United Arab Emirates donates $2.7 million for Irma recovery

Collier County is getting a big gift from an unlikely source to pay for recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma.

The United Arab Emirates just donated under $3 million to help families in areas still suffering after the storm.

It’s almost been a year since Irma hit Southwest Florida and many people are still picking up the pieces.

Now, thanks to the donation, organizations like Grace Place, which helps struggling families, won’t have to work alone.

Grace Place for Children and Families will get some of the funds to restore their food pantry.

United Way of Collier County will also get a portion of the money to continue their hurricane relief pantry.

And Collier County public schools will receive a part of the donation to help restore facilities in Immokalee and Everglades City.

“Friends always help each other out,” said Dana Al Marashi of the UAE Embassy. “It was natural for us when we heard the devastation that was caused by this hurricane, for our leadership back home to reach out and find some way in which we can help.”

The funds will also help 30 families in the Golden Gate community with home repairs where some homes still have blue tarps.

“This was an unprecedented hurricane,” said Steve Sanderson of United Way. “It is a huge challenge and it demanded a lot of resources.”
This donation is a part of the UAE’s larger pledge to give $10 million to help hurricane relief efforts in Florida.
“I think it restores your belief in human kindness,” said Dr. Tim Ferguson who works at Grace Place. “Supporting needs of children and families in communities.”
Reporter:Andrea Henderson
Hannah Vogel
Writer:Emily Luft
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