Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief
Collier County received a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, the largest hurricane to ever hit Florida. Major damage has been done to Marco Island, Everglades, Chokoloskee, Goodland, Golden Gate, East Naples, and Immokalee as well as the City of Naples and Greater Naples. This massive storm has claimed at least 34 lives in Florida, two in Collier County. Hurricane Irma left hundreds of thousands without power and air conditioning in sweltering heat and caused extensive structural and water damage and downed trees. In Collier County, $64 million has been spent on recovery efforts to date, 42,000 in Collier have gotten some form of housing help (rent, hotel stays) 256 people were approved for FEMA trailers and over 4 million cubic yards of debris were removed. The cost to replace sand on our beaches that were wiped away in the storm is estimated to be $35 million.
The Collier Comes Together Fund, held at the Community Foundation of Collier County in partnership with the United Way of Collier County, has received over $2 million in commitments to distribute to nonprofits for Hurricane Irma victims. Over $1.1 million has been disbursed to nonprofits to provide for immediate disaster relief and long-term housing needs. 100% of donations collected are distributed to victims and their families, with no administrative fee.
So far, $1,132,682 has been distributed to nonprofits to provide for immediate disaster relief and long-term housing needs. Over $600,000 in housing assistance grants have been disbursed so far in Everglades City, Immokalee and Downtown Naples. The Community Foundation and United Way are currently collaborating with other nonprofits to focus upcoming distributions to aid those who are still displaced or facing major costs for renovations to their homes due to hurricane damage.
Justin Damiano, manager of government affairs and community investment for Comcast in Southwest Florida, recently contacted Naples Mayor Bill Barnett for advice on how to best help Hurricane Irma victims. Mayor Barnett immediately recommended the Collier Comes Together Fund held at the Community Foundation of Collier County. “It just shows what our Naples community is all about, time and time again,” said Mayor Barnett. “It’s another shiny example of how out of the blue, we get a phone call from a great company like Comcast and they want to help.”
“Hurricane Irma caused a tremendous amount of damage across our area and many of our neighbors, friends and family members are still working to recover,” said Damiano. “Comcast is proud to support the Collier Comes Together Fund’s storm relief efforts and we know they will get the donations and resources to those in our community who need it most.”
Other donations that helped the Collier Comes Together fund exceed the $2 million mark include almost $83,000 received from the Rockin’ in Naples concert which featured Sugar Ray and was presented by Arthrex and sponsored by VisitFlorida and the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Tourism Bureau in conjunction with Collier County and the City of Naples to promote the community’s commitment and dedication to moving forward after the hurricane.
In addition, $150,000 was recently received from the Country Rising Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. This was the result of a major country music concert in which proceeds were designated to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria.
“We continue to be amazed by the positive response of our community and beyond in the face of a crisis. These generous donations have enabled us to continue to provide desperately needed relief to those victims of Hurricane Irma who are still struggling to return to a normal life,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Community Foundation President & CEO. “We will continue to focus on long-term housing aid for those still in need.”
Click the Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief button to donate online or checks can be mailed to the Community Foundation at 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples, FL 34108. Please make your check payable to the Community Foundation of Collier County and write Collier Comes Together in the memo line. Cash donations are also welcome.
If you would like more information about the Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief Fund, please contact the Community Foundation at 239.649.5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The collaboration of our community partners and the generosity of our community will carry us through to a quick and strong recovery. Together, we can come to the aid of those most in need.
Thank you for your continued support of the Community Foundation of Collier County
and the victims of Hurricane Irma