July 13 – With tourism being such a huge economic factor and way of life in the Florida Keys, it’s important to maintain the health and wellbeing of the employees in that industry.
That’s where Sister Season Fund comes in.
Julie Hanson, executive director of Sister Season Fund, an organization that helps out of work employees in the hospitality/tourism industry, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about the work of the organization.
Hanson said, “Our assistance has not been focused on COVID situations, we’re looking at temporary, out of work, accident situations or other illnesses besides COVID. We’re not having a really high demand right now, which is great because we need to replenish our funding and get prepared for what may come our way in the future.”
Currently, another rather serious issue is the inflation that is rampant throughout the country.
Hanson said, “It’s absolutely astonishing because that’s pretty much most of our calls recently. We need help with our Keys Energy bill or our water bill. Our foundation is not set up to cover that kind of situation. We just don’t have the funding for that and it breaks your heart right now because not only did we recover from COVID, now we’re looking at this other type of crisis and we as a board are thinking what can we do, how can we adjust our financial support to help these people? Right now we just don’t have the funding.”
when they get the calls for help with bills, staff at Sister Season Fund has suggested possibly calling the electric company to see if the person could set up a payment plan.
Sister Season Fund has a sponsorship program with five different levels.
Hanson said, “We are constantly and continuing to put fundraisers together. We are approaching our 17th year as an organization and we celebrate that every August.”
The organization has an anniversary party around that time of year to celebrate the accomplishments throughout the year.
Hanson said, “We continue to put our heads together and do fundraising.”
The group has bingo once a month at the Green Parrot that brings in about $10,000 a year for the organization.
Hanson said, “It’s being creative. It’s being diligent and it’s staying focused on what we can do and how we’re going to do it.”
There has been some discussion about expanding the Sister Season Fund up the Keys.
Hanson said, “We started working on that mission before COVID. It’s still there. The vision is there we just have not been able to move in that direction as quickly as we’d like to. Our hands are kind of full right here in Key West, but we’re thinking about all our neighbors, not only in Key West, but throughout the Keys.”
To help Sister Season Fund, click here: https://www.sisterseason.com/