BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - Hurricane Michael devastated our area, impacting many local non-profit agencies, but one organization is trying to help.
"Of course, on October 10th when the hurricane hit we immediately suspended all our traditional workplace campaign activities and went right into relief and recovery mode," President of United Way of Northwest Florida, Bryan Taylor said.
United Way of Northwest Florida sprang into action, helping out wherever needed, despite their own building sustaining damage that leaves it unusable still to this day.
"We became very active immediately at the emergency operation center, we also helped the county stand up and operate their VRC, their Volunteer Reception Center," Taylor said.
A Hurricane Michael Relief Fund was also started to raise money for local nonprofits, and to date, they've given out more than $500,000.
"Unfortunately, it's not as much as I'd like to have to give away and as much as we need in this community, there is such a huge disparity between the resources that are out there and the needs that the community has; however, we are doing the best we can with what we do have," Taylor said.
Girls Inc. is one of the many organizations that benefited from the relief fund. Thanks to the grant they received from United Way, they've been able to get many of their programs back up and running.
"The United Way money, again, helps us to keep things affordable, you know, spring break we charge our families $40 per girl if they can afford to pay $40. That's 10 hours a day for five days for $40 and that's structured programming, that's field trips, that's all kinds of things. We can't do that without the help of our community and the biggest help that we get comes through United Way," Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Bay County, Niki Kelly said.
Girls Inc. has received $10,000 from United Way and Kelly said they've also used the money to help fund a temporary location in Panama City.
"It's not traditional United Way work, but still along the lines of what United Way does and that's serving the community and trying to do what's best for our friends, and our families and our neighbors," Taylor said.
United Way will continue to focus on relief efforts for the foreseeable future, putting money out into the community to help pave the road to recovery.
United Way of Northwest Florida will give out another round of funding in May.
Here is a list of all the nonprofits that have received grants:
American Red Cross of Northwest Florida- Bay County
American Red Cross of Northwest Florida- Washington County
America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend- Bay County
America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend-Calhoun County
America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend-Gulf County
America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend-Jackson County
America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend- Washington County
Anchorage Children's Home
Angel House Bereavement
Angels of the Panhandle
ARC of Bay County
Basic Northwest Florida-Bay County
Basic Northwest Florida- Jackson County
Bay County Council on Aging
Bay Education Foundation
Bay, Franklin, Gulf Healthy Start
Beach Care Services
Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County
Calhoun-Liberty Ministry Center
Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida- Bay County
Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida-Holmes County
Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida- Washington County
Chemical Addictions Recovery Effort
Chipola Family Ministries
Dancing of Hope, Healing, and Health
Early Education and Care
Early Learning Coalition- Bay County
Early Learning Coalition-Calhoun County
Early Learning Coalition-Holmes County
Early Learning Coalition- Jackson County
Early Learning Coalition- Washington County
Family Service Agency- Bay County
Family Service Agency- Calhoun County
Family Service Agency- Washington County
Feeding the Gulf Coast- Bay County
Feeding the Gulf Coast-Holmes County
Feeding the Gulf Coast- Washington County
Florida Trail Association- Panhandle Center
Friends of After School Assistance Program
Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy- Calhoun County
Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy-Holmes County
Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy-Jackson County
Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy-Washington County
Gulf County LTRT
Gulf County Sheriffs Office Charities
Habitat for Humanity Bay County
Harvest Christian Academy
Heartland Rescue Ranch
Innovative Charities of NWFL- Calhoun County
Innovative Charities of NWFL- Jackson County
Jackson County School District
Junior League of Panama City
Life Management Center of Northwest Florida
Longleaf Outreach & Development- "The Evers House"
Main St. Blountstown
Mental Health America of Bay County
North Florida Child Development
North Florida Inland LTRG- Calhoun County (UWNWFL)
North Florida Inland LTRG- Jackson County (UWNWFL)
Second Chance of Northwest Florida
Second Mt. Moriah Relief Mission- Food Bank
Southport Youth Sports Association
Tri-County Community Council