October 18
, 2017
CONTACT: Erin VanSickle

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida today announced the first round of Florida Disaster Fund grant recipients for organizations providing disaster relief following Hurricane Irma. Each recipient organization is receiving $25,000 for disaster response activities to meet critical needs.

On September 8, Governor Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to provide financial support to organizations serving those impacted by Hurricane Irma. The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities.

To date, the Volunteer Florida Foundation has raised over $8 million in pledges to support those impacted by Hurricane Irma. Grants will support organizations that can provide immediate assistance to Floridians in crisis from the impacts of Hurricane Irma. Additional grants will be announced in the future.

Volunteer Florida CEO Vivian Myrtetus said, “Volunteer Florida is proud to award this funding through the Florida Disaster Fund so we can continue to serve individuals and families across the State of Florida. These organizations are immediately equipped to assist those impacted by Hurricane Irma.”

Examples of services provided by these organizations includes financial assistance with rent, mortgage and utilities; provision of food, clothing and replacement of household items; sheltering for those who have experienced loss of their homes; individual case management; crisis intervention counseling and hotline services to assist those experiencing psychological distress; assistance for displaced families with pets; muck-out for flooded homes, and removal of dangerous debris.

The Volunteer Florida Foundation will distribute funds to the following grantees:

Branches, Inc.– Miami-Dade County
Branches, Inc. will provide food distribution, case work services, and financial assistance, as well as help with applications for disaster assistance programs. They will also provide assistance, space, and opportunities for program partners to offer services, and will provide financial education and coaching about services provided by Branches, Inc., the United Way Center for Financial Stability, and other service providers.

Centro Campesino – Miami-Dade County
Centro Campesino will provide food and water, financial assistance, and case work services.

Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations – Collier County
Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations will provide support for distribution of food and water, help with financial assistance, and provide case work services for migrant populations.

Crisis Clean-up – Statewide
Crisis Clean-Up will connect relief organizations and volunteers with the nearly 10,000 work orders and requests for assistance that have been submitted by Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma via their online database software.

Crossroads Alliance – Statewide
Crossroads Alliance will provide ice, water, supplemental groceries, personal care items, and other necessities, manage distribution sites, and coordinate volunteers to distribute goods.

Farm Share – Statewide
Farm Share will package and distribute food to those in need. They will also advocate for residents applying for federal relief and assistance.

Florida Baptist Disaster Relief – Statewide
Florida Baptist Disaster Relief will provide feeding services, clean-up and debris removal services, and around-the-clock care for children of emergency personnel.

Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response – Statewide
Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response will help connect lost animals with their families and non-kill shelters. They will also provide comfort dogs at shelters, disaster recovery centers, and emergency operations centers.

Habitat for Humanity of Florida – Statewide
Habitat for Humanity of Florida will provide low-cost housing solutions in the Florida Keys, work with residents to find alternative solutions for ineligible Habitat programs, assist existing Habitat homeowners with disaster repairs, and coordinate volunteers in building programs.

Heart of Florida United Way – Orange County
The Heart of Florid United Way will provide information and assistance to clients and callers through United Way 2-1-1, help clients apply for FEMA assistance, and provide services such as direct case management, client assessment, case planning, and financial assistance.

International Orthodox Christian Charities – Northeast Florida
International Orthodox Christian Charities will facilitate food and water distribution, provide cleanup buckets and hygiene kits, and provide home muck-outs, repair, and rebuilding. IOCC will also provide tarping for roofs and partner with Volunteer Florida AmeriCorps partners to utilize spontaneous volunteers unaffiliated with disaster relief organizations.

Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery – Lake and Sumter County
Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery will provide case management services as an advocate for residents in Lake and Sumter Counties.

Mennonite Disaster Service – Statewide
Mennonite Disaster Service will repair and rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Irma. They will also provide cleanup and debris removal services.

Metropolitan Ministries – Hillsborough and Pasco County
Metropolitan Ministries will provide financial assistance, shelter, and transportation for displaced and homeless families. They will also provide necessary items such as food, water, and diapers.

NAACP – Statewide
The NAACP will provide advocacy services, help with appeal letters, and assist with applications for federal assistance.

NECHAMA – Statewide
NECHAMA will provide cleanup and debris removal services and will repair and rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Irma.

Neighbors 4 Neighbors – Miami-Dade County
Neighbors 4 Neighbors will provide food, shelter, clothing and financial assistance, connect residents to local programs for disaster recovery assistance, and provide advocacy services for residents.

Peacemakers Family Center – Miami-Dade County
Peacemaker’s Family Center will provide case management services and will support urgent human needs.

Rebuilding Together – Statewide
Rebuilding Together will assist with debris removal, tarping, and muck out services to low-income residents, repair minor disaster damage, and assist homeowners to preserve home ownership and revitalize neighborhoods.

Feeding Florida – Statewide 
Feeding Florida will support local feeding operations in impacted areas, including staging food and food banks.

Save the Children – Statewide
Save the Children will provide child care services in shelters and disaster recovery centers, advocate for children, and help access non-disaster federal program s for survivors on behalf of children.

