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‘Rising Tide’ in Tampa Bay: Family of 4 raises money to support community in midst of coronavirus crisis

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A family of four is doing something good to help both the restaurants and the people in the Tampa community.

The Melendi family started a GoFundMe page and, in about one week, they raised nearly $10,000.

They are taking those donations, buying food from the local restaurants and then delivering that food to, in this case, the 911 dispatchers at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. They have also brought meals to healthcare workers and to officers with the Tampa Police Department.

“We were just trying to figure out a way to help the community in another way than just sitting on the couch,” said 22-year-old Crosby Melendi.

Her family has not traveled in this direction in the past.

“No! No!” said Crosby’s mother, Brooke Melendi, “We are all very high energy and we are all very close and when you are all in a house like this, you have to do something with it.”

While they were on a family walk, they kicked around the idea.

“This started out as a way to support the restaurants,” said Brooke, “and, then, we needed a source.”

“We said, ‘Let’s start fundraising. Let’s see what happens,’” Crosby said, “and it blossomed from there.”

They named their initiative “A Rising Tide.” They shared it on Facebook and on Instagram and started their GoFundMe page. The donations surpassed $9,000 in about one week.

“I was really shocked to see the level of support from friends of ours and from strangers,” admitted Brooke.

The Melendi family has used about half of that money to purchase nearly 400 meals from five different restaurants. They have delivered the meals to five different organizations.

“I feel like we should be grateful to them,” said Brooke referencing the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, “and, instead, I am feeling it come back the other way as well so it is a win-win for everybody.”

If you would like to make a donation to “A Rising Tide,” you can do it here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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