NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced the closure of many bars across the country.
A Fernandina Beach man has started a fundraiser to help local bartends that have been laid off because of COVID-19.
William Erickson has lived in Fernandina Beach his entire and after seeing many of his friends and neighbors lose their jobs because of COVID-19, he decided he wanted to do something to help.
“I expected maybe in a week I could raise maybe a thousand dollars or so," he said.
When Erickson launched the Facebook fundraiser hoping to be able to raise money to help local bartends, he didn’t expect it to gain much traction but in one day Erickson it was able to raise over $600.
“I put in my donation first just to get the ball rolling and then I checked back in an hour then another hour then the next morning it was like $630. I could not believe the amount of support from one day with just a small bit of people had seen it” explained Erickson.
Starting a fundraiser was uncharted territory for Erickson, but he knew he needed to find a way to help. The next step for Erickson will be figuring out how to disburse the funds he says he wants to help those that have been out of work the longest.
“It is a tough decision to go through there because there are so many people that need the help or want the help but there are so many people that work at stand-alone bars and those are the people the fundraiser will focus on because they have been out of work the longest,” he said.
If you would like to donate, follow this link.