifically for individuals with special needs
Meet the men and women breaking barriers and making waves
Puzzle Piece Fitness is the Tampa area’s first exercise training studio owned and operated by a trainer with autism.
How Do You Include?
Meet our Inclusion Champions
Ethan Holt is an exceptionally talented model with Down syndrome, waiting for his opportunity to shine.
Tim explains why he loves giving back to his community (spoiler alert: there are cats in this video!)
Will shows us that not all communication comes in the form of words. He has a lot to say, if you’ll just listen.
Lauren shows us why hiring individuals with disabilities is good business.
Don’t let a disability fool you; As Maxine shows us, our friends with special needs do serious business in the community!
People with disabilities have a lot to say, if you give them a chance. Kartheek shows us how he turns most people’s biggest fear into this favorite hobby.
What They're Saying About HUG
HelpUsGather.org was created to connect people with special needs and their families to social events and activities in the community. Feeling disconnected or isolated has a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. HUG’s mission is to help create a more inclusive world for people of all abilities.Robin LallyFounder, Help Us Gather
HUG is a great organization for people with special needs to find various activities in the community. I am so grateful to find HUG because I just moved to Clearwater, Florida and I needed to make friends my own age. Now, I have lots of friends and I have a full calendar filled with fun activities.Neetha ErukullaHUG Ambassador, Volunteer
I could not be happier for being involved with such a great organization like HUG. This organization fills a great need for the special needs community in bringing it into the 21st century, which allows for awareness and acceptance to be spread faster than before. This is the reason I am proud to of become an Ambassador for HUG!Mark FlemingFounder, Puzzle Piece Fitness
As a child and now a young adult, I struggled with social interaction. Even now it is so nice to connect with others that share the same challenges. The website is an amazing opportunity for people of all ages with disabilities to help people with social skills and to connect with one another.Rachel BarcellonaMiss Manatee River 2019, Board Member CARD-USF, Ambassador Unicorn Children’s Foundation
This website is a necessity because it allows people with disabilities or the parent of a person with a disability to easily find events in their neighborhood that can bring them together. They have a variety of choices for all ages and I truly think that this website is a positive step in uniting the special needs community.Katherine MagnoliMiss Wheelchair Florida 2017, Author and Radio Host
We are so excited to have the Help Us Gather website to share our programs and help in providing information to group homes, Adult Day Training programs, parents, companions and others who work with or love the developmentally disabled.Horton TownesDirector, St. Paul Handicapable Ministry
Before I found HUG, my daughter was becoming depressed because she was lonely. I found the HUG website, and now she has too many things to do! She has so many friends. Her health is better now because she’s happy. It’s just wonderful.Rose KingMother of Christine King, HUG Ambassador
Watch some of HUG’s favorite moments featuring individuals with special needs
HUG Ambassador throws a meaningful first pitch
Watch the community support Dirk as he throws the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game in honor of his late father.
HUG featured on Fox 13’s “What’s Right with Tampa Bay”
Fox 13 follows the HUG team as they get ready for the second annual Beyond Incredible event.
Beauty queen with autism running for next Miss Florida
Rachel Barcellona is a beauty queen with autism who’s going viral with her campaign to win the next Miss Florida title.
HUG Headshot Day
HUG friends step in front of the camera for a professional photoshoot, proving beauty has no boundaries.
HUG featured on Bay News 9
Watch as the HUG team shows how the nonprofit is helping people with disabilities make new social connections.
Woman with autism to audition for The Voice
18-year-old Cierra Reynolds from Largo is using her voice to show us that being a person with autism is cool. In fact, she says, “It’s not autism, it’s “awesome-tism!”