JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tabitha Furyk said that a donation was coming. What she didn’t say was how much.
She and her husband, professional golfer Jim Furyk, wanted to do something for Baptist Health as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baptist had to go to Facebook to find out what that was.
“I did tell them we would be making a donation,” she said. “I didn’t share what the amount would be. I actually posted that first. And then they found out, so they were pretty excited about it.”
Their foundation posted it on social media Tuesday morning.
The amount, $100,000 from the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation, was a major donation during a time that hospitals and frontline health workers desperately need it. That donation will go toward the purchase of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses in hopes of keeping them safe, as well as additional hospital beds for facilities.
“We know that the folks need it here, just what we’re doing right now … we’re still trying to just find out, what is that need in the community and how can we be there to help them,” Tabitha said. “Knowing that we’re making a difference right here in our hometown really means the world to us.”
Tabitha and her husband, Jim, a 17-time PGA Tour winner, have constantly given back to the First Coast community. They launched their foundation in 2010 and seen it grow year after year, focusing on the needs of those across the North Florida region.
Like many causes that they’ve elected to put their names and resources behind, this one feels personal. Tabitha is a chair officer on the Baptist Health Foundation and knows just how important resources are at this point as the country struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Jim said that while many people try and help during times like this, it can often be challenging because people sometimes don’t know what they can do or what they can offer.
“I think trying to find the proper channels and the charities we had already worked with, a lot of times they found it difficult to reach out to folks in need because of the social distancing, because of not being able to interact socially,” Jim said. "So we have kept it close with a lot of those organizations and charities. And in the meantime, we are in the process of kind of filtering through and figuring out [more] ways we can help.”
They have partnered with other companies over the years that run the gamut in terms of what they do. Some of their recent work during the pandemic has been highlighted by sending food and snacks to the MaliVai Washington Foundation and arranging delivery of more than 5,000 bags of beef jerky for children through Blessings in a Backpack. They also remain working with a local company to provide refurbished computers for children attending Title 1 schools that do not have them for distance learning.
“When we started our foundation that was sort of our goal, to make sure that we’re taking care of the folks right here in Jacksonville. From the start of it back in 2010 really, nothing is changed,” Tabitha said.
“We want to make sure that we’re making an impact directly here, and as you said, when we get to do some of these events, not currently, but we get to see, as you said, the look on their faces, we know how much they need these resources and these projects that we’re fulfilling and that’s why we want to do it.