By Mai P. Tran, ECMC Foundation
ECMC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of ECMC Group, today announced it has committed $25,000 for relief efforts, helping families and individuals impacted by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
The donation was made to Metropolitan Ministries, a community organization that provides food, housing and other life supports for individuals, children and families in-need within the Tampa Bay area. Funds from the Foundation's gift will be used to provide necessary supports for those have been displaced by the hurricane.
Karen Turner and Keith Burkhalter, both senior executives at Zenith Education Group ("Zenith"), selected the organization. Turner and Burkhalter live in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma and understand first-hand the devastation that the storm brought to many Florida communities.
Zenith, also an affiliate of ECMC Group, owns and operates career and technical educational institutions, including two Altierus campuses in Tampa Bay and Orange Park and a WyoTech institution in Daytona Beach. All three campuses sustained damages, were closed for several days, and have been in recovery-mode the past several weeks.
The donation is part of Zenith and Metropolitan Ministries' ongoing partnership. Altierus staff and students each year volunteer at the community organization's annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. "Zenith Education Group and our Altierus Career College operation in Tampa have been long-time supporters of Metropolitan Ministries and we are eager to offer this donation to help the Hurricane relief effort," said Turner.
Burkhalter says he's witnessed a positive, silver lining in all of this: "Ironically, the bands of Hurricane Irma that may have hurt our community on the outside, have resulted in our community banding together to help one another in our collective time of need."
Earlier this month, the Foundation also donated to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The Foundation's President, Peter Taylor says that while its philanthropic investments' main focus are on educational initiatives, it also practices corporate social responsibility. "We want to make sure, first and foremost, that we're helping in these tragic times of need," Taylor said.