Here’s how you can help Southwest Floridians affected by Ian

Published: October 4, 2022 10:33 AM EDT
Updated: October 8, 2022 2:48 PM EDT
(CREDIT: Gulfshore Life)

The moment the storm passed, first responders, nonprofits and citizens jumped to action to help Southwest Florida start to rebuild.

The loss we face is immeasurable, but already the community’s Gulfshore Strong spirit is evident.

Individuals and small businesses launched supply drives and recovery efforts overnight. Neighbors set up stations to provide hot water and coffee to first responders and restaurants that could open, did, with free food.

Groups like Collier Community Foundation and the Collaboratory are doing what they do best by assessing needs and directing funds and energies in the right direction.

We know you’re eager to help, so we’re gathering information on places to donate your time, treasure and talent to get Southwest Florida back to the safe, beautiful paradise we know and love.

Please note: It is still recommended that you drive as little as possible for your own safety and so recovery crews can quickly get where they need without traffic or obstructions. In many cases, donations are most valuable to nonprofits during this time.

DONATIONS:
Avow Hospice: In-kind donations are now being accepted at the Avow campus to supply necessities to Avow employees, patients and families. Needs include towels, sheets, air mattresses, pillows, personal hygiene supplies of toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, deodorant, wipes, non-perishable food, water, Gatorade, cleaning supplies, trash bags, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, battery and cell phone chargers, portable fans, blue tarps, paper towels and toilet paper. Gift cards ($25 denominations best) are also appreciated for gas, grocery, Walmart, and Target. Any support will make a difference. To donate cash, visit avowcares.org.

Better Together: Donations of supplies (tarps, batteries, gas cans, water, non-perishable food, diapers, baby formula, personal hygiene kits, etc.) are being accepted at Cape Christian, 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33991. Monetary donations are also being accepted.

Charlotte Community Foundation: Charlotte County Disaster Relief Fund; funds will be used to provide financial assistance and resources to Charlotte County residents impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife: CROW is in need of monetary donations to assist in continuing care for wildlife.

City of Cape Coral: Special Populations Center, 410 Santa Barbara Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33991. Open daily from 8am-5pm. Currently accepting essential items only, which are limited to water and non-perishable food. Clothing and non-essential supplies will not be accepted.

Collaboratory: SWFL Emergency Relief Fund, in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties; funds will support SWFL nonprofits helping people affected by Hurricane Ian.

Collier Harvest Foundation: Accepting donations for:  Canned goods (fruit, vegetables, soup, peanut butter, etc.), baby food, diapers, pet food. Monetry donations also accepted. Drop-off location: 1455 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

Collier Community Foundation: Collier Comes Together Hurricane Relief Fund; donations are distributed to nonprofits serving victims and their families.

Community Cooperative: Support the Lee Country Strong Emergency Relief Fund; donations received will assist those in need with getting their lives back on track after the storm.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida: 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples, FL 34102. Needing donations of towels (most needed), Romaine lettuce, apples, carrots, corn, oranges, bleach, water detergent, hand sanitizer, reusable ice packs, carbon filters, D-batteries, ant bait traps.

Family Initiative’s Autism Support Center: 734 SW 4th Street, Cape Croral. Seeking donations of nonperishable food items, cases of water, batteries or financial contributions. If donors are unable to deliver items, Family Initiative can arrange pickup as well as the distribution of goods to families, if possible. If you are in need or need more information on donations, contact Rachel Fecteau by calling 239-220-1387 or emailing [email protected]

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva: Includes a hurricane program and food program to assist affected members of the community. Monetary donations accepted via online payment or through bank wire transfer.

FK Your Diet: 19630 S Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, FL, 33908. Feeding the community for free (while supplies last); can donate via Venmo (@Amy-Eldridge-5) or Cash App: $amymeldridge

Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation: #WeAreFMB Fund; donations will support those on Ft. Myers Beach; online donations accepted.

Glass Design: Drop off center for Lee and Collier for donations for seniors that were affected by Hurricane Ian. Donations will be distributed to Dr. Piper Center and the Community Cooperative. Needed items include water, nonperishable food, toiletries (to include hygiene wipes, shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste), paper products (toilet paper/ paper towels), linens, blankets, pet food (cat and dog), cleaning supplies (bleach, detergent, Clorox). Glass Design showrooms located at 7857 Drew Cir #9, Fort Myers and 7935 Airport-Pulling Road, Naples

Gulf Coast Humane Society: 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, FL. 33916. Closed for the foreseeable future; needing monetary and items donated; donations can be dropped off from 9 am to 3 pm at the facility. Most-needed items include: Pet food and treats, canned cat and dog food, bleach, blankets, linens and towels (all three can be used); other items can be found here:

GCHS Wish List
GCHS Donation Page

Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida: This hunger-relief nonprofit is accepting monetary donations to help those in need of food as well as non-perishable food; locations and times are being continuously updated.

