Hurricane season is here, and preparation is essential, but not everyone has the resources to do it. The Gulfport Senior Center is partnering with the Senior Center Foundation and the Gulfport Lions Club to create prep kits for those in need.
“Our focus is to help those 55 and older,” said Steven Halstead, Senior Center Foundation Vice President. “People who are just on that borderline of economically being able to afford the things they need, especially in an emergency.”
Flashlights, batteries, hand crank radios, notepads, pencils, first aid kits, plastic file holders, whistles (useful if you’re trapped), non-perishable foods, canned goods and can openers are included in the kits.
“There’s going to be items in there that people may not have because they’re not ready. You know, they’re not prepared,” Halstead said.
Due to a funding shortage this year, the Senior Center only received half of the $10,000 dollar grant they asked for from the Pinellas Community Foundation Senior Services Department. However, the Senior Center also received a $5,000 private donation, making a total of $10,000 dollars to apply toward the kits.
“We [were] a little bit short, but people are really helping out. We’re saying, ‘Here are some of the items that we need for the kit; you can either donate money or maybe you could donate some of the items so we can provide as many kits as possible,’” Halstead said. “So far we’re getting a really good response from businesses and individuals.”
Halstead is hoping to have the kits ready for distribution near the end of July and the beginning of August. A list of needed items can be found at gulfportseniorfoundation.org.
“We really want the community to know that the Senior Center is there and if you’re not in need…. that you’re able to help the Senior Center help others,” Halstead said.
Want to help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 727-893-1244.