Many people live in area or work in an area oblivious to the needs of others. What makes a person a vibrant part of their local community is a proactive approach to philanthropic efforts. Instead of only highlighting major national initiatives, we also want to take the time to recognize exemplary people who are doing their local area a great service.
Ken Hutto is a perfect example. Many know him from his work at Hutto & Associates, where he and his team of CPA’s and Attorneys provide commercial services to many in the Lakeland Florida area. However, when you look deeper at the man himself, you find that his business success is really just a way for Mr. Hutto to fuel his philanthropic endeavors. Unfortunately, as with most charitable people, his many good works might otherwise go unnoticed because Ken seeks social progress rather than personal glory. For that reason, it’s up to charity campaigners like the team here at Charitable Action to shine a brighter light on what Ken has been up to:
A visit to the popular crowdfunding site youcaring.com and a search of Ryan Howell shows that Ken Hutto not only donated contributions, but also set up a separate corporation for Ryan Howell Memorial Scholarship Inc and as its director he has already pledged many thousands of dollars in time, money and effort to help Ryan move forward in life.
Kenneth Hutto also started Polk County Disaster and Relief Helpers, LLC. following Hurricane Harvey, because in Ken’s own words:
“When Harvey hit Houston and I saw the flooding of the streets and the houses and the devastation, I thought, yes, that is a bad flood but being from Florida that seemed pretty normal. That was until I saw the scene on the television showing a nursing home where the 80 and 90 year old residents were sitting in wheel chairs with the flood waters almost to the their knees. I was astounded to find people who were totally dependent on others for their care and safety, and were totally helpless due to a lack of planning and people to move them to a safer location.”
“I naturally thought that our first responders would target them as the first people to attend to and I certainly thought they would have the highest priority. To my surprise, I found out that resources are severely limited because the responders had such a large area to cover. I felt horrible for those people. When you see something like that on TV, you just want to drop everything and go help, but you know you can’t get there from Florida in time.”
“A few months later, Hurricane Irma targeted Florida. It was predicted to be a category 5 hurricane, the strongest type, and the impact would be similar to hurricane Harvey that hit Texas. All I could think about was the pictures of the elderly nursing home residents sitting in flood water rising to their laps and who could not stand up to help their situation.”
“About a mile from my home is Carpenter’s Church Nursing Home. The past three years I spent a lot of time visiting my friend Helen, who was a 92 year old resident there and who didn’t have any local friends or family. Suddenly, thoughts of Helen sitting in water from the hurricane filled my thoughts and it was disturbing. Even though Helen passed away last year, I felt compelled to ensure that what happened in that nursing home in Texas did not happen one mile from where I lived. After all, it was what Helen would have wanted me to do.”
“During my weekly visits and sometimes daily visits, I made a lot of friends with the nursing staff. I picked up the telephone and told the head of nursing that hurricane Irma would be here in three days and I was volunteering my time to assist them with whatever needs they had. The supervisor told me that she applauded my efforts but due to current healthcare regulations, namely HIPPA, I could not assist their residents because I was not cleared or licensed. The facility could be remanded for having non-HIPPA documented workers assisting in a HIPPA facility. As a lawyer, I understood why the regulations are in place and why it is important for the nursing home to abide by those regulations, but somehow I don’t think the nursing facility in Texas would be citing regulations if I came to rescue their elderly residents and had the means to transport them them to a safer place. I felt there should be exceptions to the rules during times of emergency. But, what could I do? The best way is to get volunteers HIPPA licensed in advance.”
The goal is to provide HIPPA training to volunteers before a disaster happens. PCDRH also provides the organization to coordinate these volunteers for disaster response. It’s this type of forward-thinking that makes Ken Hutto a vital part of making Central Florida a better place to live.
In Ken’s world, kids cant be left out either, especially girls in need of after school services due to socio-economic disparities far beyond their control. Girls Inc is a well-known reputable charity that provides after-school services including tutoring, food and fun for girls of many ages. Again, Ken is on the board of directors but that’s the easy part…. what really matters is that he rolls up his sleeves and tutors math students personally. Allocating time from his exceptionally business schedule to brighten the future of countless children who might otherwise fall through the cracks.
To contact Ken, or learn more about him, you might want to check out the Ken Hutto personal blog as well. We applaud your efforts Mr. Hutto!