HURRICANE IAN EMERGENCY!
Hurricane Ian struck the western coast of Florida on Wednesday, September 28th as a category 4 storm. The hurricane has left a devastating path of destruction, particularly in Ft Myers.
The Mercy-USA team arrived in Ft Myers on Saturday and located shelters that are housing folks whose homes have been destroyed and vulnerable elderly seniors who were evacuated from assisted living facilities.
We facilitated distribution of wheelchairs at an urgent request from the shelter managers. We’ve assembled a team of volunteers from nearby Tampa to help us with organizing truckloads of requested relief items.
Help in Arcadia On October 6th, our team and volunteers began delivering desperately needed supplies like diapers, hygiene supplies, clothing and visa gift cards. With the help of the Tampa community volunteers and supporters, we brought truckloads of supplies for flood victims in Arcadia and shelters in Ft. Myers, Florida. Our teams had to navigate through flooded and even washed out roads, but they prevailed and delivered the vital supplies to folks waiting for assistance.
Help in Ft Myers’ Underserved Neighborhoods
On Sunday, Oct. 9, after organizing more relief supplies, our team moved on to underserved areas of Ft. Myers. At the request of the Red Cross, Mercy-USA and volunteers distributed diapers, baby wipes, undergarments and blankets to residents in the area surrounding the Quality of Life Community Center and Cornerstone Church in Ft Myers.
We moved on to an impoverished and neglected neighborhood in Ft Myers. Its residents are hard-working service workers and laborers whose homes were destroyed or washed away. Those whose homes survived the hurricane were made virtually uninhabitable from flooding. People unable to evacuate survived the flooding by clinging to the roof of one-story buildings. Many of the residents do not qualify for official forms of relief and were very grateful to receive any help that was distributed.
We distributed buckets, mops, bleach, washcloths, laundry powder, work gloves, spray bottles, tarps. We even brought clothes lines and clothes pins since all the washing machines were destroyed by salt water.
Cash assistance in the form of a visa gift card was gratefully received since it allows each family to purchase exactly what they need from local merchants which in turn helps the local economy recover also.
We need help from our strong and caring donors to rush all these vital supplies to folks you may not see featured in the national media. They’re the people who work to support the local economy, living a modest life and lack the resources to rebuild their lives. They may never recover what was lost but we can help them with their daily needs as they figure out how to start over.