Healthcare Network: Anyone interested in assisting our work is encouraged to make a donation to the Community Outreach Fund. Funds will be used to purchase much-needed supplies, including bottled water, canned goods, personal care items (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste), baby diapers and adult briefs for our elderly. Visit healthcareswfl.org/donate.

Humane Society Naples: 370 Airport-Pulling Rd, Naples, FL 34104. Needing monetary and items donated. Items needed: pellet litter, clay non-clumping litter, dog crates (airline type only), cat crates and soft toys for dogs. Monetary donations will go to helping animals displaced by the storm; HSN will deploy its Mobile Vet Clinic to impacted communities, provide pet food bank assistance and emergency boarding. The organization will also take some of Gulf Coast Humane Society’s misplaced animals.

Lee Health Foundation: Needing monetary donations; donations will provide critical resources, equipment and supplies to the Lee Health hospitals and medical clinics

The Naples Players: Hurricane Ian Scholarship Fund; donations will help families offset the costs of the arts education programs during this difficult time of rebuilding

St. Matthew’s House: Needing monetary donations; this organization offers emergency housing and food programs.

Think Pineapple: Needing monetary donations to distribute food in Lee and Collier Counties; $15 provides one hot meal.

Valerie’s House: Hurricane Ian Relief Fund; donations will go directly to help the organization’s families in need during this time.

St. Vincent de Paul: Donations of food and goods are being accepted at the church, at 25200 Airport Road in Punta Gorda.

United Way of Collier County: The United Way of Collier and the Keys said they have enough volunteers but are in need of monetary donations. Any amount that people can give will help. You can donate here.

VOLUNTEERING:
Better Together:

  • Needing volunteers to provide short-term childcare to first responders, essential workers and families in need of getting their children into a safe environment.
  • Needing volunteers to help deliver resources to families and care for children, including driving supplies to families who don’t have means of transportation, as well as providing transportation to families who need to leave the area until power is restored.

City of Sanibel: If you have resources such as boats, equipment, services, skills or other things you can share, email [email protected] and provide your name, resource available, phone number and email address. It is recommended to submit your information via this email address also for those looking to volunteer with Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

Community Cooperative: Needing volunteers to help with food distribution and more.

Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida: Needing volunteers to help with food distribution and more.

Gulf Coast Humane Society: Needing pre-registered volunteers (not accepting new volunteers at this time) to rake up leaves and yard debris; chainsaws and saws are needed to cut large trees and branches. Please bring gloves and safety glasses if you have some.

Meals of Hope: Needing volunteers to help with food distribution and more; email Judy at [email protected]

The Naples Players: Needing pre-registered volunteers through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to play games and hang out with students. If interested, email Maya Kleinsorge at [email protected]

Our Daily Bread: Needing volunteers to help with food distribution and more.

Valerie’s House: email or call CEO Angela Melvin if you would like to get involved; [email protected]; (239) 478-6734

Items/Services Needed:

  • Gift Cards at any level
  • Volunteers to help with Valerie’s House families that have flooded, remove trees and help with roof damage, tarps, etc.
  • Generators for families with the greatest need
  • Helping Valerie’s House grandparents understand how to apply for FEMA and other assistance
  • Hotel night stays for families without a home

The Wonder Gardens: Needing help daily to clean up and clear the grounds. Show up at any time between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the back gate and wear closed-toed shoes. Bring gloves and tools, should you have them.

Charlotte County: The Charlotte County Volunteer Reception Center is now open for individuals who would like to offer their skills to help with the disaster response. The VRC is supported by the Charlotte County Community Organizations Active in a Disaster, known as COAD, and is for volunteers who are not affiliated with any organizations. 

To register and receive an assignment with an agency that needs assistance, individuals should go to the VRC, which is located at 227 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950. It will be open from 7 – 11 a.m. daily.

For more information about volunteers or donations, call the Charlotte County Volunteers/Donations Hotline at 910-973-3916. 

