ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new organization called St. Pete Girl Boss has been taking Hurricane Ian recovery efforts into its own hands with more than a dozen trips to southwest Florida this month.
What You Need To Know
- A new organization called St. Pete Girl Boss has been taking Hurricane Ian recovery efforts into its own hands with more than a dozen trips to southwest Florida this month
- About 72 hours after Hurricane Ian made landfall, the group established a mid-county headquarter drop-off site
- Those who are interested in donating can visit the St. Pete Girl Boss website here.
“Let’s get the food down there, let’s get the water down there,” said member Cara Keelin. “We spent the last two weeks kind of really doing that. Now, we’re moving into the second phase of things.”
About 72 hours after Hurricane Ian made landfall, the group established a mid-county headquarter drop-off site, designed a donation website and had 50 volunteers signed up, according to member Ursula Mae.
“We just got it up and running so we could streamline the help that they need so badly down south. We’re not dropping it at a distribution facility,” she said. “We do strike missions. We go into these neighborhoods with security and we hand out what they need.”
In the second phase of relief, the St. Pete Girl Bosses have been focusing on helping the youngest Hurricane Ian survivors.
“They get to be the ones who tend to be forgotten and everybody’s in that panic mode,” said Keelin. “Everybody’s in that ‘We’ve got to make sure there’s a roof over our heads.’ They’re not going to be able to verbalize what’s happening.”
Keelin, along with other members, assembled trauma relief bags for the children with items that will help them work through their feelings.
“We have something that’s really squishy... then we have, like, fidget stuff,” she said. “We want to create imaginative play.”
Mae said they’re also planning to give out grants to female business owners to help them rebuild.
“It’s to the women who have lost their businesses because of Hurricane Ian,” she said. “We’re not stopping anytime soon.”
Mae said the St. Pete Girl Bosses plan to keep the relief effort going for several more weeks.
Anyone can donate items at the Ovations School for the Arts located at 4921 71st Ave. N. in Pinellas Park. The drop-off hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’re getting lists from families for direct things that they really need and sometimes things they want,” said Keelin. “If somebody tells me ‘Hey, I could just really go for a diet coke and a candy bar,’ I’m going to bring a diet coke and a candy bar as well as water, food, roofing supplies, all of those kind of things.”
Those who are interested in donating can visit the St. Pete Girl Boss website here.