In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, United Way Suncoast’s ongoing recovery efforts include helping impacted community members around the state, and right here in our five-county footprint.
While most of United Way Suncoast’s five-county area escaped a direct hit, in parts of our coverage area flooding wiped out businesses, storm winds decimated homes and schools remain closed. DeSoto County and parts of Manatee and Sarasota County continue to struggle with basic needs. Clearly, Ian has severely impacted lives across the state and close to home.
At United Way Suncoast, we’re collecting donations to help with mid- and long-term recovery at unitedwaysuncoast/recovery. We continue to assess needs and determine the best approaches for this month, next month and many months to come. Bouncing back from a disaster is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. To learn more about our efforts, please view our latest Suncoast Snapshot with CEO Jessica Muroff.
To help add to those funds, we’ve also teamed with Synapse and a collection of local business owners will host an Ybor City Night Market on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cafe Quiquiriqui inside Hotel Haya.
Of course, a lot of the requests we’ve received have naturally been about delivering immediate needs. We’re not a rapid relief service, but we have taken some steps to help. We’re advising groups and individual volunteers who want to put together in-kind donations to visit volunteersuncoast.org/disaster to learn about specific item requests we’ve received, and how you can put together supply kits that will best meet the needs. Requested items include hygiene essentials, shoes and socks for young children, nutritious, non-perishable food packs, backpacks and school supplies. The need for shoes and socks for children 5 and younger appears to be critical.
Once you’ve assembled kits, contact the Community Engagement Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for drop off locations and to coordinate a drop off time (appointment required).
Across The State
United Way Suncoast also continues to work with local United Ways across the state. Under the banner #United4Florida, United Way of Florida has activated a relief fund for communities hit hardest by Hurricane Ian. Donations can be made at https://www.uwof.org/disaster-recovery-fund. From that page, you can direct your gift to a specific location or county.
In addition to these efforts, United Way Suncoast will continue to help organize volunteer efforts, bridge communication across the region and leverage relationships to assist our friends and neighbors on the Suncoast. To stay updated, please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.