Goodwill and the Tampa Bay Research Institute Partner for a Healthier St. Petersburg


ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – What if what is outside our bodies had as much effect on our health as what is inside?  Dr. Akiko Tanaka believes that is indeed the case. For decades the president of the Tampa Bay Research Institute (TBRI) has explored the science behind traditional Japanese folk medicines for ways to boost the human immune system from within. Now she’s beginning to also focus on our physical surroundings as a key part of the immune system puzzle.

“As my team of scientists learns more about the workings of our body’s wondrous immune system, we are becoming increasingly mindful of how our body is influenced by our environment,” she says.

If it all sounds Maria Kondo-like (the wildly popular star of the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo™), Tanaka is a big fan. She recalls growing up with nine siblings in a happy, healthy, uncluttered Japanese home. In her home country, minimalism is the required norm due to the high population density. That lack of clutter may contribute to the longevity that is common in Japan.

Now, in celebration of Earth Day, Dr. Tanaka and TBRI have partnered with Goodwill Industries-Suncoast to help create order and organization in our collective environment here in St. Petersburg. Both organizations have a goal of a cleaner, more sustainable, and ultimately healthier world. Dr. Tanaka hopes the uncluttering movement will spread.

“When your environment is clean it’s more healthful. It’s good for you!” she says.

To that end, the nonprofit TBRI has joined Goodwill-Suncoast’s Giving Makes Cents program, an innovative fundraising platform that pays nonprofit organizations for each pound of clothing or household items donated to Goodwill on their behalf. The money allows TBRI to further their research studies while helping Goodwill continue to create a cleaner, more sustainable community.

Here’s how you can help:  Simply drop off donations to Goodwill during Earth Day week (April 22 – 28) at the Goodwill bin located at TBRI’s facility at 11208 Blue Heron Blvd North St. Petersburg, or at the Goodwill donation drive-through at 10596 Gandy Blvd in St. Petersburg and tell the attendant the donation is in support of TBRI. The donations will be weighed and TBRI will be paid for the amount collected.

In honor of Earth Day, help us create a cleaner, happier and healthier environment!

If your organization is interested in joining Goodwill’s Giving Makes Cents program, call 888-279-1988, ext. 1439. For more information about the program visit

Tampa Bay Research Institute was established in 1981 as the first 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit biomedical research organization of its kind in Florida. Its scientists pioneered the discovery of the relationship between virus infections and cancer with TBRI being awarded a multitude of patents for its discoveries related to the immune system. 

Goodwill Industries-Suncoast is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work. The organization’s successful donated goods retail operation helps support its human services in 10 counties in West Central Florida including employment services, training and job placement for people with disabilities, a children’s literacy program, affordable apartment communities for seniors and people with disabilities, and community corrections programs. For more information, visit

2019-04-10T13:02:39-04:00April 10th, 2019|