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Summertime Needs for Community Help Agencies

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Although generally known as a time of sun and fun, the summertime season is a time of challenge for area help agencies, who may need additional resources to help residents survive one of the hottest, most uncertain, and most financially challenging times in recent history. Yet with their generous donations and support, the people of Hernando County can deliver some much needed sunshine to people in need.

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During one of the hottest summers on record, the Dawn Center Domestic Violence Shelter faces a season with air conditioning problems. “Right now we are working on raising $5,300 for an AC unit replacement at the shelter. I have about $3,800 to go if anyone wants to help by contributing to that fund. We have done a temporary repair, but I have been told that the temporary fix should only last about a month,” said Shannon Sokolowski, Executive Director. “The unit cannot be repaired, so full replacement is in order. We are working with a wonderful local company on the project, just need to pull together the funds.” 

To donate to the Dawn Center Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, visit https://www.dawncenter.org/get-involved. 

Other agencies could benefit from the donation of food and other basic staples. “I spoke with our staff and they agreed that we always have a need for any non-perishable food and hygiene items,” said Amanda McCann, VP of Development & Recruitment, Jericho Road Ministries, Inc. 

Some examples would be:

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Canned Soup

Peanut Butter

Mac N Cheese

Canned Fruit

Baby Food

Toothpaste/Toothbrushes

Deodorant

Shampoo/Conditioner

To donate to Jericho Road Ministries, visit https://www.jericho-road.net/donate or call 352-799-2912. 

Becky Burton, Executive Director of People Helping People in Hernando County, Inc., also has released a needs list for her organization. 

It includes:

Juice boxes

Canned pasta with meat

Canned chili

Individual cereal boxes

Ramen noodles

Shelf stable or powdered milk

Peanut butter (16 oz)

Canned fruit or fruit cups

Macaroni and cheese individual cups

Men’s new underwear – small, medium, large sizes

Men’s shorts – small, medium, large sizes

Men’s t-shirts – medium & large sizes

Men’s sneakers in good condition

Hydration drinks (like Gatorade)

(They do not take household or children’s items)

To donate to People Helping People, visit https://phphernando.org/how-to-help or call 352-686-4466.

The Salvation Army of Hernando County is preparing for this summer’s tropical storm season, and is requesting goods that they can use to create storm preparedness kits. “We are looking for donations of bottled water, blankets, batteries for flashlights, toiletries, and other supplies for these kits,” said Lt. Julie Chamberlain, who oversees The Salvation Army of Brooksville/Hernando County with Lt. Mike Chamberlain. “Also during storm season, cash donations can be used to repair house damages sustained in a storm, or money to do their laundry or cover other necessities. Monetary donations are also needed, to help us provide all of our services,” said Lt. Mike Chamberlain. Donations can be dropped off at Hernando’s Salvation Army location at 15464 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville. Donations of canned foods also are accepted. To donate locally, visit https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/. 

Combining the art of giving with summertime fun is The Community Food Bank (CFB), a Tampa Bay area food bank serving eight Hernando agencies. They invite the community to participate in their “Hunger Hero” fundraiser Friday, July 16.  In this fun online happening, participants can dress as their favorite superhero and post selfies on the CFB’s Facebook page and/or Instagram page using #Feed.352. “Dress up and post your pictures on social media. Get creative and maybe even show off your silly side! It’s fun and best of all, your donation helps us keep local food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters stocked,”  says Barbara Sprague, Executive Director of the CFB.

Proceeds from the “Hunger Hero” fundraiser aid the CFB as they source food, pick it up daily and prepare food for delivery to more than 50 food agencies that serve those in need. The CFB distributes an average of 300,000 pounds of food monthly to serve 60,000+ individuals throughout the local area. “This is our fourth non-event event, giving people the opportunity to keep in touch,” said Sprague, who herself has shot a superhero photo to post at Hunger Hero. “It is indeed a superpower to fight hunger.” This non-event event really puts the fun in fund-raiser. “For every $100 donated,” said Sprague, “we are able to provide 1000 meals.”

If you would like to participate in the “Hunger Hero” event, please visit www.feed352.org; OR text the word DONATE to: 352-280-3391; or mail a check with “Hunger Hero” in the subject line to Community Food Bank – 5259 W Cardinal Street Building B, Homosassa, FL 34446.

“We want to see our local heroes,” said Sprague.

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