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Partner Highlight: Star of the Sea Outreach Mission

As a local relief agency, the work of Star of the Sea (SOS) continues now and beyond the storm. The goal at the Star of the Sea Foundation  is simple: increase the health and well-being of low-income individuals and families in Monroe County, Florida. They accomplish this through 3 main programs: a Food Pantry, a Central Kitchen, and a Nutrition Education Program, which allows them to create a significant impact in all aspects of our community. Since Hurricane Irma, 90% of the clients served by SOS report being negatively impacted by the storm.

SOS and UWFK have a long history of partnership, and SOS has received funding through UWFK's annual Community Investment funding as well as our Hurricane Relief funding.  Executive Director Tom Callahan says, "We are very grateful for UWFK's support towards our IRMA relief efforts and wanted to share a testimonial with you from the past few weeks as we go directly into the neighborhoods distributing household goods and food."

"I can’t express how grateful my father and I are to have been donated these beds. I grew up in this house and it has been in the family for 80 years. Our home got about 4 feet of water in it and we lost most of our belongings, including our beds. We are working so hard to rebuild this house and we have been burning through our life savings in order to save it. We are aware of the repercussions of sleeping on moldy mattresses so we have been opting to sleep on the floor instead. Our bodies have been in so much pain from all the intense labor and it doesn’t help when you sleep on the floor. I just wanted to send a personal Thank you to SOS and their donor from our family. Thank you for helping us get off of the floor and onto to a bed. We can finally get the rest our bodies need." ~Christina Solis, Summerland Key