Teens raise $30,000 for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

When Jordyn Koche, 17, and Robbie Herzig, 17, went to Naglaa’s Day Spa, they weren’t there for treatment. Instead, they were there to deliver a very special gift. 

"We brought this check for you guys today," said Koche.  

Koche and Herzig started the COVID Relief Foundation of Tampa Bay. They raise money for small businesses that have been hurt financially by the pandemic. 

"We started off with friends and family locally and then obviously there is a ripple effect. And so the people we sent it to then sent it to five more people and it kept going like that," Koche explained. 

The teens got the idea from a restaurant that was feeding first responders in New Hampshire during the COVID-19 crisis. 

"We just went for it," Koche shared. "We were like let's do it. Somebody had too, so we decided to start it." In six months they raised $30,000. 

"We could never have expected to raise this much money," Herzig said. "We were just looking to help any way that we could and when it took off." 

The foundation will give three businesses $10,000 each to help them get through the pandemic.  

"I don't think I ever had a check for that kind of money handed just to me and not looking to get it back," said Naglass Miller, owner of Naglass's Day Spa. 

Her daughter Salma Miller said, "I hope it sets a good example for the Tampa Bay area as well and any other young person who is trying to do good for their community." 

The duo wanted to show how much they care about the small business community. 

"Seeing their response has been so rewarding and gratifying. It makes the last six months seem so real and that I did something for the community. It's a great feeling," explained Koche. 

"This process was so fun  and it did so much better than we could have imagined, so it was such a great experience and can't wait to continue in the future," said Herzig. 

A future that Koche and Herzig hope will have a positive impact on small businesses.

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