This is not a story about what could have been done better, but what is being done right. And you can find what’s being done right by looking to local businesses.
The support and love that lives in the Tampa Bay community is overwhelming. We are blessed to live in a community where people truly want to help, and support, one another. And we at TBBW LOVE to hear, and share, these stories. Keep sharing, keep caring. The feedback from the region has been nothing short of amazing! People are reading, and are ingesting, the positive news: with a sigh of relief.
We are in this together!
We will continue to bring you these “round-ups” of what is being done right here in Tampa Bay!
When the coronavirus hit the Tampa Bay area Kozuba & Sons, in St. Petersburg, halted production of spirits and shifted all of its resources to manufacture hand sanitizer for the community.
Following World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control, guidelines Kozuba is producing the highest quality hand sanitizer containing the necessary 80 percent ethanol and were certified by the FDA to produce hand sanitizer, according to a statement.
“When we shifted our production, we started by giving sanitizer to first responders, health care facilities and essential businesses,” said Matthias Kozuba, proprietor of Kozuba, in the statement, “now that we have the logistics of contactless pickup figured out, we’re happy to further serve our community and make hand sanitizer available to the general public.”
Businesses seeking to purchase larger quantities of hand sanitizer can now order in bulk from the online retail store. Nonprofit organizations seeking donations should complete the online request form.
Kozuba also has donated sanitizer to first responders and charities including CASA, St Pete Free Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels and The Ronald McDonald House, among others. (Photo above: Kozuba & Sons Distillery Donates Hand Sanitizer to Police Officers)
In order to allow for safe distribution of spirits and adhere to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, Kozuba is offering online ordering with contactless, curbside pickup. In addition to hand sanitizer, the full line of Kozuba spirits and other merchandise are available at https://www.kozubadistillery.com/shop.
Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa is recognizing Tampa Bay’s medical professionals at Tampa General Hospital with $1000 in donated experiences. Public health workers at the hospital are to receive certificates for dining experiences at the Tampa resort’s waterfront restaurant, WTR Pool & Grill. Each experience includes dinner, dessert and drinks for two (value up to $100) to be redeemed once the restaurant reopens to the public.
“The current COVID-19 pandemic situation has impacted our community in a significant way. Our nurses, doctors and other public health workers are risking their lives every day to provide care for those in need and we don’t feel that should go unrecognized. We hope that our gifts can bring a positive light, and hope, to them in these dark times,” says Shaun Kwiatkowski, general manager at Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa, in a statement.
Empath Health is offering free counseling sessions to health care workers who have endured extra stress through this COVID-19 pandemic.
One-hour sessions are available to anyone who identifies themselves as a health care employee.
Sessions are being conducted virtually (Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, phone) and once staff return to their offices, counselors will see anyone in Empath Health’s Pinellas County locations – though clients are not required to be Pinellas County residents. The organization will offer up to six free, one-hour sessions per client.
“Empath Health is committed to serving our community through our integrated network of care. We are so pleased to extend free mental health counseling to our healthcare colleagues,” said Dr. Stacy Orloff, vice president of innovation and community health at Empath Health, in a statement. “Healthcare providers often focus on helping others, paying less attention to their own needs. We understand the emotional and spiritual toll felt by so many during these extremely unusual times and truly hope people will take advantage of this opportunity for some self-care. This is our way to say ‘thank you’ for being there for everyone in our community.”
To schedule an appointment, healthcare workers should call (727) 523-3451.
United Way Suncoast launched the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund in March, with an initial commitment of $250,000, to provide immediate emergency support to those most vulnerable to the economic, and basic needs, issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It has now grown to over $1,500,000 and continues to grow, with 100% of the funds going directly back into the community, according to a statement.
The first round of funding resulted in $322,094 being distributed to 14 human services agencies who serve 334,889 people, infants to seniors, in 194,407 households. The second round of funding totaling $545,055 was distributed to 23 human services agencies and now the third round of funding in the amount of $396,250 to 20 additional human services agencies brings the total individuals being served to 896,859 in more than 333,364 families, the statement said.
All told, so far, $1,263,399 has been distributed to 57 human services agencies and round four of additional funding to more human services agencies is quickly moving forward.
“United Way Suncoast, our donors and volunteers are continuing to work hard to serve our community at a time of greatest need. Our region’s business community, and many generous individuals, have contributed to our COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to ensure that we have the immediate resources to support the most vulnerable in our community. One hundred percent of the fund goes directly to helping those in our community impacted by COVID-19,” said United Way CEO Jessica Muroff, in the statement.
Spectrum Reach, the advertising sales business of Charter Communications, and Waymark, partnered to offer free custom marketing videos to every business and entrepreneur in the country. Through May 31, businesses of all sizes will be able to create customized 30-second commercials for free, to use on digital and social media platforms and on TV.
Spectrum provides Internet, phone and cable services throughout the Tampa Bay region.
The Bailey Family Foundation, an organization focused on supporting the local Tampa Bay community and enhancing post-secondary education, gifted $350,000 to Tampa General Hospital to assist with needs surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement.
“Tampa is our home. It’s where we’ve chosen to raise families and start businesses. This gift is about trying to do our part to help protect the community we love,” said Kyle Bailey, president of the Bailey Family Foundation and founder of Replay Guitar Exchange, in the statement. “It’s essential for people to step up and do what they can to support our health care workers in this time of need.”
Tampa General Hospital plans to use the funds for COVID-19 testing supplies, personal protective equipment, new technology and other needs to support their team members.
The mission of the Bailey Family Foundation is to enhance the availability of post-secondary education and to make grants to support our local community. Each year the Bailey Family Foundation awards $2 to $3 million dollars in college scholarships to rising high school seniors, and college students, in the Tampa Bay Area. Applicants can apply online at: https://bailey-family.org.