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Hurricane Michael Relief

Two days after Hurricane Michael ravaged portions of Florida’s Gulf Coast, the leadership team at Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty felt compelled to do something.

After many discussions about the best way to make an impact in our communities, we launched a GoFundMe campaign. In the first few days, we hit $10,000. After another week, we crested $20,000.

Then, the focus became, HOW are we going to be good stewards of this money and support relief efforts? There are so many, from Panama City even up into Georgia and Virginia, who have been impacted greatly by this unprecedented event.

So, we had more discussions to come up with a transparent way to spend this money that was entrusted to us. We decided that the best use of our resources was to let you – the public – make requests through a form – found below – we created and shared on social media, via email, etc.

In the first 24 hours the form was active, we received 66 requests for help. While our Leadership Council was meeting to discuss these requests, six more came in. And, then 10 more.

And, we noticed a common thread running through these requests. Aside from the humbling stories of devastation, loss and heartbreak, we noticed that a majority – nearly half, in fact – were from teachers and support staff associated with Bay County Schools.

Teachers like first-year elementary educator Kacy, whose apartment became unlivable after the Hurricane and simply wants to be able to continue working. Valerie, who needs the basics, household items, reliable transportation so she can go to work and focus on her students and their own situations, without worrying about her own. Fourth grade teacher, Caitlin, who is logging hours in the car, driving to her students every day. Even teachers like Staci, whose first request was for the reading books and name tags for her students, when her own car cannot be driven and her home is overcome with mold and damage.

This was our light bulb moment – our HOW and WHY we started this GoFundMe campaign to begin with.

As our teachers go, as our schools go, so goes our children and our future. If we can stabilize our teachers, we begin to stabilize our communities. To date, we have raised and given back nearly $40,000 to Bay County Schools teachers and support staff.

A big thank you to Spring Run Media for helping us capture these teachers’ stories and to WHJG for covering our most recent round of donations.

We have committed to putting teachers first.

Please help us in our drive to aid educators affected by Hurricane Michael.

Click here to contribute to our GoFundMe campaign.

If you’re not able to give, please help share this drive with others.

For Educators and School Staff

Are you a teacher or school staff member affected by Hurricane Michael, or do you know of one that requires aid?

Complete the form below to notify us of the need.