Star of the Sea Outreach Mission – Monroe County
Star of the Sea Outreach Mission will operate food pantries in the Florida Keys where they will sort, warehouse, and distribute unsolicited donated goods. They will also provide case work services and local transportation for residents.

Team Rubicon – Statewide
Team Rubicon will repair and rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Irma. They will also provide cleanup and debris removal services.

The Humane Society of the United States – Statewide
The Humane Society of the United States will provide non-skill shelter services for lost pets, reconnect them with owners whenever possible, and place animals up for adoption.

The Salvation Army – Statewide
The Salvation Army will assist with warehousing and distribution of donated goods, coordinate with local offices to identify unmet needs, and provide a Salvation Army designated Volunteer and Donations Hotline as needed for current disaster services information.

Tool Bank Disaster Services – Statewide
Tool Bank Disaster Services will mobilize to disaster locations with semi-trailers of tools and will provide lending or specialized tools for voluntary agencies.

United Way of Brevard County – Brevard County
The United Way of Brevard County will provide debris removal, tarping, muck outs, and case work services. They will also provide supplies needed for response and recovery efforts and shelter to low-income residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Irma.

United Way of Broward County- Broward Cares – Broward County
The United Way of Broward County – Broward Cares will coordinate with Florida’s United Ways, the Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management and 2-1-1 providers throughout Florida to ensure proper utilization of volunteers.

United Way of Central Florida – Polk, Hardee and Highlands County
The United Way of Central Florida will with Florida’s United Ways, the Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management and 2-1-1 providers throughout Florida to ensure proper utilization of volunteers.

United Way of Charlotte County – Charlotte County
The United Way of Charlotte County will provide water and snacks as well as funds for food, housing, gas, and other needs. They will also help complete FEMA assistance request and will support their partner agency, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, who are engaged in response activities.

United Way of Collier County – Collier County
The United Way of Collier County will help residents complete FEMA applications, launch short and long-term direct assistance programs for impacted residents, and support partner agencies, volunteer projects, and case work services. They will also help run the United Way 2-1-1 information and referral helpline as well as the Volunteer Collier community-wide volunteer center.

United Way of the Florida Keys – Monroe County
The United Way of the Florida Keys will distribute direct relief supplies and provide food distribution, medical assistance, child care, and case management services. They will also issue emergency mini-grants to local non-profit partners, create a disaster response team and coordinate volunteers to assist and direct affected residents to appropriate relief organizations for help, and will assist in distributing other supplies and emergency gift cards to residents in need.

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties – Lake and Sumter County
The United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties will provide tree removal services and assist residents with rent and utility, prescription medications, food, minor home repairs, and lost wages. They will also assist with other United Way 2-1-1 services.

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee – Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee County
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee will facilitate debris removal services, coordinate and distribute supplies, provide support for urgent human needs such as food and shelter, provide public information outreach events, and support partner agencies engaged in hurricane recovery activities. They will also recruit, train, and place volunteers, purchase supplies needed for volunteer projects, and help operate the United Way 2-1-1 hotline.

United Way of Miami-Dade – Helping Hands – Miami-Dade County
United Way of Miami-Dade – Helping Hands will distribute meals ready to eat (MREs) and hygiene kits to shelters and assisted living facilities, provide financial assistance, and assist Miami-Dade County’s Emergency Operations Center. They will also recruit and place volunteers in disaster relief efforts, including medically-trained volunteers for the Florida Department of Health.

United Way of North Central Florida – Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, Union County
Coordinate with Florida’s United Ways, the Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management and 2-1-1 providers throughout Florida to ensure proper utilization of volunteers.

United Way of Palm Beach County – Palm Beach County
The United Way of Palm Beach County will serve as the focal point to which all volunteers report, where their skills are verified, and from which they are reassigned to areas where they are needed. They will also coordinate staff and equip different distribution points throughout the county with volunteers, organize, inventory, package, and redistribute all donations arriving in the county, and support local non-profit organizations engaged is hurricane response activities.

United Way of NE FL – Duval, Nassau, Putman, and Clay County
The United Way of NE FL will help provide debris removal services and other necessities such as food, water, shelter, clothing, utilities, and housing to residents in need. Additionally, they will support area nonprofits to deliver services to those in need and will help operate the United Way 2-1-1 for the Northeast Florida region.

United Way of Suncoast – Desoto, Manatee and Sarasota County
The United Way of Suncoast will staff shelters with volunteers, help manage both affiliated and non-affiliated volunteers through the Volunteer Reception Centers, and will invest in community partners to help those affected by the hurricane.

United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties – Volusia and Flagler County
Coordinate with Florida’s United Ways, the Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management and 2-1-1 providers throughout Florida to ensure proper utilization of volunteers.

Established in accordance with Section 14.29 (9), Florida Statutes, the Volunteer Florida Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. The Florida Disaster Fund, administered by the Volunteer Florida Foundation, was established in 2004 to assist with needs unmet by other disaster relief organizations.