There are many ways people can help those devastated by Hurricane Ian. Whether it's time, money, supplies, food or more, here's a list of organizations offering ways to provide assistance.
Before you give: Make sure the organization you're giving to is a trustworthy resource, either through past history, personal knowledge of the group or person or by checking them against charity ratings (see guidestar.com).
One-stop disaster recovery resources available in Lee County
Lee County has opened a Multi-Agency Resource Center to aid residents impacted by Hurricane Ian with the opportunity for one-stop service.
Center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers.
The center is co-located with the Disaster Recovery Center, which was opened earlier this week by FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. This operation is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Representatives of the Small Business Administration also are available.
Participating organizations onsite include numerous property insurance companies, local and state government offices (with the ability to replace driver’s licenses, birth certificates, etc), wireless providers, mental healthcare providers and nonprofits. For a complete list, go to leegov.com/storm.
Also available now at the site is the Initial Payment Center operated by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Policyholders can meet directly with their insurance companies to file claims. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, insurance carriers will focus on the immediate needs of policy holders by providing resources for specific items including living expenses.
Residents should check in with staff upon arrival at the Lakes Regional Library site to easily locate the resources they need.
An additional Disaster Recovery Center is expected to officially open Friday at 2295 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.
Get updates from Lee County government on Hurricane Ian by following @Lee County Government on Facebook, facebook.com/leecountyflbocc.
More information is available at leegov.com/storm.
Free meal sites in Southwest Florida
#ChefsForFlorida is offering free food from lunch until sunset in:
Cape Coral at 2016 Kismet Parkway E.;
Port Charlotte at Walmart, 19100 Murdock Court;
Fort Myers Beach at 33 Tropical Shore Way;
Fort Myers at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, 1380 Colonial Boulevard;
Englewood at Ann & Chuck Dever Park, 6941 San Casa Drive.
Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, is seeking in-kind donations at its campus (just off the northeast corner of Naples) to supply necessities to Avow employees, patients and families.
Needs include towels, sheets, air mattresses, pillows, non-perishable food, water, Gatorade, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, deodorant, paper towels, wipes, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, trash bags, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, chargers for batteries and cellphones, portable fans, blue tarps. Gift cards ($25 denominations are best) for gas, groceries and Walmart and Target items.
To donate cash, see avowcares.org.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army of Collier County says it is providing 2,000 meals daily across the county since the night of the hurricane.
"We actually had 40 people kayak up to our headquarters that night from the surrounding neighborhood," said Patrice Gabower, donor services/cultivation manager of The Salvation Army of Collier County.
The organization has been delivering 400 meals daily to Everglades City and has been offering meals in Goodland; next, it plans to travel to the Isles of Capri.
"We were hearing East Naples was hit pretty hard," said Gabower, who said The Salvation Army had made it a special focus, getting meals around the neighborhood to people who could not come to the headquarters at 3180 Estey Ave. in Naples. People who need non-food items, such as diapers, could come to the headquarters for them.
To support Hurricane relief efforts, people can donate money online at www.HelpSalvationArmy.org or by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). According to The Salvation Army, 100 percent of designated disaster donations go to direct services for survivors and first responders.
AARP fund matching donations
The AARP Foundation Relief Fund supports victims of Hurricane Ian. The AARP Foundation and AARP will match contributions, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million, and 100 percent of the contributions will be directed to organizations providing assistance to those in need.
Drop off items at True Fashionistas
True Fashionistas Designer Resale, a consignment store in North Naples, is collecting supplies and nonperishable food donations and delivering them to Hurricane Ian victims in devastated coastal areas of East Naples and Naples Park in North Naples.
For details on types of donations needed, check the store's Facebook page. True Fashionistas is open for drop-offs from 10 a.m. to 3: p.m. now through Saturday, Oct. 8, at Suite 104 in the Galleria Shoppes, 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road.
The store needs volunteers to help organize and distribute donations.
Bonita Springs Assistance Office
This recovery will be long-term, and the Bonita Springs Assistance Office appreciates any financial donations, large and small, at its website, bonitaassistance.org. At this time, the office asks that people not drop off donations of material or used goods unless already approved through the office.
