Manatee facility to help support underserved foster children, single mothers

PALMETTO – A national organization will expand its reach in Manatee County with the opening of a new center for vulnerable children and families.

The One More Child Compassion Center, a national faith-based organization that will open a new Palmetto center on Monday, works with struggling families, foster parents and children, trafficked persons and single mothers by providing services, resources and support.

The Manatee Center is the brainchild of Toni and Paul Azinger, a former professional golfer and ESPN golf analyst. Toni Azinger has been involved with One More Child for the past four years as a volunteer.

After visiting the Lakeland center, she asked her husband to help fund a center in the Suncoast area that they have lived in for decades.

“I saw the Lakeland Center and how well it works in their community, and I was like, ‘We need it in our community,’ said Toni Azinger, who lives in Bradenton.

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The aim of the center is to provide care to injured people in the community, she said. Through scheduled appointments, customers can get financial advice, receive discounted food and products, purchase clothes from the on-site boutique, and more.

The 10,000 square foot center is located in Palmetto but serves all of the Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“During the pandemic, so many people were suffering, some still are,” said Toni Azinger. “I just want to give back, and if we all help one more child, the world would be a better place. We’re excited to finally open and help a lot of people in our community.

One More Child’s will host an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at 3478 Bouwer Court E. in Palmetto. For more information on volunteering or services, contact Emily Petrilli at [email protected]

Samantha Gholar Weires covers social justice news for the Herald-Tribune and USA TODAY Network. Connect with her at [email protected] or on Twitter: @samanthagweires

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