As we look ahead to a fresh new year with hope and excitement, we can’t help but reflect on 2018 and especially on the impact that Hurricane Michael has had on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. While most of our markets saw continued growth, areas of Bay and Gulf Counties were devastated by the storm. The past few months have revealed the true character of our region; and witnessing how we have all come together to support our neighbors has been both humbling and inspirational.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida, we are especially thankful for all the donations that have allowed us to serve the citizens most impacted
by Hurricane Michael during these challenging times. With your financial support, we have fed the hungry, consoled the hurting and provided aid to those in need.
In addition to private donations, our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices family has given generously of both their time and money. Agents from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Cooper & Co. traveled from Mobile, AL, to work at a joint service day with our agents along with providing gift cards for storm victims. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Knight & Gardner from Key West, FL, sent a trailer of supplies just after the storm passed. We’ve received donations from the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group in Tampa, FL, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center in Chattanooga, TN, and members of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices corporate team, to name a few.
We sincerely thank everyone who has offered their support or services and will continue our efforts as long as there is need. We are distributing funds and organizing service efforts in different ways in order to offer assistance to as many as possible. See below for five ways your donations to our GoFundMe account have made a difference:
Elevate Bay Coat Drive – winter coats were purchased and donated to the Elevate Bay Coat Drive, an initiative to provide coats to children of all ages in Bay County who lost everything in the storm.
Donation to The Sonder Project – The Sonder Project is a locally founded organization that has previously been focused on providing aid internationally since 2014. However, following the storm, The Sonder Project has been instrumental in offering aid and organizing service efforts to both Bay and Gulf Counties for hurricane relief & recovery.
Secret Santa Holiday Adoption – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida allocated funds for the adoption of multiple families to provide a happy Christmas holiday by fulfilling wish lists and delivering gifts and supplies.
Gift Card Donations – gift cards have been purchased and distributed to allow recipients the ability to purchase what they most need from vendors such as Wal-Mart.
Cedar Grove and Springfield Elementary School Initiative – 50 special needs children received Christmas gifts along with gift cards for all 10 of their teachers to help with daily needs. Cedar Grove and Springfield were among the communities most impacted by the storm, and both schools are currently operating in a shared space loving dubbed Cedarfield Elementary.
While recovery is still ongoing and will be for some time, much progress has been made. The future is bright for our region, and we could not be prouder of our community.