Harry Chapin Food Bank, Lee County
Visit the Harry Chapin Food Bank website harrychapinfoodbank.org The Fort Myers location, for those who want to donate food items 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., is at the Fort Myers Distribution Center, 3760 Fowler St., Fort Myers, FL 33901. 239-334-7007
The food bank is expanding its locations to help get food to more people. It will be distributing water and food from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 6, at the following locations:
Cape Coral Elementary: 4519 Vincennes Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33904. CanoHealth Group will be on-site with a medical mobile unit offering free services, including measuring blood pressure, heart rate and glucose checks, wound care, and some lab services depending on the case.
Sacred Heart: 211 W Charlotte Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. It will also be holding normal distributions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the following locations:
Faith Assembly of God: 7101 Bayshore Rd, North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Human Services of Charlotte County: 21500 Gibralter Dr, Port Charlotte, FL 33952
The organization will update its distribution schedule on a daily basis. Visit harrychapinfoodbank.org for more information.
Harry Chapin Food Bank, Collier County
Visit the Harry Chapin Food Bank website at harrychapinfoodbank.org for financial donations. The Naples location, for those who want to donate food items 8 a.m.-3 p.m., is at Collier County Center, 3940 Prospect Ave., No. 101, Naples, FL 34104. 239-334-7007
Meals of Hope, Collier County
Meal packing organization Meals of Hope looks for volunteers to work at its mobile pantries for one-hour setup and three hour distributions. mealsofhope.org. 239-537-7775
Shucker's & The Cottage Bar employee relief fund started
A relief fund has begun for employees of a Fort Myers Beach restaurant at 1250 Estero Blvd.
Brian Nagle of Shucker's & The Cottage Bar announced the fundraiser Monday after Hurricane Ian wiped out the restaurant Thursday. The goal is to raise $30,000.
To donate, visit this website.
"I went down the day after the hurricane and this is my 700 seat restaurant," he communicated to The News-Press and provided a photo of what's left of his restaurant.
"I found this flag in the rubble and just didn't feel right stepping over it. Figured it could give my people a little hope because I have nothing else to offer. Thank you."
Our Daily Bread, Marco Island
Marco-based food distribution center Our Daily Bread operates a pantry at 1450 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, and mobile food pantries for those with no transportation. It needs financial donations and volunteers. See ourdailybreadfoodpantry.org or call 239-259-5188
St. Katherine in North Naples hosting luncheon for Ian victims
A North Naples church known for its popular Greek festival will host a luncheon this weekend to benefit Hurricane Ian victims.
The luncheon is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Sunday after 9:30 a.m. worship services at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church 7100 Airport-Pulling Road.
All donations will go to those in our area most in need after last week's hurricane.
"It is a moment for action and selfless love, no one else but us should be responding to this suffering and great need," the Rev. Demetre Mott, presiding priest of the church community, said in his message to parishioners.
St. Matthew's House, Collier County
St. Matthew's House is taking donations of money, food and clothing at its Naples location, or online at stmatthewshouse.org. Financial donations can be made at the website; bring food or clothing to the following locations: 2601 Airport Road S., Naples, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, or 630 W. Main St., Immokalee 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
St. Matthew's House, Lee County
St. Matthew's House is taking donations of money, food and clothing at its Naples location, or online at stmatthewshouse.org. Financial donations can be made at the website; bring food or clothing to 13140 Metro Parkway, Fort Myers. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Feed Thy Neighbor, Collier and Lee
Feed Thy Neighbor, a nondenominational, nonprofit outreach meals organization, operates two kitchens, one at St. Monicha's Episcopal Church, Naples, and one on Pennsylvania Avenue in Bonita Springs. It prepares and distribute food for those in need. It is accepting donations at its website, feedthyneighbor.us.
Collier Community Foundation reactivates relief fund
The Collier Community Foundation has reactivated its Collier Comes Together Relief Fund to help Hurricane Ian victims.
This allows the foundation to get immediate aid where it's needed most, according to the foundation's press release.
One hundred percent of the donations are given to nonprofits helping victims and their families without administrative fees.
