Recovery and aid efforts continue to spring up in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
The Tampa Bay Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund offers a way to keep financial donations working at home. The new strategic collaboration is made up of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Pinellas Community Foundation, United Way of Citrus County, United Way of Hernando, United Way of Pasco, and United Way Suncoast. The response and recovery initiative will include Desoto, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
Donors can visit this site to learn more and donate to the regional recovery effort or even choose a specific county.
A news release from the fund notes that 100 percent of monetary donations will be directed to address immediate and mid- to long-term recovery needs through grants to select nonprofits. Distribution of money will be overseen by the funding partners.
Here are highlights from other relief efforts.
University Area CDC will hold a community barbecue 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harvest Hope Park, 13704 N 20th St. in Tampa, for distressed residents in that area. It will distribute water to all who come, but hopes to get volunteers to help meet needs, including water, non-perishable food, baby products and toiletries. Those interested in helping should contact Sarah Combs at (813) 404-8940.
Community Food Pantry of Carrollwood and Northdale will collect non-perishable food and canned goods from noon to 6 p.m. today (Sept. 13), seeking to help neighbors and evacuees.
Global Community Church, 11301 US 301, Suite #104, in Thonotosassa, has set up a drop-off location to help the area's refugee community. Many of the refugees lost power or water. They have limited resources, have small babies and need water, ice, coolers and generators.
Seeds of Hope in Lithia continues to collect nonperishable items for victims of the Alafia River flooding. Visit the Seeds of Hope Facebook page to learn more.
Metropolitan Ministries planned to open its outreach centers in Tampa and New Port Richey on Wednesday, looking to help those in need, and it's asking for donations of generators, flashlights, batteries for existing flashlights, nonperishables and bottled water. At the New Port Richey location, minor damage is being repaired. A team is working to see how it can serve outreach clients with or without power beginning today.
Salvation Army is working with corporate partners for donations, but said the best way individuals can help is through monetary donations. Dulcinea N. Kimrey, divisional communications director for the Army, said donations specifically earmarked "Hurricane Irma" will go directly to local efforts. The organization's mobile kitchens are working directly with emergency operations centers in the state and will likely move into the area on Wednesday. It's an effort to help assist first responders and survivors get back on their feet, with staff and volunteers coming from the Eastern Seaboard and as far away as Canada. Give by visiting helpsalvationarmy.org, calling 1-800-Sal-Army or texting Storm to 51555.