Volunteer Florida Awards $100,000 from Florida Disaster Fund to Community Organizations Serving Pulse Victims, Survivors

Tallahassee—Volunteer Florida today announced Florida Disaster Fund grant recipients, organizations that have been serving those impacted by the Pulse shooting. The Volunteer Florida Foundation has raised $91,232 to support those impacted by the shooting and will award $100,000.

On June 13, 2016, Governor Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to provide financial support to organizations serving those impacted by the Orlando terror attack. 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.

Volunteer Florida CEO Chester W. Spellman said, “The Florida Disaster Fund was established to provide support to disaster relief organizations so that they can continue their critical work following emergencies and disasters. We are grateful to the generous donors who have provided financial support so that organizations can continue to serve individuals and families across Orlando.”

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

The Salvation Army – $25,000
The Salvation Army has provided financial assistance such as rent, mortgage, and utility assistance as well as food and clothing vouchers to those impacted.

Catholic Charities of Florida – $25,000
Catholic Charities of Florida provided case managers, translators, grief counselors, and local referral services to survivors, families of victims, and other residents who were impacted by the attack. Catholic Charities continues to provide legal services to obtain visas and death certificates, coordinate the transfer of remains outside the US, and assist with access to local services.

Christ Church of Orlando – $10,000
The Christ Church of Orlando is adjacent to the crime scene. Members of the church and volunteers served first responders and crisis management teams for 24 hours a day immediately following the event, providing food, water, and refuge to those who were responding to the event.

HandsOn Orlando – $5,000
HandsOn Orlando supported the Family Assistance Center following the attack by providing emotional care and coordinating resources. HandsOn Orlando also implemented 49 service projects in honor of the 49 victims.

Metropolitan Community Church – $5,000
The Metropolitan Community Church provided free working space, caseworkers, and financial assistance to the families of victims and survivors.

Heart of Florida United Way – $5,000
The Heart of Florida United Way supported the work of the Orlando Emergency Operations Center and other community organizations that managed immediate recovery efforts. Additionally, the Heart of Florida United Way uses volunteers to manage the 2-1-1 Crisis Helpline, which continues to provide callers with information, referral, and crisis intervention services.

Zebra Coalition – $5,000
The Zebra Coalition supported the 24-hour crisis hotline and provided mental health and peer counseling. The Zebra Coalition also facilitated access to relief agencies and programs for families and survivors.

Senior Resource Alliance – $5,000
The Senior Resource Alliance continues to provide respite care, home care, and transportation assistance for 18 disabled survivors.

Two Spirit Health – $5,000
Two Spirit Health provided bilingual crisis counseling and referral services to members of the LGBT community impacted by the shooting.

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando – $5,000
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando provided care and shelter for victims’ pets, including short-term care and boarding for the animals of victims who were hospitalized. The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando also provided comfort dogs at public events and memorials.

The LGBT Center of Central Florida – $5,000
The LGBT Center provided information, advocacy, and education to survivors and families of victims. The LGBT Center of Central Florida assisted over 30 member organizations with information so there was “no wrong door” to access response and recovery resources for survivors and family members.

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. Since its inception, the Florida Disaster Fund has received almost $27 million in private contributions allocated to more than 300 nonprofit organizations working on response efforts and long-term recovery across Florida’s disaster-impacted communities.