Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced a $10,000 donation from the AT&T Foundation that will go to the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project.
The award will be used to purchase 400 grocery store gift cards for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief program from the Sheriff’s office comes when Floridians face the reality of a grim holiday season. A statewide survey released by MoneyWise Florida found about 40% of Floridians said they feel they are worse off financially than before the pandemic, with money being one of their top concerns heading into the New Year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging daily life as we know it and exacerbating food insecurity for many Floridians,” said Edwin Narain, assistant vice president of external affairs for AT&T Florida. “With many struggling to feed their families this holiday season, the AT&T Foundation is proud to support the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project. This effort makes a meaningful impact on the community, and the men and women of the Sheriff’s office should be applauded for their hard work.”
This year, the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project hopes to ease some of the financial burden on families who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Pinellas County.
For the past 26 years, the project has raised money with the “Ride & Run with The Stars” charity event, which includes an athletic competition and a silent auction. But, the office had to cancel the event this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funds raised for the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project are used to assist families and children identified by Sheriff’s office employees throughout the year who may be homeless, economically stressed, victimized or abused.
This year, the office expects it will see more families in need of assistance because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a significant amount of job loss.
Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 5,000 families have been assisted.