Hurricane Michael was one of the most catastrophic storms in recent memory, making a direct hit on Florida’s Panhandle. The Category 4 hurricane seemingly destroyed everything in its path on Oct. 10.
For the Bay County residents of Panama City and Mexico Beach, starting over is their only option.
Tallahassee resident Dave Francoeur plans to be a beacon of help and hope to residents trying to piece back their lives. “Our main goal is to show people that they have hope, and not to lose faith in their situation. It will get better,” he said. Francoeur, 30, is the founder of Giving Without a Doubt, a non-profit organization that focuses on helping less fortunate families across the state. Francoeur, a native of Fort Lauderdale, has lived in Tallahassee for 11 years and knows the areas in the community that need help the most.
Francoeur studied theater and communication at TCC. He left home in pursuit of better networking opportunities.
Francoeur started the organization in September of 2017. With a year under his belt he and his team have fed more than 1,500 people. The organization hosts events feeding the homeless at the Kearney Center at least twice a month. Francoeur distributes the food on Saturday afternoons alongside his girlfriend, Kristen Franklin, who is intimately involved in preparing operations.
“I feel ecstatic about the nonprofit. I supported his vision and seeing it come to life up close is remarkable,” said Franklin.
When Francoeur saw the devastation that Hurricane Michael left behind, he was immediately inspired to drive down and help. He gathered 100 lunchables, 60 sandwiches, and a plethora of toiletry items to pass out in Panama City. Some places in the Panhandle are still out of power and lack daily necessities, he said. The organization is also looking out for the children, providing free infant clothing for families affected by the storm.
“We want to spread the power of optimism and inspire healthier families and communities,” he said.
Francoeur is receiving a lot of support from people in the community. His co-workers have even begun to help bring supplies to distribute to families. “People recognize my passion for helping others and want to pour into the organization,” said Francoeur.
The Giving Without a Doubt organization is now feeding 50-60 people per event. If anyone would like to donate, call 954-225-0749 or go onto the organization’s Facebook page @GivingWithoutADoubt to submit any contributions.