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Tallahassee nonprofit receives donation to help families with chronic illnesses

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 19:18:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard for many, but for families with an illness or special needs during a time where it's unsafe to go to the grocery store, the Hang Tough Foundation in Tallahassee is helping.

The Hang Tough Foundation serves families that have children with a chronic, life altering illness or intellectual disability.

Last week, Hang Tough Foundation executive director Janelle Irwin received a phone call saying they received a grant that will help them continue to provide help.

"When he called and let me know that we had received a $10,000 grant," said Irwin, "the goosebumps, the tears, they were all present!"

Those tears were brought on by Allen McGinniss of McGinniss Himmel Insurance Agency in Tallahassee.

Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance awarded 100 non-profits nationwide $10,000 to help them during the COVID-19 crisis, and McGinnis nominated the Hang Hang Tough Foundation.

"It means a lot to them, obviously," said McGinniss. "It's cool. We get to take money that would have been in Seattle and bring it to Tallahassee and do some real good with it."

"$10,000 goes a long way of keeping our mission alive here in Tallahassee," Irwin said. "We're trying to take our programs and services virtual and make sure we can provide that support and resources for our families."

Supply drives, virtual activities, giving kids toys are all things Hang Tough is doing to help their families in this time of need.

"The Clorox wipes, the disinfectants, the cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, those kind of things," said Irwin. "They're legitimately vital to keeping these children healthy."

The grant can keep that going.

"This is the kind of stuff that makes grown men cry," McGinniss said. "It's wonderful to make a bigger impact than just insurance."

"To see a national group is recognizing the work that we're doing here locally, there are no words to explain how a very dark circumstance brought us to an incredible opportunity here in Tallahassee," said Irwin.

Irwin said they've done six supply drives and if they need to do more, she said they will. Through those drives they've helped close to 1,000 people get the supplies they need.