Events like Hurricane Ian remind us that no matter how hard we pull on our bootstraps, we need each other when the going gets tough. We asked our readers to tell us about the people who stepped up for their communities in a time of need. Here are a handful of their submissions.
Thank you to all those who helped your neighbor.
Kate Economides and Jill Perry Crovo
“My mom and aunt, Kate and Jill, drove to Florida from Massachusetts through the hurricane after my grandmother had passed away. And despite being so upset over the heartbreaking news, they stepped up and raised $8,000 to get food and supplies for the people who lost everything due to the hurricane.” —Taylor Economides
Sonia Figaredo Alberts
"My mother is Sonia Figaredo Alberts. She is one of the executive directors of the Sarasota County School Board and at 66 years old, she's manned hurricane shelters for the last few hurricanes. During Ian, she manned the Fruitville Elementary School hurricane shelter, providing support and direction to those waiting out and displaced by the storm. She was there for five days straight, morning through night, helping those in need. She never asks for it and doesn’t know I wrote this—I live in Los Angeles and I’m from Sarasota—but I would love for her to get the recognition she deserves. She’s also retiring this year after 41 years as an educator. She is my hurricane hero." —Patrick Alberts
"Our hurricane hero is Mike Cosentino of Siesta Key. Mike stayed locally during the hurricane and was the first person on our street to clear up debris, fallen trees and help everyone to get home safely. He did it all without asking or without any monetary compensation. He drove by our houses and sent us photos to reassure us that our homes were OK. I don’t know of anyone so selfless and so caring about their neighbors. We can’t thank him enough for all the help and support during a very scary time for many Siesta residents." —Elena and Mike Amstutz
"Andrea Capek is a Sarasota local who orchestrated donation drop-offs, volunteer opportunities and meals for the unhoused, which she delivered personally to people downtown. She used her social media to keep people informed about helping while working around the clock to donate her time." —Lauren Jackson