Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on September 28, 2022. From the date of landfall to March 31, Volunteer Florida Foundation collected over $63 million in donations for Hurricane Ian relief through the Florida Disaster Fund.

As of March 31, 2023, Volunteer Florida Foundation awarded over $53 million in funding to non-profits working on Hurricane Ian’s recovery response in Florida. The $53 million included expedited response grants given to non-profits, school board foundations, first responder foundations, social service organizations, Long Term Recovery Groups, rebuilding organizations and programs to assist small businesses in their reopening. 
Select Success Stories

DeSoto County Education Foundation: Created a board committee to identify teachers and employees who were affected by Hurricane Ian. DeSoto County Education Foundation assisted 80 survivors through their first round of applications. In addition, they identified the Middle School Greenhouse as a loss to Hurricane Ian and have worked with contractors to build a new one.

Education Foundation of Collier County: Through a selection committee, they identified and assisted 177 educators who work for Collier County Public Schools that were affected by Hurricane Ian. The committee provided funding to 177 applicants. More than 300 hours of volunteer work were contributed to complete this process.

Funding was used for:

  1. Educators’ deductibles for homeowners, flood, and car insurance.
  2. Rental increases for those who had to change rentals due to the storm.
  3. First month rent, last month rent and security deposits for those who had to move due to the storm.
  4. Awards for those whose homes or mobile homes were not insurable and who experienced a total loss.
  5. Awards for storage expenses incurred for items that were salvaged.
  6. Awards for household items (furniture, etc.).
  7. Awards for home repairs not covered by insurance.

Education Foundation of Sarasota County: Awarded 43 survivors with individual grant awards that ranged from $250-$5,000 who work at 24 different schools in Sarasota County.

These funds were used for the following:

  1. Temporary housing
  2. Transportation
  3. Private Insurance Deductible Assistance
  4. Childcare and other necessities as required

Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Inc. (One More Child): Teams distributed food and non-food items to families impacted by the storm and mobilized support staff and volunteers to assist with food delivery, supply packing and distribution, and clean-up efforts. 429 volunteers and 2,067 volunteers’ hours were contributed to assist survivors. 4,100 children and families were served. 30 semis were launched and 1.2 million pounds of food (about 1 million meals) was distributed. One More Child partnered with the Florida Department of Children and Families, FEMA, Children’s Network, 4Kids, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing, and Mid-West Food Bank to supply, facilitate and coordinate relief efforts.

Hardee County Education Foundation: Assisted 634 full-time Hardee County School Board employees who experienced feeing needs and costs associated with gas for generators or to fill up vehicles. 8 volunteers with 24 hours of volunteer work contributed to assisting these employees.

Harry Chapin Food Bank: Served a five-county footprint in Southwest Florida, which included Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades, and Lee counties. 2,175 volunteers contributed 18,028 hours of work to weekly Mobile Pantry Program distributions. New emergency sites were created to meet the increased need for food and water across the communities after Hurricane Ian. Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 9,6929,775 pounds of food throughout its five-county footprint, equivalent to over eight million meals provided to families, children, seniors, and residents of Southwest Florida.

NU-HOPE Elder Care Services: A program was created to check on Seniors that had damage from Hurricane Ian. 242 hours were contributed, and 15 volunteers helped a total of 282 survivors by:

  1. Delivering food to seniors.
  2. Sorting through debris, including clothing and household items that were damaged.
  3. Transporting damaged goods to the local dump.
  4. Distributing clothing and personal care items to 10 seniors.

Volunteers delivered 1,590 meals to 96 homebound seniors in a financial crisis and supplied 50 seniors with personal care items for their health and safety.

Osceola County Council on Aging: Assisted over 140+ unduplicated clients with 75 volunteers, and 3,250 hours of community service were contributed to complete this effort. The Osceola Council on Aging has several low-income apartment buildings in Osceola County and was able to house 5 displaced seniors and spouses in the facilities as vacancies arose. Osceola County Council on Aging, Inc. assisted survivors with 3 meals daily to displaced seniors for 134 days.

Safe Children Coalition: Provided service by repairing fences, picking up debris, and deep cleaning of affected homes. Safe Children Coalition, Inc. also completed repairs to SCC Group Home and completed repairs on their Arcadia office roof to continue operations. In February, over 3,000 children were served at one or more of their facilities.

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools: Provided Hurricane relief to school employees through an application and selection committee. In total, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools assisted 1,479 employees with grants for their losses.

Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRG)

A long-term recovery group (LTRG) is a cooperative body comprising representatives from faith-based, non-profit, government, business, and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families as they recover from a disaster. LTRG’s are the backbone of disaster recovery as they bring together the community to access the unmet needs of the areas they serve. These LTRG’s are serving their communities in many capacities.

Collier County LTRG: Has a program, Elevating Homes Program, which is intended to fund the elevation of homes for low to moderate income homeowners that were affected by Hurricane Ian.

Lake Support and Emergency Recovery: Assisting homeowners with mucking, gutting, removal, and roof tarping.

Seminole HEART: Repairing homes that were damaged by Hurricane Ian. Seminole HEART is working to assist homeowners with damaged homes, and this month has helped an elderly survivor repair the steps leading into his home. The steps had been deemed unsafe. Due to the survivor’s medical issues and trouble walking without assistance, Seminole HEART replaced the damaged steps with a ramp to allow him to be more independent and access his home safely.

United Way of South Sarasota County– Currently in the development phase and has come together to build its leadership board and committee chairs. In the coming weeks, they plan to provide Case Management, Mental Health and Spiritual Care, and Volunteer Management and Unmet Needs for their community. To establish a support and service delivery network, the LTRG has also engaged more than 15 non-profits in its area.