It is often said that the majority of American citizens are only two missed paychecks away from homelessness, and in these trying times since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many families are struggling far more than they were just a year ago. While homelessness may be the most critical issue, often the families also experience additional financial, emotional, social, interpersonal, medical, and legal difficulties, too. In the best of times, this can simply seem overwhelming, but add all the troubles caused since the coronavirus pandemic, and the need for immediate, caring, and proactive assistance increases exponentially. Since 1992, Samaritan Center has been providing transitional housing to over 650 homeless families in Indian River County. Their attention to all the details which can help turn around a negative situation include mental health and medial referrals, life-skills development workshops, financial and domestic skills training, advocacy, and a ray of hope were all reasons why the Samaritan Center was chosen to be recognized with a Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County. The $3,000 Dyer Difference Award will be matched by an equal donation from the Egan Foundation to help ensure that the 14th Annual Bernard and Betty Egan Memorial Golf Classic slated for Monday, September 28th, will be a resounding success.
The pandemic has also had a monumental impact on every aspect of life in St. Lucie County. In addition to the people and the economy being negatively affected by the coronavirus, many of the area’s four-legged friends have found themselves in dire straits, too. When pet owners lose their jobs or homes and are struggling to shelter and feed their own families, it is often the pets who become victims of scarcity. Ginger’s Pet Food Pantry, the only nonprofit pet food pantry in St. Lucie County, provides dog and cat food to the Salvation Army program in both Fort Pierce and Okeechobee. This labor of love nonprofit organization has also assisted families whose homes have been lost to fire and works tirelessly to allow families to keep their beloved pets rather than turn them over to overcrowded shelters in an act of desperation and despair. Recognizing the important role pets play in our lives and in each of our families, the Dyer Difference Committee chose to recognize the mission of Ginger’s Pet Food Pantry with a Dyer Difference Award.
Since relocating to the area in 2008, each month, Dyer Chevrolet staff members at Dyer Chevrolet Fort Pierce and Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru in Vero Beach meet to review the applications which have been submitted in their respective counties and select one non-profit organization to receive that month’s recognition and a $3,000 award in each county. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations between the two counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit www.dyerdifference.org or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.