Living in Florida you have to love the sun, contend with the heat, and most importantly, prepare for the storm. Because, as all Floridians know when it comes to the issue of hurricanes, it is not a matter of “if” we’ll be hit, but it is a matter of “when.”
As hurricanes continue to increase in frequency and intensity, Sunrise has placed more of an emphasis on making our group homes for people with disabilities hurricane ready so that when the storm does come, we’ll be better prepared. Our “Refuge from the Storm” program focuses primarily on the fundamental need for protection during hurricanes.
Recognizing such a clear need, The SunTrust Foundation has found our “Refuge from the Storm” program to be a worthwhile cause. Their generous financial support will go towards transforming one of our group homes in Hillsborough County into a hurricane-resistant refuge for the residents Sunrise supports.
While the SunTrust Foundation has placed an emphasis on financial education programs, they have helped numerous other organizations with their disaster relief efforts and programs supporting people with disabilities because they recognize that in order to survive in this tumultuous world, it is important to look out and support one another. Last year alone, they granted $16.9 million to nonprofits across the country to fund everything from the cost of textbooks and tuition fees to supporting community-based, local businesses. Among so many other notable needs and causes, Sunrise is honored to consider the SunTrust Foundation a partner in our mission to support people with disabilities.
Thanks to SunTrust Foundation’s investment, we will be installing accordion-style hurricane shutters that are rated to withstand up to a Category 5 storm. Because the shutters are so durable, our residents will more likely be able to stay in the comfort of their own home where their unique needs can be properly addressed instead of having to either evacuate or move to a community-based hurricane shelter. Since they are also easy to secure, Sunrise staff can now spend more time focusing on other critical areas of hurricane protection.
“Beforehand, getting our homes prepared for the storm could takes hours and hours for each window,” our Executive Director, Kim Wright, had to say. “Thankfully, the new shutters will make preparing our home a literal snap!”
Overall, the SunTrust Foundation has not only provided support to install hurricane shutters, but they have provided the families of the residents we support, as well as the Sunrise staff who have become like families, a measure of peace of mind and the further assurance that their loved ones are being thoroughly cared for.
On behalf of Sunrise, our CEO, Zach Wray, had this to say, “All of us at Sunrise are immensely grateful for the generous support and commitment the SunTrust Foundation has demonstrated for people with developmental disabilities.”