Local man giving online to those in need in a different way

1:34 AM, Dec 31, 2011   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa resident is reaching out to those in need through the Internet, one donation at a time.

Retired Air Force Major Tom Straub recently became a member of GiveLocally.net. The organization gives help to struggling families and gives people who want to help a way to do so.

Straub just donated to a Gulf War veteran in California who is disabled and raising a handicapped child. She is struggling to make ends meet.

"It's enough to make you cry. You feel good," said Major Straub.

Members can pick a family, or multiple families, from the website and donate whatever they want toward that families' goal. That money is then used for in-kind services, like paying a bill or buying groceries.

"We provide a platform that's fun, uplifting, social, and allows people who want to help, who didn't have an outlet to help, to suddenly do something with confidence, give to somebody in their community they know is real and has real needs," said GiveLocally.net founder Brad Newman.

Newman said all the recipients go through a rigorous screening process, so everyone on the site has real needs. You can pick who you want to help through categories, including families, seniors, and military. Also, the site lets you narrow it down to your state or area.

The company, up and running for about a year, has raised and distributed more than $100,000 through in-kind services. It's thanks to more than 10,000 members.

GiveLocally.net is not a non-profit. Newman said he didn't want the perks, high salaries, and other expenses that go along with it. However, he, along with all his senior management, does not get paid. Newman said they've all been successful and realized it's time to give back.

You can go to GiveLocally.net if you need help or are interested in helping others.

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