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WE'RE OPEN: Pinellas County non-profit, Sarasota business team up to help each other

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Posted at 5:27 AM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 07:33:04-04

Pinellas County's Parc and Sarasota's BSWANKY are two unlikely partners that are coming together to help each other during COVID-19.

PARC is a non-profit that helps children and adults with disabilities. BSWANKY is a designer handbag manufacturer and store in Sarasota.

"It was interesting because someone in the community reached out and asked that we do it, and within 24 hours, our seamstresses were at home volunteering their time sewing masks. So, as soon as we heard there was a need, we stepped up," says BSWANKY founder Gretchen Bauer.

That's how the relationship started.

Parc's Michelle Detweiler reached out to Gretchen to get some of those masks.

"A lot of people forget that we're on the front lines, too. We're not a nursing home. We're not a hospital. But, our staff have to come to work every day to take care of the people we serve," explains Detweiler.

And the work at Parc has even increased since the Pandemic started.

"We're doing a lot more too. We're trying to extend our services. We're providing meals to kids that typically would come to school here every day and a lot of those kids if they don't eat here, they probably don't eat," explains Detweiler.

But, the funds have slowed. One of Parc's biggest fundraisers, an annual golf tournament, was postponed.

That's where BSWANKY wanted to help again.

The company donated a $1,200 designer bag, and Parc is raffling off $100 tickets it. Parc is hoping to raise $5,000 to help get them through this Pandemic.

"We have a super creative staff, and then BSWANKY came to our rescue in this particular way," explains Detweiler.

You have until noon on April 17 to purchase a raffle ticket. But after that, you can still help.

BSWANKY is offering 50% off select handbags, and 10% of those sales will go to Parc.

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Click here to learn more about their efforts and how you can help.