SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Goodwill Manasota is working to take care of its own team members as well as assisting community members in need throughout its service area of Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Hardee counties.
The organization’s top priority since the storm hit was to make sure that its 734 team members were accounted for and safe, and that assistance was available for those in need.
While Goodwill Manasota is a not a disaster relief organization, the organization is partnering at this time with the Red Cross and local Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) to provide vouchers supplied by the Florida Goodwill Association. Vouchers can be used at any Goodwill stores, with a referral from the Red Cross, EOC, or approved Goodwill agency.
Goodwill Manasota currently has three Community Resource Centers open to the public in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice seven days a week, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to provide information, resources, and referrals to anyone in need of assistance. Locations are Corporate Campus (2715 51st Ave. E., Bradenton), the Veterans Services Office (8490 N. Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota), and Rialto (676 S. Tamiami Tr., Venice).
Residents can call Goodwill’s Community Resource Hotline at 888-230-8820, which is staffed around-the-clock. They can also text “RELIEF” to 941-254-5977 to receive information about needs such as roof damage or tarping, fallen trees, mold mitigation, appliance removal, and more.
For those in a position to help, Goodwill is accepting donations of unrestricted material goods and non-perishable food items for local food banks All Faiths Food Bank (Sarasota and DeSoto counties) and Food Bank of Manatee at all its donation and retail centers. All retail locations are open, with the exception of North Port; please visit experiencegoodwill.org for addresses and hours of operations.
“We are thankful that we were able to account for all our team members by Monday after the storm. Furthermore, besides North Port, most of our locations suffered little or no damage, besides signage. We know that too many of our neighbors have not been so fortunate and we are standing by to assist in connecting both team members and the community at large with available resources,” said Donn Githens, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “We are well-staffed and conveniently located throughout the region and proud to assist directly – or provide accurate information or connections to needed services – for any who might need help.”
For more information about how to receive assistance – or to help – visit Goodwill Manasota’s website: experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill assists people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.