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First round of Southwest Florida Hurricane Relief Funds released

By Staff | Sep 29, 2017

United Way has distributed more than $400,000 in supplemental funding from the SWFL Hurricane Relief Fund, in partnership with the SWFL Community Foundation, to local assistance agencies.

Those agencies include: Beacon of Hope, Bonita Springs Assistance Office, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Community Cooperative, FISH of Sanibel-Captiva, Good Wheels, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Interfaith Charities of South Lee, Lehigh Community Services, RCMA – Hendry & Glades, Eva’s Closet and The Salvation Army – Lee & Hendry.

“We want to thank the generous donors and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation for making this fund possible,” said Cliff Smith, United Way president, in a prepared statement. “Our network of United Way Partners are using this funding to supplement the critical services that are being offered to our residents in need in our community.”

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation initiated the fund with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to create a giving fund to help in the aftermath of those affected by Hurricane Irma.

All of the funds donated through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be used by the United Way to provide emergency funds to directly help people displaced from their homes and those suffering loss due to the hurricane and floods. The United Way works directly with Lee County Emergency Management, and the network of nonprofit organizations in Southwest Florida to ensure our county has a coordinated response.

About the The Southwest Florida Community Foundation:

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $111 million, it has provided more than $69 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives. For more information, call (239) 433-2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.

The United Way Volunteer Center connects individuals and companies to volunteer opportunities throughout our community. If you are interested in helping with Hurricane Irma recovery, you can reach the United Way Volunteer Center by calling (239) 433-2000 option 9, or by visiting the United Way website atwww.UnitedWayLee.org/volunteer .

United Way 211 is a helpline for everyone and serves as a comprehensive Information and Referral service to health and human services in our community. The program allows people in need of assistance in our community to navigate the network of human services in the most efficient and effective way possible. The United Way 211 helpline also runs the Storm Hotline for Lee County in times of activation. Before, during, and after Hurricane Irma United Way 211 staff took over 40,000 calls. If someone is in need of assistance, please dial 2-1-1 or (239) 433-3900.