Hurricane Ian passed and left immeasurable damage throughout the areas in its path. Despite the losses, individuals and organizations in Southwest Florida immediately started doing what they could to help those around them. Restaurants opened to provide free food, and some residents even set up coffee stations for first responders.
As more photos of the destruction spread across the internet, people in other parts of the state and country are eager to help the victims who were devastated by the storm. There are several ways to help meet urgent needs through monetary donations or supply and food donations. Also, there are ways to assist with disaster response and storm cleanup efforts.
Online Monetary DonationsRead More »
People who want to help residents of Fort Myers Beach can do so with a monetary gift. The #WeAreFMB fund accepts online payments to help support local residents.
Charlotte Community Foundation
This organization accepts monetary donations online through the Charlotte County Disaster Relief Fund. Donations provide financial assistance to affected residents of Charlotte County.
Lee Health Foundation
The Lee Health Foundation is grateful for online financial contributions to aid area residents. This foundation helps provide important medical supplies, equipment and other resources to clinics and hospitals in affected areas.
FISH of SANCAP
FISH helps the Sanibel Captiva community members and welcomes monetary gifts through wire transfer or an online payment platform. Collected funds supply food for the community.
St. Matthew’s House
St. Matthew’s House is an emergency assistance organization. The charity accepts financial contributions to help provide emergency housing and food to storm victims who are displaced.
Collaboratory accepts recurring or one-time monetary donations. The organization currently works with United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. Monetary donations go to nonprofits in Southwest Florida that help residents who are affected by the hurricane.
Collier Comes Together Hurricane Relief Fund
This relief fund organized by Collier County welcomes financial contributions online. Funds go to nonprofits that help affected families.
Lee County Strong Emergency Relief Fund
The special fund by Lee County Strong helps support affected families. Donations help them get back on their feet after suffering property damage and losses.
Food and Supply Donations
Some organizations and groups in Southwest Florida collect food, water and necessary supplies to distribute to families in need. These are some places to drop off supplies.
St. Vincent de Paul in Punta Gorda
All food and supply donations are welcome and go to affected people in the area. The church collects donations at 25200 Airport Road and posts additional donation needs on its Facebook page.
Better Together at Cape Christian in Cape Coral
Better Together accepts monetary or supply donations. For example, the organization accepts baby formula, diapers, batteries, tarps, dry foods and similar items. People in Cape Coral can drop off supplies at 2110 Chiquita Boulevard.
Hertz Arena in Estero
Located at 11000 Everblades Parkway, Hertz Arena is currently a shelter for affected families. The arena welcomes donations of air mattresses, blankets, pillows and hygiene products.
Avow Hospice in Naples
Many Avow patients, employees and their families need supplies. The Avow campus currently requests air mattresses, sheets, towels, pillows, personal hygiene items, water, Gatorade, nonperishable foods, household supplies and cleaning supplies. Batteries, electronics chargers, first aid kits, flashlights, tarps, fans and toilet paper are also welcome donations. People who have gift cards to gas stations or major retail stores may also donate them to help make a difference. The address is 1205 Whippoorwill Lane.
City of Cape Coral
Anyone who can donate water or nonperishable food can drop it off at the Special Populations Center during business hours. However, the center does not accept clothes or non-essential supplies. The address is 410 Santa Barbara Boulevard.
Harry Chapin Food Bank
This nonprofit accepts nonperishable food donations. Also, it welcomes monetary contributions that help purchase food for storm victims and their families. Since the multiple food donation locations change frequently, check the website for current information. There are locations in several counties.
Donations for Affected Wildlife and Animals
The hurricane’s destruction left many beloved pets and wildlife dislocated or injured. Several organizations are working to help these distressed animals and accept donations of money or goods. CROW takes monetary donations to help continue caring for wildlife. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples is a wildlife conservation organization that especially needs financial gifts. It also needs supplies that are listed on its website, which also has current links to the organization’s Chewy and Amazon wish lists. The address is 1495 Smith Preserve Way.
Blankets, linens and pet food are items the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Fort Myers needs. Although the facility is currently closed, people can drop off donations between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at 2010 Arcadia Street. Also, the facility appreciates monetary donations.
People who live in or near affected areas can also help by volunteering their time to assist with relief efforts. These are some options and links to their websites for more information:
- Better Together needs volunteers to provide childcare for first responders in various locations.
- The City of Sanibel requests that volunteers with boats, equipment or valuable skills help in dealing with the aftermath of the storm.
- Valerie’s House serves multiple areas in Southwest Florida and needs storm cleanup help for affected community homes.
- Harry Chapin Food Bank asks for volunteers in various counties to help hand out donated food.
- Our Daily Bread in Marco Island requests assistance distributing food.
- Community Cooperative in Fort Myers needs food distribution helpers.
- Charlotte County asks for volunteers with applicable skills or equipment to help with disaster response efforts.
Area Businesses Accepting Donations for Community Aid
Social responsibility is an admirable goal for any company today, and many Southwest Florida businesses are quickly taking action to help. These are some of those businesses and links to information about them:
- Spavia in Naples allows some supply and food donations between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays this week at 6340 Naples Boulevard.
- From now until October 8, Manuka Salon at 1201 Piper Boulevard in Naples accepts canned goods for their food drive to benefit St. Matthew’s House.
- At 4835 Immokalee Road, Seed to Table has bins in front for nonperishable food donations that will go to an area food bank and St. Matthew’s House.
- St. John the Evangelist Church at 625 111th Avenue North in Naples requests supplies, gift cards and nonperishable food to distribute to affected people.
- Coldwell Banker at 550 5th Avenue South in Naples accepts nonperishable food, clothes, diapers, pet food and other supplies for area families.
- Dwayne Bergmann Cabinetry of Fort Myers, which is at 12195 Metro Parkway in Suite 1, asks for toiletries and other necessities as well as financial gifts to benefit affected Southwest Floridians.
- Local Honey at 23190 Fashion Drive in Estero collects clothes to distribute to local people in need.
- Southwest Florida Regroup, which is at 3384 Woods Edge Circle in Suite 103 in Bonita Springs, accepts toiletries, bug spray, canned food, water, baby supplies, clothes and other useful necessities for area families.
Through October 7, Studio de Cirque offers free childcare in Naples to some affected families while schools are closed. However, services are limited, and the organization asks that people call ahead to inquire. Venjhamin Reyes Photography of Naples also currently offers free photography for insurance claim purposes to local residents impacted by storm damage.
As Hurricane Ian cleanup efforts continue, look for more updates about how to help or where to find assistance in Southwest Florida. Although recruited volunteers and disaster response teams may travel to hard-hit areas, law enforcement agencies encourage everyone else to avoid driving into those areas now for their own safety and the safety of others.