“Imagine if everyone in the world just helped one child,
what a better world it would be.”
– Dottie Berger MacKinnon

Our founder, Dottie Berger MacKinnon, grew up on a farm in Kentucky but left home at fifteen to live with relatives in Maryland. One of ten children, she often said, “You learn to form alliances, to compromise, to go with the flow.”

Dottie began a career as a secretary in Washington, D.C., then later moved to Tampa where she worked for Bob Thomas in the real estate, investment and port business. In 1981, she earned her Associates of Arts degree from Hillsborough Community College and in 1984, her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of South Florida. She was a Hillsborough County Commissioner from 1994–1998, serving as its chairman from 1996–1997.

Dottie dedicated her life to children as a founder of Joshua House, Friends of Joshua House Foundation, Kids Charity of Tampa Bay, and A Kid’s Place. A passionate advocate for children, she left her footprint throughout the Tampa Bay area. From 2005-2009 she worked tirelessly to develop, create and co-found A Kid’s Place, a 60-bed residential group home that safely shelters sibling groups in foster care.

Dottie worked tirelessly in her quest to improve the lives of children in the greater Tampa Bay area. In 2011, the City of Tampa dedicated the Dottie Berger MacKinnon Children’s Playground at Curtis Hixon Park. She was married to A.D. “Sandy” MacKinnon and their blended family embraced 5 children and 17 grandchildren. Gone but not forgotten, Dottie Berger MacKinnon passed away in 2013, leaving A Kid’s Place as a legacy to live on. In 2014 Dottie was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame by Governor Rick Scott for her commitment and dedication to helping our communities most vulnerable children.

Inducted into the 2014 Florida Women’s Hall of Fame

Dottie Berger MacKinnon Children’s Playground
dedicated by the City of Tampa

Since 2009, A Kid’s Place has helped over 1,487 children and more than 648 families


YOUR gift helps make a meaningful difference in the lives of foster children

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