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Organizations come together to grant non-profit with a new van

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A local non-profit that’s been serving the community for 10 years received a gift worth $28,000 dollars on Thursday.

A Hand up International Inc. was created by Jeanette Best and her husband after they lost their home to a fire.

The couple said they just wanted to find a way to serve people in the community, and provide a hand up in any situation.

On Thursday, the organization was presented with a brand new van from Bill Cramer GMC and St. Joe Company.

Officials with the St. Joe Company said they received a grant request from A Hand Up and were able to gather $14,000 for them.

St. Joe then linked up with Bill Cramer who matched the donation, covering the cost of the van.

They all gathered at the dealership on Thursday to finalize the deal.

“There’s been so much need in the community right now and to see this is a non-profit that was rather small before the storm but is taking this initiative to grow themselves and help more people is what we need to see,” said April Wilkes, St. Joe Community Foundation Executive Director.

Founder Jeanette Best says they have been getting a lot of support from the community and this is another way they’re able to grow.

“We’re just really excited and really excited about the community support. Bay County is amazing. The people are very resilient and very generous and so we just thank all of Bay County,” Best said.

Cramer said they hope to continue giving back as our community rebuilds.

“So anytime we have an opportunity to partner with somebody like the St. Joe Company or do it with the community as a whole, we’re very happy to do that,” Cramer said.

Best says the new van will help them as they launch their new programs.

“Our new program launches. The ‘Brown Bags for Seniors’ and the ‘Angels in Flight, senior to senior’ program is going to be able to tremendously help us with the capacity to deliver that food to the seniors. Also, with our Christmas outreach, we do every year and just in services to our community,” Best said.

To learn more about A Hand Up, click here.

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