Marco Patriots works to help woman put Hurricane Irma behind her by Christmas

It’s been three years since Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida, and some people who were in the region during the storm are still recovering from it. A local organization decided to step up for the holidays to help a woman with a damaged home.

Pam Michel on Marco Island is ready for Christmas, and this year she’s getting a $10,000 gift from the Marco Patriots.

“They’re being wonderful and so close to Christmas,” Michel said. “I’m sure they’ve got other stuff to do.”

Marco Patriots are also building Michel a new pool deck for free, so she can get her screened-in patio back.

“I have not been outside in the back in a couple years,” Michel explained.

Her old one was destroyed during Irma.

“Horrid. I mean, I can look out, but you can’t just go there, and I really like to go out. I like to sit,” Michel said.

Matt Melican with Marco Patriots said the decision to help Michel was made almost immediately after learning about her situation.

“It happened a matter of seconds,” Melican said. “Everybody just said, ‘Well, wait a minute. This is how we can do this.’”

Melican knew the Marco Patriots had to help.

“So to help people reach their unmet needs and overcome adversity in the ways that we can do it,” Melican said. “We’re there to do it.”

Volunteers showed up to Michel’s home to work hard to get the patio done before Christmas Day, and she can’t wait.

“I’ll be out there every second I can now, so that’ll be great,” Michel said. “And I’m really grateful for them for doing this. It was totally unexpected.”

Marco Patriots members say they’re happy to do anything to help their community get back to normal, helping people such as Michel put Hurricane Irma behind her.

“I hope so, and I don’t want to see Irma’s cousin come either,” Michel said.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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