Who We Are:
My name is Steve Everitt. I was the center for the Michigan Wolverines from 1988-1993. After retiring from the NFL (Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Rams & Ravens), I moved to Sugarloaf Key, FL, the place where my wife Amy, 8 year old daughter Jamie and I have called home for 16 years. On September 10th Hurricane Irma passed directly over my home leaving absolute devastion in its path. Many of my neighbors and friends, my daughter's school friends, my wife's friends and co-workers have lost their homes and everything they own. Those that are fortunate to have homes to go back to face seemingly insurmountable task of repairing and rebuilding their homes and their lives.
What We are Doing:
Much like Michigan Football is a family, the people in the Florida keys are like family to us. We have purchased $27,000 in Home Depot and Publix gift cards for immediate distribution to families most impacted by Hurricane Irma. We have more on order, and with your help, we can keep going!!!
Who We are Helping:
By purchasing and immediately distributing gift cards to people devastated by Hurricane Irma, we can help expedite their long road to recovery. FEMA , insurance, other charitable organizations may take many weeks or months to respond to this crisis, and in some cases, unfortunately for some, help may never come. We can help now!!! Many of our residents are facing financial crisis. Approximately 15% of keys residents live below the poverty line and many more live pay check to pay check. Our economy relies soley on tourism and thousands of people have no paycheck to look forward to and no job to go back to.
How We Are Doing It:
Currently we have partnered with Sugarloaf Elementary and Middle School where our daughter, Jamie, is in 3rd grade. Sugarloaf School is located directly in Ground Zero and most of its staff and families have been affected by Hurricane Irma to some degree. At least 15 staff members have lost their homes and they estimate at least 50% of its families report severe to complete damage and loss. The school sent out assessment forms with each student earlier this week to determine need and financial situations and are compiling the data at this moment. We have contacts at two other schools in the community as well as other organizations who, depending on need and success of the campaign, are avenues we can utilize.
How Do You Know Where Your Donation is Going:
While financial situations at the school are strictly confidential, we have put together a package of information to go along with the gift cards. There is a letter with our contact information explaining who we are and, while we are not looking for recognition, we encourage them to contact us with their stories, photos, and thanks so that donors are confident that their donation is being utilized properly. The school has also arranged for some photo ops which along with our letter will be available in future updates. I hope this goes without saying, but for those who don't know me or my family: None of the donations collected will benefit me in any way!!! All of the donations collected will be used to purchase gift cards for those in need. We do not and will not utilize any of the monies collected for any of our expenses, time or personal needs!!!
Why The Florida Keys Are Special:
Many of you may have visited the Florida Keys, and understand what a unique and special place it is. I hosted a recent Michigan Football reunion in Key West (Jake Long, Steve Hutchinson, Glenn Steele, Jeff Backus, Ben Mast, Scotty Passink, Rob Swett) and I have welcomed many others to enjoy and experience this little piece of paradise; Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson, Joe Cocozzo, and many others including the legenday field general and reason that I became a proud member of the Michigan Football family....Bo Schembechler.
I hope to continue this tradition for many years to come. The Florida Keys are a beautiful place, unlike any other in this country, and yes the landscape gives it beauty but it is the residents, the people that give it the heart and make it truly one-of-a-kind.
Your donation no matter how large or small is greatly appreciated and let's help show the Florida Keys family that even though many miles separate us, they are all welcome in the Michigan family. (even Gators, Seminoles, Buckeyes, and Hurricanes, unless your name is Irma)
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, we encourage you to contact us via the Go Fund Me Message system or on Facebook with Private Messenger
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Steve Everitt #51
Thankful to the charter fishing boat Tailwalker and Captain Dave Schillinger. Who could have known that the boat that has hosted so many Michigan men on fishing excursions would be the one that brought my family and me to safety.
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