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!
On a 45 minute call this morning, meant to be an update for the Florida chapter of CEO’s Against Cancer, with the American Cancer Society – $150,000 plus was pledged, in order to help ACS continue its vital mission of serving cancer patients throughout the state. Pat Gaherty, CEO of Florida Blue, pledged $75,000. Roy Hellwege, CEO of Pilot Bank pledged another $25,000. A program put in place by Autonation started earlier in May, has already raised $40,000. And Scott Fink, Owner of Hyundai Tampa Bay, together with his wife pledged another $10,000.
“On behalf of the millions of cancer patients, caregivers, survivors and volunteers who are part of the American Cancer Society family, we thank the Florida chapter of CEOs Against Cancer for your leadership and for standing with us, even when we are apart,” said Kim Staczek, senior director, corporate relations of the American Cancer Society.
As business restrictions due to COVID-19 are gradually loosened and Goodwill Manasota reopens its retail stores (while observing relevant safety guidelines), the organization has implemented a comprehensive risk management preparedness and response package spelling out measures to keep team members, and the community, safe. Included in this document is the proper use of PPE (personal protection equipment), which have been provided to all employees, who are required to wear them while interacting with other team members, shoppers and donors of lightly-used goods to the organization.
In mid-March, Asolo Repertory Theatre’s season – like those of all other area arts organizations – was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its 10, now-at-home, costume shop workers are sewing face masks that are being distributed to organizations in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
At this time, Asolo Rep is planning to produce 200 masks, to be provided to the partners of Goodwill employees. These are being delivered in weekly batches of 50 through the month of May; the first delivery was made to Goodwill’s Mecca store on May 4 by Thorp.
So far, about 750 masks have been produced and distributed to organizations including Goodwill Manasota, Senior Friendship Center, Safe Children Coalition, Meals on Wheels of Sarasota, Visible Men’s Academy, Girls Inc. of Sarasota and ALSO Youth. Local organizations in need of masks are asked to email Cameron_Thorp@asolo.org.
Earlier in May 3 Daughters Brewing, in St. Petersburg, was featured on LIVE with Kelly & Ryan, where they were presented with a $5,000 check for efforts to make and disperse hand sanitizer to the local community.
Robin and Mike Harting, owners of the brewery, matched the $5,000 with their own money to purchase $10,000 of gift cards from local businesses and have been giving away the gift cards via their social media channels.
Superior Group of Companies (NASDAQ: SGC), based in Seminole, said it will donate $5 million of WonderWink and Fashion Seal Healthcare branded scrubs to hospitals and health care facilities in areas severely impacted by COVID-19.
SGC is partnering with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Central Coordinating Team to distribute scrubs to various New York hospitals, as well as to various Texas hospitals, in conjunction with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and throughout Arkansas with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
The Company is also distributing essential scrubs and masks to hospitals and facilities in Haiti through its local operating company Superior Sourcing, and El Salvador, where SGC has a significant presence with The Office Gurus, a global provider of custom call center support and business process solutions, the company said in a statement.
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union is picking up the tab, for Tampa Bay locals, at a number of small businesses as part of their new program, Grow On Us. The program begins with Tampa-based barbeque restaurant Deviled Pig, offering free pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches, served with a side of mac-and-cheese and coleslaw, on May 27 at 12 p.m.
In the wake of COVID-19’s negative impacts on our local economy the program, Grow On Us, is designed to stimulate Tampa Bay’s struggling businesses and offer some relief and joy to the people in our community. Grow Financial’s mission is to serve people over profit and this program allows the organization to fulfill that mission in a time when it’s needed the most, a statement said.
Anyone in the community is welcome to visit Deviled Pig to claim their free meal, limited to one meal per person, while supplies last. The Deviled Pig is located at 3307 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa.
The team behind The DeMarcay, a luxury residential condominium project by GK Real Estate in downtown Sarasota, donated more than 450 meals as part of its First Responder Friday program to provide fare from local restaurants to the community’s first responders and health care professionals.
During the eight events in April and May, GK’s donated meals went to the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota County firefighters and paramedics and health care professionals from Doctors Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The participating restaurants were 99 Bottles, Café Barbosso, Il Panificio, Main Street Trattoria, Nancy’s Bar-B-Q, Pacific Rim and Spice Boys Kitchen. (Photo above)
Hancock Whitney pledged an $80,000 investment to local food pantries in Tampa Bay as part of the bank’s COVID-19 community relief efforts.
This is in addition to Hancock Whitney committing $2.5 million to help people, in some of the Gulf South’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, during the COVID-19 pandemic. That investment helps stock local food pantries, provide medical supplies to protect residents and first responders and fund housing relief and legal services for individuals fighting illegal evictions in local communities across Hancock Whitney’s banking footprint, according to a statement.
“Our communities aren’t just places; they’re the people who make up the hearts of our hometowns,” said Hancock Whitney President and CEO John M. Hairston, in the statement. “Together with the people we serve, we at Hancock Whitney celebrate in times of joy and support each other in times of challenges. We have very deep roots in the region we serve and we hope this support serves as a reminder of all the good in our communities and the opportunities we can create together.”
Locally, the investment will support two organizations, including Metropolitan Ministries and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.