Project FIN (Friends In Need)

A portion of proceeds from every sale helps fund Project FIN.

Since its conception in 2021 as an initiative to provide sun protective clothing to the Tampa Bay homeless community, Project FIN has expanded to help more Friends In Need. Today, we’re helping not only the unsheltered, but those in our community needing a little extra, and those afflicted by cancer.

Project FIN background:
We officially launched May 1, 2021 at the International Female Ride Day For The Homeless event at Brandon Harley-Davidson, with our first batch of shirts going to Tampa Homeless Outreach. Since May 1, a portion of the proceeds from every ShapeShifter Fish and Friends sale helps fund Project FIN, to continue to provide shirts to the Tampa Bay community.
Since then, with the purchases from our supportive community and customers, we have been able to donate additional batches of shirts to our Friends In Need of downtown St. Petersburg, including our friends at Pinellas Hope, Reach St. Pete, Feed St Pete, St Vincent de Paul CARES Center of Hope, Meet Me in the Street Ministries, and the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas.
         ShapeShifter Fish and Friends Project FIN Friends In Need Homeless Initiative
Why Project FIN:
Being that we are a brand who features many animals, other charities probably seem more obvious. But the idea for Project FIN was created from a personal relationship with a local homeless man. This gentleman had lived in a wheelchair in our neighborhood since we moved there in 2018, and through the years we provided meals, blankets, umbrellas, clothing, hats, and most importantly, friendship. But in late 2020, the man disappeared and we had no way of finding out what had happened to him or where he went. We figured it was one of two things, always hoping it was on the positive side.
So we were shocked when he reappeared 2 months later, in his wheelchair in his usual spot, using a neck brace as a hat. This man unfortunately didn’t leave because he found a permanent home, he was in the hospital that whole time with SKIN CANCER. It seems so obvious now, but before we didn’t realize how big of an issue this is with the homeless community, and how little the disease is addressed and talked about.
Pinellas Hope | Project FIN | Homeless | St Pete | Pinellas County
As an owner of a company who provides sun protective clothing, it was almost fate as to what we were supposed to do next. Thus, the creation of Project FIN. Our goal with this initiative is to bring awareness to the risk of skin cancer to our Friends In Need, encourage more free public skin checks, and help personally combat the disease by providing sun protective clothing to the Florida homeless community.
Project FIN expands with SHECANcer:
Our charitable outreach has grown since with a program near and dear to our hearts called SHECANcer. A portion of proceeds during the months of September and October go towards donating UPF shirts to cancer patients going through cancer treatment.
In June of 2022, Maria our Founder, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The first thing the doctor said to her was "when starting Chemotherapy, you can't go outside due to the extreme photo sensitivity to the sun." But being well-versed in how to practice safe sun (and owning a sun protective wear company) Maria replied with "YES I CAN!"
After much research into sun protection for cancer patients, Maria found there was a need for quality UPF clothing geared toward women in her same situation. She also wanted to remind them it isn't a CANTcer diagnosis, and doing what you love is still possible - and in many cases that means going outside. Thus, the creation of SHECANcer, quality sun protection in our signature pinks and purple, for those Friends In Need going through cancer treatment.
If you'd like to donate to Project FIN or discuss possible partnerships, please email us at and add Project FIN to the subject line.