Here are 8 ways Tampa Bay residents can help the victims of Hurricane Ian
Several organizations are providing assistance to the communities impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Organizations across the state — and nationwide — are mobilizing in an effort to help those who have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.
They're offering ways to not only donate goods and money to assist communities across Florida, but also to give of your time and make yourself available to provide emergency assistance and help directly in the areas most hard-hit.
Your community Facebook pages are a great place to start, for churches and local efforts that are taking donations to offer assistance.
HOLDING AN EVENT? Add it to our community calendar
The Better Business Bureau, however, offers tips — along with a list of accredited charities — to ensure that your donations are directly helping those in need. This includes making sure the request clearly identifies the disaster relief activities you're supporting.
Here are seven organizations that are accepting donations and helping in the relief efforts:
Florida Disaster Fund: This is the state's official private fund, established to provide financial assistance. To contribute, you can give through the website, by check, or text DISASTER to 20222.
Ian Response Fund: Several organizations across the state — including the Florida Immigration Coalition and Faith in Florida — are combining efforts to assist. According to the fund's website, the organizations raised more than $2 million through more than 38 organizations to assist the victims of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Donations can be made from the website, including an option to give one time or monthly.
American Red Cross: Those interested can donate through the website, or by phone at 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669). Checks can be mailed to:
American Red Cross
PO Box 37839
Boone, Iowa, 50037-0839
Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund:
Salvation Army: The organization has created a website for donations that can directly assist victims of both Hurricanes Ian and Fiona in Florida and Puerto Rico, including food, shelter, and emotional and spiritual care. One-time donations can be made on the Salvation Army website or by texting STORM to 51555. It also has established mobile feeding units that can prepare around 1,500 meals a day in the affected areas.
ASPCA: According to the ASPCA, efforts are ongoing to assist Lee County Animal Services in relocating adoptable animals following Hurricane Ian — including the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. Shelters across the region are seeing an influx of dogs and cats, including the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, which is waving adoption fees for dogs over 30 pounds through Oct. 7. You can also donate financially to the ASPCA and Humane Society.
Feeding Tampa Bay: Donations can be made through the organization's website, or by texting FTBFYI to 833-530-3663. You can also check out their calendar for opportunities to volunteer your help.
Samaritan's Purse: The organization has opportunities for volunteers to assist homeowners with debris cleanup, roof tarping, and other response in Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, and Englewood. Those interested can sign up as day volunteers (Monday through Saturday), or overnight (with a three-day minimum). Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older, and youths 14-15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Details are on the organization's website.
Team Rubicon: This organization assembles volunteers who can contribute their time and skills directly in the impacted areas. In addition to accepting cash donations, Team Rubicon has been organizing volunteer relief efforts since the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Prospective volunteers must pass a background check and have received a COVID-19 vaccine.