"The fund serves to assure donors' support will reach its intended cause," the press release said. "Fraudulent sites pop-up following a disaster or emergency that mislead donors about where their funds will go."
For more information and to donate online to the Hurricane Relief Fund, visit colliercf.org, the direct link to the fund.
Checks may also be mailed to the Collier Community Foundation at 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples, FL 34108. Please note Hurricane Fund in the memo line.
Collaboratory, a Fort Myers nonprofit is partnering with United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties for the SWFL Emergency Relief Fund for those affected by Hurricane Ian. The organization is donating 100% of funds to those in need. To donate visit Collaboratory website https://collaboratory.org/
The Charlotte Community Foundation
In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, Charlotte Community Foundation has activated the Charlotte County Disaster Relief Fund. Funds will be used to provide financial assistance and resources to Charlotte County residents impacted by the Hurricane. At this time, only monetary donations are being requested. For more information visit the website www.coadfl.org
Premier Mobile Health Services
Premier Mobile Health Services has mobilized its mobile clinics out in the community to continue providing free healthcare, hot meals, water, and clothing to those in need. Donations, volunteers, gently used clothes & shoes, durable medical equipment, non-perishable items and monetary contributions are needed. For more information visit the website https://premiermobilehealth.org/
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross serving Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, and Lee counties is in need of volunteers and donations. To donate or volunteer visit the website https://www.redcross.org/
The Wonder Gardens
The Wonder Gardens, a botanical garden and wildlife enclosure in Bonita Springs is in need of supplies and monetary donations. For a list of supplies and to make a donation visit the website https://wondergardens.org/donations/
Alliance for Period Supplies of SWFL
Alliance for Period Supplies of SWFL serves Collier and Lee Counties providing period products to women and girls living in poverty. The organization is accepting donations. To make a donation visit the website https://www.apsofswfl.org/
Item drop off at High Net Worth Advisory Group
High Net Worth Advisory Group is accepting the following supplies water, nonperishable food items, towels, baby food/formula, baby diapers, toothpaste, toothbrushes, paper towels, razors, shampoo, body wash, food gift cards, hygiene items, gloves, trash bags and cleaning supplies. The drop off location is in Naples at 8880 Tamiami Trail N at the SE corner of Vanderbilt and U.S. 41.
Orlando Villegas, J. Lee Salon Suites donation drives
Orlando Villegas and J. Lee Salon Suite have set up donation drives in Naples and Bonita Springs.
They're accepting all food, clothing and supply donations and handing out free food for victims, linemen, and first responders.
The Naples location is 8965 Tamiami Trail N., and the Bonita site is 24880 S Tamiami Trail.
Quality Life Center
Quality Life Center located in Fort Myers provides disadvantaged children and communities essential tools needed to thrive in today's challenging world. The center focuses on the arts and education and newly expanded programs for the entire community. Including mental health and wellness, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. To donate or volunteer visit the website https://qualitylifecenter.org/
Matter Brothers Furniture
Matter Brothers Furniture, a furniture retailer based in Fort Myers with five stores throughout Southwest Florida, is partnering with The United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. Donations are also accepted.
Anyone able to donate basic needs items is encouraged to drop off donations, between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at any of the open Matters Brothers Furniture locations listed below:
Naples Showroom: 7200 Trail Blvd, Naples, FL
Pinellas Park Showroom: 7801 US Hwy 19 N, Pinellas Park, FL
Tarpon Springs Showroom: 40528 US Hwy 19 N, Tarpon Springs, FL
Sarasota Showroom: 4675 Clark Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233
Fort Myers Showroom: 11750 S Cleveland Avenue Fort Myers, FL
Distribution Center: 11920 Metro Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL
Florida Leather Gallery
Florida Leather Gallery is taking part in this effort by accepting donations at five of its locations between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
Bonita Showroom: 28701 South Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, FL
Clearwater: 30209 U.S 19 North, Clearwater, FL
Fort Myers: 11016 South Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, FL
Sarasota: 7766 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
Tampa: 6206 North Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL
For more information visit https://www.matterbrothersfurniture.com/hurricane-ian.inc
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Hurricane Ian: How to help victims with money, time, food, supplies