PANAMA CITY, Fla. — At the James Avery Artisan Jewelry kiosk inside Dillard’s in Panama City, dozens of charms line the glass, but one of them is making a big mark on the community.
Tammy Stewart is the James Avery specialist at Dillard’s. A year after the hurricane, she wanted to find a way to help keep the momentum for relief efforts going after the anniversary.
“There’s still too many people out here in tents, tarps and RV’s,” she said. “We want to do something to spark Panama City.”
She teamed up with James Avery, which is based in Texas, and Coin and Bullion Reserve in Panama City — to create a commemorative ‘850 strong’ charm in order to raise money for the community.
For every charm sold, Dillard’s is donating $20 to Habitat for Humanity, an organization working to build homes in the area.
James Avery is supplying the Florida charms, and Tammy Soong at Coin and Bullion Reserve has offered to do the ‘850 strong’ engravings, free of charge, for every charm that is purchased.
“How could I say no?” asked Soong. “It’s a small way to give back.”
Stewart is hoping the charms can help keep the community strong heading into the holidays.
“To push, to make that push to get people back in their homes for the holidays,” she said.
Stewart said that so far, around forty charms have been sold.
They’ll be sold at least through the end of the year. Stewart said physical donations are also appreciated, such as water and Gatorade, to give to the Habitat for Humanity volunteers.