A lot of preparations take place when a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma is headed your way. But for nonprofit organizations, the real work takes place after the storm blows through.
Over the past couple of weeks, B2 has worked with two of its nonprofit clients to help the community recover in significant ways:
St. Petersburg Free Clinic answers a desperate call
Many Tampa Bay area residents were still without power almost a week after the storm passed, causing many to lose food, even medications. B2 Account Manager Laura Fontanills received a call from a 10 News producer on about an apartment complex in the Kenneth City area of Pinellas County where residents were in critical need of food, water and ice five days after the storm.
They were still without power and had no means of getting gas for their cars, which left them stranded without much-needed supplies. The producer was calling in reference to a story pitch we had sent earlier in the week and wanted to see if any of our nonprofit clients could help.
The St. Petersburg Free Clinic, which helps feed 50,000 Pinellas County residents each month through its various programs, immediately came to Fontanills’ mind. Without hesitation, the Free Clinic answered the call, bringing cases of bottled water and nonperishable food to the apartment complex. One employee said it was one of the most desperate situations she has seen during her time at the Free Clinic.
ABC Action News viewers raise more than $45,000 for Tampa Bay Disaster Relief Fund
B2 client Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, along with six other local nonprofits, proactively set up the Tampa Bay Disaster Relief Fund before Irma hit so they could immediately provide support to local nonprofits aiding relief and recovery efforts. The first grant, $100,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay, was awarded the day after Irma came through.
B2 sent out a story pitch about the effort to its media contacts, and Lissette Campos, community affairs director for ABC Action News, responded by offering to host a telethon to raise money for the fund and local relief efforts.
The telethon took place Monday, September 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. It featured several interviews with the Community Foundation’s Wilma Norton, the other nonprofit partners, and real stories of local residents coming to the aid of their neighbors.
More than $45,000 was raised for the fund over the four hours, including a $10,000 gift from Scripps Howard Foundation, the owner of ABC Action News. View coverage of the telethon below.
Finding our own ways to help was extremely gratifying for us at B2, and we are proud to work with top-quality, highly responsive nonprofits that take action when they are needed in the community.