Urgent financial help on its way

TALLAHASSEE, FL, October 25, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Florida State Parks Foundation (FSPF) announced a $50,000 fund to provide immediate financial assistance for Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employees who have suffered extensive hardship due to the impacts of Hurricane Michael.

“With so many of our neighbors in North Florida impacted, we wanted to help DEP employees get back on their feet – which puts them in a better position to provide help to their neighbors, as well,” said Ben Pingree, President of FSPF. “Working with DEP, we can quickly provide support to the employees who work tirelessly to protect Florida’s natural resources and award-winning state parks.”

Employees from across the agency were impacted by Hurricane Michael, including staff who work in Florida State Parks, the Florida Coastal Office and DEP’s regulatory field office in Panama City. Contributions to this fund can be made at https://friendsoffloridastateparks.org/Donate.

Impacted DEP employees can apply for assistance through their division director. The FSPF and DEP have jointly committed to reviewing and evaluating all requests within 24 hours of submission.

While typically the FSPF focuses its support on DEP’s Florida Park Service, the Foundation’s Board of Directors is working closely with DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein and Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper to support fellow DEP employees impacted outside the park service.

“As our beloved state parks serve as a showcase for the importance of protecting Florida’s most beautiful natural resources for future generations, we are honored to partner with DEP to support the employees who commit their lives to protecting Florida’s parks and environment,” said Pingree.

To receive financial assistance all the following eligibility criteria must be met:
• The affected person(s) must be a DEP employee, or in case of a fatality, an individual/family member who lived with the employee.
• The affected person(s) must either have suffered a complete loss or significant damage of habitation by Hurricane Michael’s impacts or be without life sustaining necessities such as food, water, medicines or medical services.
• Must be in one of the Florida counties declared a Qualified Disaster – Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington.

The Foundation is a 501c3 incorporated company and is dedicated to enhancing and perpetuating the Florida state park system for the people of Florida and its visitors. Its mission is to support Florida’s state parks through programs that preserve and protect them, educate visitors about the value of state parks, encourage civic engagement through Citizen Support Organizations and volunteering, and by providing financial support.


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