Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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ANGELS IN OUR MIDST: (Carolyn Appleyardl)

Updated: Monday, March 3 2014, 07:57 PM CST
September, 2004.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, some Pensacola business leaders came together and knew they had to act.

Garrett;  This is so bad, we've got to do something.  There were a bunch of people around the table saying that, and all well intended and everything else. but who's carrying the football; Carolyn.

Carolyn Appleyard, Unassuming Angel;  I did have the chance to go on the Saturday after Ivan hit on what they called a Red Cross tour, and saw firsthand the devastation that this community was faced with.
It touched me.
Touched and led to do something, Carolyn Appleyard volunteered for that tremendous task of organizing the grassroots efforts that would become "Rebuild Northwest Florida." 
The organization repaired nearly 3,000 homes for people who had no insurance and no other hope.  Carolyn raised the next question.

Garrett;  Carolyn said, O.K., we're doing all of this, but what happens when the next storm comes along; tears down all the houses we are repairing. We're just gonna keep doing this every five or 10. 15, 20 years

That question led to the current mission of Rebuild; they've reached 100-million dollars in FEMA grants to strengthen homes against the next storm.  With Rebuild on solid footing, Carolyn was already deep into her next venture.

Carolyn;  It's very simple. We knew we knew a hundred women who would step up and do that.  Well, lo and behold, we have 233 the first year.

Carolyn's modest take as a founding member of Pensacola Impact 100.  The organization recruits women to commit one thousand dollars each to be distributed to charitable projects to benefit the community.  In ten years, impact 100 has awarded 47 grants to 39 non-profits totaling more than five million dollars.

Holly Jurnovoy, Pensacola Impact 100 President;  You pass the Museum of Art and see their banner thanking Impact 100.  You see a car drive by, the Bloodmobile with our logo on the side.  And you just really have to go back and thank Carolyn, Debbie and all of those founding board members for the vision they had to see what we could do if we came together as women to give collectively.

Over the years, Carolyn has quietly worked for many causes;  from creating the Children's Museum at the Wentworth Museum; to food editor for the Junior League's Fundraiser Cookbook, Some like it South, to Habitat for Humanity Board Chair.
Her latest adventure, establishing "Little Free Libraries" in neighborhoods across the county.
Carolyn;  Again, it's not an original idea.  I saw it; Rick Dye had it on his Facebook where he was with his son, his grandson in Kansas.  And it was so simple.  It made so much sense.  So, I'm like, we need to have these here.

Original idea or not, it takes more than a notion to make things happen.  Carolyn Appleyard is more than happy to do the work, preferably in the background.  She jump-starts every endeavor with a simple question.  

Carolyn;  Why not.  I guess my whole thinking is, what not do this.  And the, start with that, and a lot happens.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by the Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

ANGELS IN OUR MIDST: (Carolyn Appleyardl)

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