Florida Disaster Fund supports communities impacted by Ian

Damagd homes are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Wednesday the activation of the Florida Disaster Fund to support the communities impacted by Ian.

Within hours of activated, the fund had received more than $10 million in donations, the Governor’s Press Office said Thursday night.

Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the U.S., swamped Florida this week, turning streets into rivers, knocking out power and causing damage.

“We are very appreciative and thankful for the outpouring of support. Raising more than $10 million dollars in one day to The Florida Disaster Fund demonstrates the kindness and compassion from people across this state and nation,” the first lady said. “These private sector contributions will be deployed quickly and effectively to meet the immediate needs of those most impacted by the storm. We cannot thank people enough for their generosity.”

“We are grateful to First Lady Casey DeSantis for her continued leadership and to all who have contributed to the Florida Disaster Fund,” said CEO of Volunteer Florida Josie Tamayo. “The amount of donations received is a true testament to the resiliency of Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.”

Ian made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon near Cayo Costa, a barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers.

The Florida Disaster Fund is the state’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to its communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To contribute, visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.

“The Governor and I are thankful for the graciousness of those looking to assist Florida’s communities in their time of need,” said the first lady said. “I am pleased to announce that Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund so that people can donate directly to those affected by Hurricane Ian. We greatly appreciate the kindness and generosity of organizations and individuals from across the country looking to support Floridians, thank you.”

“When a disaster strikes our great state, Volunteer Florida is committed to help provide relief where it is most needed. We channel every available dollar to work towards rebuilding and recovery efforts in our affected communities,” Tamayo said. “The Florida Disaster Fund is an excellent way for the private sector and individuals to financially support Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian.”

Donations may be made by credit card on the secure website www.floridadisasterfund.org or by check to the address below. Checks should be made payable to the Volunteer Florida Foundation and should include “Florida Disaster Fund” in the memo line.

Volunteer Florida Foundation

Attention: Florida Disaster Fund

1545 Raymond Diehl Road Suite 250

Tallahassee, FL 32308

Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax-deductible.

Major donations from companies across the state and the nation include:

  • Walmart ($1,500,000)
  • Amazon ($1,000,000)
  • Centene Charitable Foundation ($1,000,000)
  • Ian MacKechnie ($1,000,000)
  • Florida Blue ($1,000,000)
  • Lennar ($1,000,000)
  • Boeing ($750,000)
  • Publix ($500,000)
  • TECO ($500,000)
  • Simply Healthcare ($350,000)
  • AirBnb ($250,000)
  • Wells Fargo ($250,000)
  • Verizon ($125,000)
  • CVS ($100,000)
  • Duke Energy ($100,000)
  • Goldman Sachs ($100,000)
  • Rumble ($100,000)
  • Florida Power and Light ($50,000)
  • National Christian Foundation ($50,000)
  • PGA Tour ($25,000)
  • Horne ($25,000)

The Florida Disaster Fund and Volunteer Florida are working with the Department of Children and Families and Sunshine Health through the First Lady’s Hope Florida Initiative to open Family Resource Support Centers with one-on-one support for impacted families, including Hope Navigators and counseling resources on site for those who are struggling and need help. The first resource centers will open in Tampa and New Port Richey, but anyone who needs help can call the Hope Line at 850-300-HOPE.