ABOUT BRIDGE A LIFE

Who We Are

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

Christ followers provide for children who have been abused, abandoned, orphaned, or neglected so that they are loved in fully-equipped families, bringing about healing and generational change.

1143 children...

Are in out-of-home care in Sarasota, Manatee & Desoto Counties.
December 2017, Sarasota Safe Children Coalition

Board of Directors

Danny & Ann Marie Jones

Danny and Ann Marie Jones are the proud parents of three adopted children: Owen, Lilly and Emma. When Danny and Ann Marie set out on their personal foster care journey, God stirred in their hearts to get the local church more involved in the ministry of foster care. Danny and Ann Marie are passionate about leading the Church to the front-lines of foster care and orphan care, locally and around the world. They believe God is changing the world through the power of Jesus Christ, and that wounded children are finding hope, love and purpose as God moves His people to action.

Matthew & Kaitlyn Leake

Matthew and Kaitlyn Leake have the joy of being parents to Mason, Isaiah, Kensington, and Amelia. Matt and Kaitlyn have adopted from Uganda, have been licensed foster parents, and are passionate about supporting foster and adoptive families and children locally and globally.

Bridge a Life Staff

Jody Jester

Director of Programs

Jody and her husband, Ray, are parents to eight wonderful children. After having two biological children, Jody and Ray thought their family was complete. But God had other plans! Through the local foster care system, God added to their family a sibling group of six children through the blessing of adoption. Jody loves Bridge a Life's acknowledgement that not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but everyone can do something to help orphans locally and globally.

Jody and Ray attribute much of the success of their family to a strong support network of friends, family, and their local church.

Tabitha Ferraro

Analyst
Tabitha has a heart for foster families and wants to help make adoption less overwhelming for prospective adoptive parents. At the age of 10, Tabitha had a personal experience with adoption when her family adopted her younger sister from foster care. Some of Tabitha's closest friends are also adoptees, and their stories have inspired Tabitha to use the gifts God has given her to make a difference through Bridge a Life. Tabitha's husband Brandon currently serves in the United States Army. They have two boys, Micah and George, and live in Venice.

Eriab Kaddukirizi

Ayinza Project Manager
Eriab, along with his wife, Barbara, and son, Ethan, reside in Uganda and oversee the Ayinza project. In 2013 Eriab had a calling to serve his rural community in Mpongo. He left his job at a law firm in the capital city of Kampala and moved to Mpongo, dedicated to the idea that God could use him to bring about healing and generational change for Mpongo. Eriab says, "I think God has a purpose for every calling because once I came to Mpongo God sent a team from the US to join us. It was my dream to see this community transforming and little did I know that God had already set a team I was going to work with." Eriab works tirelessly to help Mpongo grow spiritually while moving them towards community sustainability with initiatives such as the school lunch program, child sponsorship, sanitation training, and improved agricultural techniques.

Melanie Cripe

Director of Development
Melanie Cripe loves children. She also loves how corporate social responsibility and consumer behavior can affect one another to make a greater impact for children. Throughout her career in public relations and marketing, she has worked with both family-owned businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies to help create positive change for vulnerable children in the United States and around the world. 

Melanie is not a foster parent nor has she adopted children. But, perhaps like you, she wants to make a difference in the lives of children and help heal hurting hearts. Melanie appreciates how Bridge a Life offers tangible ways for individuals, businesses, and foundations to present God’s love and purpose to foster children while encouraging and educating the families who are committed to them.

Melanie is married to Ryan and together they parent two children who keep them laughing and shaking their heads. As a family, they aim to buy products or hire services from companies who give back to their community.

When she isn’t driving her children to various athletic events within the South Florida area, she enjoys hot yoga, reading at the beach, and watching fast-rate cooking videos. It may also be important to know she likes parmesan cheese … a lot.