October 12th, 2018 — The trail of devastation from Hurricane Michael left many Bay County residents and businesses in a state of disbelief, shock, and contemplation. Providing support services for more than 1300 area children and families in 2018, Anchorage Children’s Home knew they could not wait for Federal help, they needed to rebuild quickly. On Friday, March 8th, after 5 months of near seven day a week work, Anchorage celebrates the reopening of Anchorage’s Hidle House, the main youth (ages 10-17) housing facility.
When other businesses and service organizations considered shuttering, Anchorage Development Leader Brooke Bullard, was very clear about their objectives and their vision for the future in our community, “We aren’t going anywhere. Anchorage is here to lessen the burden by providing case management, outreach, and emergency shelter as we have done for this community for the last 35 years. We are absolutely committed to this community and we are not leaving.” Despite the devastation that came with Michael, there were positive outcomes. Ms. Bullard attributes the ability to open their doors so soon after the recovery process to community support. Ms. Bullard said it was “chilling” to see the community respond like they did, “They lost their own homes, were dealing with their own struggles, but Anchorage was a priority for so many people.” Ms. Bullard paused for a minute, then added, “I can tell you, these people who came to our aid – did not bat an eye and it was mind-blowing and very humbling.”
Carillon Beach and Anchorage
When the discussion came to Carillon Beach, Ms. Bullard had this to say:
“We really appreciate the Carillon Beach community checking in with Anchorage so soon after the storm. Even though for most of Carillon, it isn’t their primary residence, they are very committed to helping us. We have enjoyed this extraordinary relationship with Carillon Beach for over 10 years.”
Anchorage is no stranger to Carillon Beach. Carillon Beach believes Anchorage provides critical support to children and families in the Bay County Area and we annually fundraise for the organization. Anchorage’s valuable mission was first identified by Carillon Beach resident Karen Sandel and the philanthropic efforts have continued through the leadership of another resident, Marie Paschal. After Michael, resident Chris Coad chaired a Relief Fund and through the generosity of residents and the surrounding community, raised over $120,000, of which Anchorage was a substantial benefactor. Carillon Beach remains dedicated to support community organizations like Anchorage and when community philanthropic leaders Ms. Sandel, Ms. Paschal, and Ms. Coad are asked about it, their response is unified – after all, “It’s all about the children”.
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