From hurricane relief to school needs during the pandemic, many local organizations and businesses are looking to help those in need. The Gabber compiled a short list of urgent and long-term collection causes in the area for those who have the means to donate.
From Southside to Haiti
St. Petersburg’s women-led, Black-owned Southside Fresh Market is collecting donations for 100 families in need living in what is considered the quake center of Haiti.
Located at 2184 9th Ave. S., Southside owner Ramona Brayboy is collecting drop-offs every Sunday through September from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on behalf of the Souvenir Children’s Foundation.
“A lot of times, Haiti gets overlooked and they are a very small country, so they need the extra support,” Brayboy said.
Donors are asked to bring toiletries, tents, aqua tabs, school supplies, clothes, money and anything else that people may need in a disaster.
Kayda, the vendor who owns Real Roots at Southside, is personally taking the donations to the island.
“There can be some corruption, so I made sure to link up with someone I know personally,” Brayboy said. “Her aunt lives in Haiti.”
See a complete list of items and information for the next collection on Sunday, September 5 at fb.com/southsidefreshmarket.
Clothe Gulfport Elementary
Families of students at Gulfport Montessori Elementary may need extra help with school uniforms, particularly in the beginning of the school year.
That fact is not lost on Gulfport Elementary social worker Marissa G. Stewart, who says collections are given to those in need.
“We like to have them on hand for students…especially the little ones who may have accidents,” Stewart said. “Sometimes families need a little extra help in general.”
You can drop donations at Gulfport Nutrition, 5012 Gulfport Blvd., Monday through Friday, 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dress code and sizes:
Little kids – boys and girls tops and pants/shorts/skirts – 4, 5, 6x.
Big kids – Girls pants/shorts/skirts – 7/8, 10/12, 14, 16
Girls tops – Small – XL
Boys pants/shorts – 8, 10, 12, 14, 16
Boys tops – Small – XL
Polos may be worn in any solid color, with no stripes, graphics, pictures, numerals, slogans, etc. Tops must have a collar unless they are a school logo t-shirt. Bottoms such as pants, shorts and skirts must be solid navy blue or khaki. No denim. Solid colored leggings or tights may be worn underneath uniform skirts or shorts.
Smokin J’s is Off
For the first time this hurricane season, Smokin J’s BBQ in Gulfport is loading a truck of donations to bring to victims of the South’s latest natural disaster, Hurricane Ida, which landed in Louisiana early Monday, August 30.
“I understand these are very tough times for all, which is why we are starting now,” said owner John Riesbeck. “Depending on landfall we will be heading out Labor Day to bring what looks like much needed relief.”
Riesbeck says he will accept donations everyday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the restaurant at 5145 Gulfport Blvd. S., until Labor Day, Monday, September 6, though the date may change.
“Those not wanting to shop, I go daily and will be glad to pick up anything you’d like,” Riesbeck wrote. “Thank you in advance for your continued support.”
This is Riesbeck’s ninth hurricane trip over the years. He is accepting water, masks, blankets, first aid supplies and other necessities. Clothes and shoes are not recommended.
Spotlight Alert: Gulfport Teens
The Gulfport Teen Council collected an array of toiletries for Boca Ciega’s Hygiene Closet over the summer.
“The school created a hygiene closet for less fortunate students to utilize in order to improve attendance and who might not have the necessary supplies to keep their health and hygiene in good shape to attend school more regularly,” the Gulfport Recreation Center wrote in a press release.
While the hygiene product drive is technically over, people with additional items such as toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary products and more, are welcome to bring them to the school’s front office at 924 58th St. S. during operating hours.
“The Gulfport Teen Council is proud to give back to the teens in the community,” read the release.