Hurricane Ian recently struck the Florida Gulf Coast, leaving destruction in its wake. Entire parts of cities like Fort Myers and Cape Coral were decimated, buildings destroyed, and boats ended up in backyards. There was a reported storm surge of over 18ft and now a rising death toll. The region will be recovering for months.
But help is already on the ground.
If you want to lend your support, there are a ton of organizations already mobilizing to the region. Find out how to support them below.
Food for the Poor
Based in South Florida, this organization made a name for itself by putting together meals for those in need, and now they’re making cleaning kits for those affected by the storm. They have a list of items that you can donate to help their cause.
Florida Ian Response Fund
After Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017 a coalition of groups got together to respond to the crisis. The same coalition is coming back together to respond to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. Some of the organizations that make up the group are Florida Rising, Dream Defenders, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Central Florida Jobs With Justice, and Faith in Florida.
The organization provides blood to over 250 hospitals throughout Florida and the wider southern United States. They’re asking anyone not affected by the storm to consider donating blood of all types. There is a particular call for O Negative and O Positive donors.
Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Big Dog Ranch Rescue will provide pet supplies to shelters and families. You can donate wet or dry dog and cat food, blankets, crates, and/or cash. Beyond their website, you can also make cash donations by calling 561-791-6465.
World Central Kitchen
World Central Kitchen was founded by Chef José Andrés following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. They’re supporting those affected by Hurricane Ian and people in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Fiona. In Florida, they’re sending over food trucks to the areas most affected, and they’re opening a test field kitchen in Puerto Rico. Consider donating to support what they’re doing.
Florida International University
The Miami-based University is working with other state universities to provide resources and support and is also reaching out to its 1,800 students as well as faculty and staff who live or have relatives on the west coast to see how they can help. Consider donating.
As with any other support and donations make sure to do a little background research into whatever organization you’re considering.