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Gulf Coast Community Foundation Provides Transformational Help After Hurricane Ian

Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Fund provides immediate support to nonprofit organizations throughout the Gulf Coast region.

Presented by Gulf Coast Community Foundation November 4, 2022

All Faiths Food Bank, who received a $50,000 grant from the Hurricane Ian Recovery Initiative, helps those in need after Hurricane Ian.

In the final week of September, Hurricane Ian decimated our southwest Gulf Coast region with high winds, flooding, and tremendous destruction to homes and businesses. The hurricane was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the United States. At Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we knew the call for help was great and we acted quickly to provide immediate humanitarian relief to those in need. Our staff has been hard at work meeting with nonprofit organizations around the region on a daily basis to provide funding for those who lost so much.

The Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Fund of Gulf Coast Community Foundation supports the recovery and rebuilding of our community with a focus on southern Sarasota County including Venice, hard-hit North Port, Englewood, Charlotte County, Lee County, and DeSoto County. In just three weeks, together with our generous donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has provided over $1 million for immediate relief to area nonprofits devastated by Hurricane Ian. Over 35 grants have been awarded from the Hurricane Ian recovery initiative to organizations to assist with post-storm health and human service needs. These grants have provided life-sustaining support to families and community members in the region, as well as staff of the nonprofit partners who work tirelessly to further their mission while recovering from a disaster themselves.

Awaken Church serving the community at the Awaken Church Food Pantry in North Port after Hurricane Ian.

The grants to nonprofit organizations to assist post-storm include $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County for their Disaster Assistance Fund for community members impacted by Hurricane Ian. One-hundred-fifty families have mortgages with the nonprofit and the majority of them suffered storm damage. Those families are determining what insurance and FEMA will cover, and then coming to Habitat for other needs. For their clients, Habitat is waiving late fees on mortgage payments and supplying direct monetary assistance to those who have lost their jobs. Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County Executive Director Christina McCauley shared, “Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been an incredibly generous partner and we greatly appreciate the support – especially how fast you all were able to help the community after this disaster.”

A grant of $10,000 was made to Mothers Helping Mothers to support their Hand-Up Program that assists qualified clients with emergency financial assistance to help divert those in crisis and homelessness. Mothers needed help after the hurricane in replacing furniture, household goods, and other items that were damaged, paying utility bills, rent, and more. Families are trying to afford rent and other supplies for children since they lost everything from the hurricane.

Angel Vazquez, a Take Stock in Children scholar in 10th grade at Imagine School in North Port, with his family who were hit hard by Hurricane Ian.

Restore Global in Sarasota received $11,750 for moving costs to deliver new appliances and household supplies to Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota County nonprofits for families impacted by Hurricane Ian. The organization picked up a large amount of baby food and diapers and delivered them to nonprofit distribution centers. Restore Global’s Region Partnership Manager Dee Danmeyer shared, “Thank you and your generous donors for supporting our efforts of getting hurricane relief items into the hands of those that need it most.”

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice received a grant of $25,000 for financial assistance for Hurricane Ian victims in Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota counties for things not covered by FEMA or for individuals ineligible for FEMA benefits. Catholic Charities staff is trained in case management and disaster recovery. They have provided immediate hurricane relief to over 50,000 victims of Hurricane Ian through ten distribution sites in Southwest Florida. These sites have distributed over 3,000 tons of water, food, tarps, and other household supplies.

A grant of $15,000 was made to Senior Friendship Centers for assistance to meet the basic needs of their clients and staff impacted by Hurricane Ian, providing dignity and hope to those in need.

Take Stock in Children of Sarasota was awarded $10,000 to meet the basic needs of over 300 low-income, at-risk families throughout Sarasota County. These families were struggling to make ends meet before the hurricane. The grant will provide a hot meal, clothing, gas, and other urgent assistance to ease the trauma of the storm. Take Stock’s Development Director and Community Partnership Portfolio Manager Diana Dill shares, “Our college success coaches were in communication with our students as quickly as possible after the storm.  So many were without power, food, and several had to leave their homes because of the destruction from the storm. Your timely support will be a heartfelt gift for these families right now.”

This is just a small glimpse of the impact provided by Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Fund. It is heartwarming to see the stories come in from our resilient nonprofit partners. Tears of happiness and hope have been shed by our team and our partners. Together, we are truly stronger.

To see the impact of Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Fund, visit www.gulfcoastcf.org/hurricane-ian-relief-grants.

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