Nonprofits activate Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund to support Hurricane Ian recovery

In response to Hurricane Ian, a partnership of regional charitable organizations have activated the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund to quickly distribute moey to nonprofit groups on the frontline of relief and recovery efforts.

Launched during the COVID pandemic, the fund is a collaboration of the Pinellas Community Foundation, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and United Way Suncoast that is administered by the the Pinellas Community Foundation.

“At the moment, the funds will go to those privding immediate relief, food, water, things of that nature,” Pinellas Community Foundation CEO Duggan Cooley says. “As we continue to look at what the impacts were around Tampa Bay, we will find other ways to support  organizations that are doing good work to help our residents.”

Cooley say the needed financial support started to flow before Ian hit, with a $100,000 contribution to  nonoprofit food bank Feeding Tampa Bay.

“We knew that they were staging resources throughout the region to make sure that they could respond with food support through their network, so we made sure they had money available ahead of time,” he says. “Now we’re in the process of reviewing other needs the community is having now and responding to that as well.”

Cooley says they partner organizations have not yet determined how long the resiliency fund will remain active.

“I don’t know at the moment because after we figure out exactly what has happened in Tampa Bay, I think a lot of effort is going to focus south of here,” he says. “We are not going to want to compete with that or draw attention away from that because the damage is far more severe south of here.”

Cooley says the Tampa Bay area nonprofits behind the resiliency fund might instead use use their connections and networks farther south on the Gulf Coast to point interested donors to agencies and organizations in that area “so people can find trusted ways to give support to the hardest hit areas.”

For more information go to Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund.

Community Foundation Tampa Bay activates rapid response fund

Following Ian, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay and its community partners have activated the Tampa Bay Rapid Response Fund to focus donations directly on immediate response efforts of local nonprofits. The Community Foundation Tampa Bay has also updated its critical needs list criteria to include recovery efforts. Nonprofits will be able to submit Ian-related needs to that list through the end of October. For more information go to Community Foundation Tampa Bay Hurricane Ian.

Working with partner community foundation organizations in the hardest-hit areas of the state, Community Foundation Tampa Bay has also identified organizations in southwest and central Florida that have established relief funds:
  Volunteer Florida/Florida Disaster Fund

Volunteer Florida, the state’s agency for volunteerism and service work, has volunteer opportunities available to help with recovery efforts. The organization is also seeking donations to the Florida Disaster Fund, the post-disaster relief fund managed by the Volunteer Florida Foundation. 

For more information go to Volunteer Florida.

United Way Suncoast

United Way Suncoast is seeking donations for its Disaster Recovery Fund. Contributions can be made online or by texting DISASTER to 844-701-5181. Those impacted by the storm seeking assistance should call 211 to be connected to available resources.

The United Way Suncoast encourages those seeking to donate food or household items to the community as quickly as possible to contact Feeding Tampa Bay, All Faiths Food Bank, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee County or other local food banks. Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County is asking for donations of tarps and fasteners and Habitat for Humanity of DeSoto County is accepting all donations. United Way Suncoast is also working to coordinate and organize volunteer efforts. 

For more information and updates go to United Way Suncoast Disaster Recovery.

Florida DEO damage assessment

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has launched a damage assessment survey for businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian to help guide federal, state and local relief and assistance. For more information and the survey go to Business Damage Assessment Survey.
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.