LOCAL BUSINESSES COLLECTING ITEMS TO DONATE:

BONITA SPRINGS

Southwest Florida Regroup: 3384 Woods Edge Cir., Suite #103, Bonita Springs, FL 34134; drop-off Monday-Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; collecting: water, canned food, baby wipes, baby formula, bug spray, sunscreen, plastic utensils, trash bags, toothbrushes and toothpaste, pet food, hand sanitizer, shoes, socks, clothes, can openers, etc.

FORT MYERS

Dwayne Bergmann: 12195 Metro Pkwy STE 1, Fort Myers, FL 33966. The designer set up a supply station in his Fort Myers headquarters to provide with water, disinfectant wipes, food, baby and pet supplies, feminine products, flashlights, batteries, etc. Dwayne has trucks driving over from the east coast with thousands of supplies. He is accepting donations of items and monetary donations to recover costs and get more supplies. Donate via Venmo (@dbinteriors) or Zelle (@[email protected]).

ESTERO

Local Honey: 23190 Fashion Dr., Estero, FL 33928; drop-off Monday-Wednesday from 11am-5pm; collecting: clothing donations only, children’s clothing priority

Hertz Arena: 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, FL 33928. Donations in high demand: pillows, blankets, air mattresses, hygiene products. The arena is currently being utilized as a shelter.

NAPLES

Coldwell Banker | Realty: 550 5th Ave S, Naples; Accepting donations for: adult and children’s clothes, shoes and socks, underwear, toiletries, blankets, towels, nonperishable food items, canned puppy and dog food, canned kitten and cat food, paper towels, pet beds, disinfectant wipes, pill pockets for dogs and cats.

Kunjani: 780 Seagate Dr, Naples; Accepting donations for hurricane relief: baby diapers, baby wipes, toys, cleaning supplies, paper plates, plastics cups, plastic cutlery, toilet paper, bottled water, Gatorade, trash bags, batteries, nonperishable goods, pet food, towels, toiletries, feminine products and flash lights. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Friday and then regular hours starting on Saturday.

Lake Park Diner: 944 7th Ave N, Naples, FL 34102; collecting: donations of any kind (food, water, toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)

Manuka Salon: 1201 Piper Blvd, Naples; Accepting donations now through Saturday for their food drive to support St. Matthew’s House. Top-needed items: canned tuna/lunch meats, canned veggies, macaroni and cheese, canned beans, rice, pasta, canned sauces, cereal and Chef Boyardee.

Seed to Table: 4835 Immokalee Rd; On Saturday, from 1 to 9 p.m., they will be accepting nonperishable food items to the bins at the front of the store. They will go directly to St. Matthew’s House and the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Purchase a Seed to Table gift card and the amount will be donated directly to St. Matthews House and Harry Chapin as well.

Spavia Day Spa: 6340 Naples Blvd., Suites 4 & 5, Naples, FL 34109; drop-off today through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; collecting: non-perishable foods, cans (that do not require a can opener), diapers, wipes, toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, brushes, body wash, shampoo and conditioner (helps if you tape them together), hand wipes, hand sanitizer, work gloves, contractor trash bags, paper towels, small packages of paper plates and plastic cutlery, cleaning products, bleach, laundry detergent, batteries (size D and AA), adult and children’s clothing and shoes.

St. John’s Evangelist: 625 111th Ave N, Naples; Accepting donations for bottled water, Gatorade, nonperishable food items, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, toilet paper, paper towels, paper goods, clothes, underwear/socks, toiletries, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and large plastic containers. Also, accepting monetary donations and gift cards to Publix, Walmart, Home Depot, SAMS Club and Costco. If you are in need, call (239) 566-8740.

True Fashionista: 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Unit 104, Naples, FL 34109; drop-off today through Saturyday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; collecting: non-perishable foods, cans (that do not require a can opener), diapers, wipes, toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, brushes, body wash, shampoo and conditioner (helps if you tape them together), hand wipes, hand sanitizer, work gloves, contractor trash bags, paper towels, small packages of paper plates and plastic cutlery, cleaning products, bleach, laundry detergent, flashlights, batteries, sleeping bags, tents, etc.; no clothes or bedding please.

OFFERING SERVICES

Studio de Cirque: 4755 Mercantile Ave Unit 2, Naples, FL. Offering child care through the week while schools are closed (Oct. 3-Oct. 7 from 10am-2pm). All ages. *Call Ahead*. Volunteers, crafts and donations are welcome.

Venjhamin Reyes Photography: Offering complimentary photography services for insurance purposes to those in the Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral area whose main residence was damaged by Hurricane Ian.