The Gulf Power Foundation has awarded more than $41,000 to local charitable or nonprofit organizations during the third quarter of 2020 to support communities throughout Northwest Florida.  

“Gulf Power’s mission has always been to support our communities where we live and work, and our quarterly grants through the Gulf Power Foundation help build strong and sustainable communities,” said Sandy Sims, executive director for the Gulf Power Foundation. “The Foundation’s goal is to improve the lives of Northwest Florida residents, and during difficult and uncertain times like we currently face, we are honored to be able to give back to others through these grants.” 

 Third quarter grant recipients for the region are: 

  • Audubon Society (Pensacola and Bay County chapters) – Plants for Birds: $5,000 
  • Autism Pensacola: $5,000 
  • Capstone Adaptive Learning and Therapy Centers: $5,384 
  • Children in Crisis: $5,000 
  • Escambia County 4-H Foundation: $4,000
  • Pensacola United Methodist Community Services: $4,836 
  • Mercy Chefs: $6,853
  • Pensacola Promise: $5,000 

These grants are in addition to $100,000 contributed in October to help those affected by Hurricane Sally; that grant went to four local charitable and nonprofit organizations in Northwest Florida helping communities recover. The money will help to continue to provide services to the hardest-hit areas in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. 

Learn more about two grant recipients 

Restoring the environment 

Damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018 is still being repaired throughout the region, but most specifically in Bay County where the Category 5 hurricane made landfall. Among the areas damaged during that major hurricane was the M.F. Parker Preserve in the St. Andrews area in Panama City. 

The Bay County Audubon Society, one of 45 statewide chapters of Audubon Florida, works with other local organizations to support use of native plants to attract and support migrant and resident birds. They are committed to advocacy for conservation land acquisition, protection of wetlands and preservation of water quality in St. Andrews Bay, coastal dune lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. 

“Our motto is from birdwatching to the total environment, and this grant will help us develop a bird and pollinator friendly habitat using Florida native plants, which provides visitors and residents an example of sustainable landscaping,” said Norman Capra with Bay County Audubon Society“The work to be completed under this grant will specifically address our commitment to mitigation of climate change and establishing bird-friendly communities. It will allow us to complete the second of a threephase plan to restore the Preserve and provide a model of how native plant landscaping can help the environment, not only to attract birds but to support a sustainable natural world for future generations.” 

Head on over to Sensory Street 

Helping families in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties affected by autism has been the mission of Autism Pensacola since 2002. Beyond educating the general public on autism, the organization serves as a support group and network for parents and professionals. 

In addition to Kids for Camp and Project LifeSaver, the Gulf Power Foundation’s grant to Autism Pensacola will help the organization launch a new initiative, Sensory Street. Located at the Museum of Commerce in downtown Pensacola, Sensory Street is a real-life space where people with autism can learn and develop important community-based skills and assist with socialization. 

“The grant allows Autism Pensacola to provide new programming to our families during these unprecedented times,” said Rocky Parra, board treasurer with Autism Pensacola. “This grant and Gulf Power’s support ensures we can continue to serve individuals and families as the leading connector and resource for autism support, advocacy, education and networking opportunities in the Pensacola Bay Area. 

The Gulf Power Foundation has operated for 30 years as an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, partnering and investing in communities throughout Northwest Florida. The Foundation is one of the region’s largest corporate foundations, funded entirely through resources independent of Gulf Power’s customers. Learn more about the Foundation and its quarterly grant program here: https://www.gulfpowerfoundation.com/.