Land O'Lakes local fund created for sinkhole victims

By Cait McVey and Digital Media Staff,
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 8:33 AM EDT

Pasco County and United Way of Pasco County have teamed to create a local fund to assist the victims of the sinkhole that occurred in Land O' Lakes Friday morning.

Emily Geldbaugh, 77, was at home Friday when the sinkhole opened. Her home was one of several evacuated.

  • Options to help include text to give
  • United Way will seek donations to match
  • Scroll down to see how you can help

"Terrifying," Geldbaugh said. "I stood there and watched it go in."

Geldbaugh’s son said his mother has sinkhole insurance and is waiting to find out if her home was damaged.  Meanwhile, she is staying with her son.

"I was trying to tell her this morning, 'Look, you may have double bills for awhile,'" her son said. "Every year was getting harder and harder, but this is really something for her."

It's the kind of stressful situation that Gledbaugh said keeps her up at night.

"I slept (Sunday) night some," Gledbaugh. "But you wake right up thinking about the hole."

This fund includes a TEXT TO GIVE option. All donated funds will be used to assist victims in their recovery, and zero administrative funds will be used by United Way of Pasco County.

Repair and recovery expenses are expected to push residents affected by the sinkhole beyond their financial capacity.

United Way will seek donations to match those made by concerned citizens in the community.

"Our ability to work together alongside businesses, government, donors, and community leaders to answer this crisis demonstrates how we LIVE UNITED in Pasco County," says Alice Delgardo, President/CEO of United Way of Pasco County.

Citizens who want to help can reach out to the following:

  • American Red Cross
  • The Salvation Army of Pasco County
  • Monday-Friday Pasco County Human Services at 727.847.2411
  • Or call the United Way of Pasco County 2-1-1; toll free at 1-877-828-8929

Ways to give:

  • Text the word SINKHOLE to 41444
  • Donate online - unitedwaypasco.org
  • Mail gift to - United Way of Pasco County - 17230 Camelot Court Land O'Lakes, FL 34638