2020 Board Member of the Year: David Siracusa
As board chair, David Siracusa is an unpaid volunteer, working diligently on RCS Pinellas’ behalf to build partnerships with other businesses and nonprofits in Tampa Bay. He contributes to support the important mission of RCS, which is to feed the hungry, help families facing homelessness return to self-sufficiency and empower survivors of domestic violence. David’s tireless advocacy has single-handedly led to significant increases in support and community awareness of RCS’ programs and impact, enabling 130,000 individuals and families each year — or about 15% of the Pinellas County population — to have food, shelter and support. He lives the mission every day.
David recognized his own family’s money struggles as a child, but even then, his parents taught him and his brothers about the importance of charitable work and giving. As a family, they would come together and give whatever they could to local organizations. He has taken these lessons with him through his own life, donating and volunteering what he could throughout his adult life and sharing these same lessons with his own children.
David was especially touched by a local woman named Nica and her story. Nica enjoys cooking for her large family, but being on a fixed income often makes it difficult to afford the food needed for five. For Nica and thousands of other Pinellas County residents, Siracusa’s work with RCS is the sole reason they are able to put food on the table each day, allowing them to stretch their resources, especially when unexpected expenses occur.
He is also determined to help RCS keep families facing homelessness together in one unit, rather than being forced to split up with the kids in foster care and the spouses in men’s and women’s shelters as individuals. David is proud of those families as they work toward self-sufficiency; 90% of the 300 individuals he helps serve each year in the transitional housing program successfully secure permanent housing and return to self-sufficiency.
David consistently devotes his time each month to his RCS board duties, but that doesn’t begin to take into account the hours he dedicates to committees and recruiting small business owners to make fundraising events successful for nonprofits by creating partnerships to help marginalized and underserved people in the Tampa Bay area, including the 130,000 served each year by RCS.
For example, David introduced Modern Business Associates to RCS Pinellas, resulting in significant savings for professional employment services. MBA has since donated $20,000 to RCS. Siracusa’s support also secured Innisbrook Golf Resort, a top-rated championship golf resort, as the host location for the nonprofit’s first Celebrity Golf Classic; RCS has also been named a charity of choice for one of the resort’s fundraisers. He facilitated the conversation with The Arc Tampa Bay that resulted in a significant community partnership. David truly has the heart to make a difference and loves bringing people together and making a difference.
For the last four years, David has been proud to contribute financially to several charities, being a major sponsor of 15 fundraising events a year for six local charities in the Tampa Bay area. In that time, he contributed $100,000 to RCS Pinellas alone. And in 2018, David reached a personal goal of donating more than $100,000 to meaningful charities in a single year.
Siracusa is particularly an advocate of volunteering with RCS, which enables them to keep staff small even as they serve 130,000 individuals and families. For example, as just one of RCS’ 2,500 volunteers per year, David helps serve 70,000 through the food bank that distributes more than six million pounds of food. He also enables the nonprofit to provide outreach to 17,000 women and children, and shelter 300 women and children through Haven of RCS, which provides safety, security and support to women and children facing domestic violence.
These are just a few examples of David’s dedication to others and helping in any way he can. Anyone who knows Siracusa would tell you that he is a consummate optimist, who never fails to put the needs of others above his own.
RCS Grace House, an apartment-style family shelter, resonates deeply with David and his philanthropic leanings. He’s particularly proud of those who come through the shelter on the way to a better life and then, in turn, volunteer to help others going through similarly tough times. Siracusa’s whole life is about paying things forward and using all of his resources to make a difference in the lives of others. His work for Grace House as an advocate, donor and volunteer has changed countless lives and provided new hope for those who had none.