In October 2018, GlobalGiving launched its Hurricane Michael Relief Fund to support local communities in Florida that were devastated by this Category 5 hurricane. Since the launch of the fund, you and more than 2,000 other people stepped up to raise nearly $800,000 to meet the massive need of families and community members in Florida that suddenly found themselves without homes, employment, and stability in their lives.
At the beginning of this year, we made our final grants from the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund in support of the critical work being carried out by our vetted nonprofit partners on the ground. We are now closing the fund and want to highlight some of the incredible recovery work that your generous donation has supported.
In this new time of great uncertainty and damage caused by COVID-19, it is more important than ever to remember the communities around the world and at home that are still struggling to recover in the face of disaster. This is especially true in the Florida Panhandle region as many families and community members continue to grapple with the long-term impacts of Hurricane Michael.
Though we are now closing our fund, please consider supporting the ongoing recovery efforts being led by our trusted nonprofit partners on the ground. From everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for choosing to support community-led recovery efforts in Florida.
Chase + the GlobalGiving team
Hurricane Michael battered the Florida panhandle as the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to ever strike the United States on Oct. 10, 2018. In Panama City alone, 85% of the existing structures were damaged. One year later, survivors continue to endure myriad challenges as they try to rebuild their lives.
Your donation to the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund is making a difference for survivors—and fueling community-led recovery and resilience building. With your support, partners on the ground are helping children and adults heal from the psychological trauma of the storm’s aftermath, rebuilding a new Boys and Girls Club Center, and hiring a much-needed case manager navigating the tremendous unmet needs. Here is a look at how your support continues to change lives:
We are also thrilled to share that Yvonne Petrasovits, the leader of our recovery partner Doorways of Northwest Florida, has been selected as a member of GlobalGiving’s 2020-2021 Disaster Feedback Fellowship. She will join a cohort of peers working with disaster-affected communities around the world for workshops and conventions in Washington D.C. and San Juan, Puerto Rico in February 2020.
As families in the Panhandle face the long road ahead towards rebuilding their communities, we are immensely grateful for your generous support for each of these programs. Thank you for your decision to fund community-led disaster response efforts after Hurricane Michael with your cash donation—the smart way to give after a disaster. You can continue to follow the progress of our partners as they help their communities fully recover by visiting our website.
Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team
Despite designation as a Category 5 storm, the 60 lives claimed in the chaos, and the destruction of homes and critical infrastructure, Hurricane Michael faded quickly out of the headlines last hurricane season. Nevertheless, thanks to the donations of over 1,600 generous individuals, GlobalGiving and its nonprofit partners are continuing to support communities on the road to recovery long after the short-lived media attention.
Our local nonprofit partners remain dedicated to moving the recovery process forward despite challenges. The situation in the post-hurricane Florida panhandle remains dire; people are living out of their cars, there is a population exodus out of small towns, and school enrollments are facing steep drop offs.
Nine months after the hurricane, your donation continues to rebuild homes, schools, community structures, and lives.
July Recovery Partner Spotlight: All Hands All Hearts Volunteers
AHAH volunteers have been racking up thousands of hours in clearing monumental amounts of debris, clearing dangerous mold, and rebuilding more than 169 damaged homes and community structures. AHAH’s ongoing efforts have touched 701 people’s lives!
Despite the heat and humidity, the organization is currently working hard to ensure that the Boys and Girls Club of Panama City, which offered teens homework support, sports, and computer literacy programs before the storm, is fully repaired and ready for the start of the school year.
Although nine months have passed since the disaster struck, volunteer organizations like AHAH still play a critical role in Hurricane Michael’s recovery work. The benefits of this persistent, on the ground support include free time for parents to be able to take their kids to school, and peace of mind in knowing there are people dedicated to rebuilding a home that is safe and livable once again .
“Our staff and volunteers are committed to supporting recovery for the long haul.”
Also helping affected communities to rebuild after the hurricane, is Habitat for Humanity. To date, Habitat has performed 4,806 interventions. This includes damage assessments, debris removal, clean up assistance, and emergency repairs. Local Habitat teams have been helping families find temporary housing, organizing home assessments, and guiding people through the complicated insurance claims and FEMA application process.
The commitment to holistic recovery shows through Habitat’s interactions with the affected communities:
“Habitat helped Bay County resident Cleedie May and her family navigate the complex terrain of insurance and contract work. When it was clear there would be gaps between costs and insurance payment, Habitat fixed the walls, windows, roof and flooring despite the funding challenge. Cleedie Mae expressed her gratitude many times over and said “what a blessing” Habitat has been for her family.”
By June 2020, Habitat’s goal is to build 13 new homes, conduct 57 repairs, and complete 46 rehabs through fortified construction methods.
Your generosity and support of this fund has translated into real tangible progress. Thank you for standing with the people of Panhandle. We will continue to share stories from the field as Florida communities recover.
With continued gratitude,
Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team
With support from GlobalGivers like you, who've raised more than $750,000 for our Hurricane Michael Relief Fund, our nonprofit partners have been able to help affected communities along Florida's Panhandle make great strides recovering and rebuilding after the storm.
Habitat for Humanity's local chapters in Bay County and Chipola supported early relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, performing damage assessments and damage repairs, removing debris, and distributing tools and construction materials to homeowners. Now they're partnering with moderate-to-low income hurricane-affected households to build new homes and perform critical home repairs over the next year and a half.
Thanks to backing from this relief fund, Hearts & Hands Disaster Recovery’s teams will be able to help at least 10 households return to their homes in 2019. Their program is designed to fill in the gaps for people whose homes were uninsured or underinsured when Michael struck, and are not able to recover on their own.
After helping the people of their home state recover from Hurricane Florence in early September, teams of veterans from the North Carolina Military Veterans Hall of Fame traveled to Florida to join emergency relief efforts after Hurricane Michael just a few weeks later. In the following months, their teams have been making the trip back to the Panhandle from North Carolina every two weeks to help families rebuild their hurricane-damaged homes, and are continuing to distribute clothing, food, water filtration kits, and construction supplies to families in need.
The Florida Response Program volunteers from All Hands and Hearts have worked on 68 hurricane-damaged homes to date, and are now helping to repair the heavily damaged Boys and Girls Club of Bay County, which has been closed for safety concerns since the storm.
The generosity you and so many others have shown by supporting this relief fund has helped make this vital recovery work possible. Thank you for standing with the people of the Florida Panhandle after a storm that cost so many people so much. We'll be back in your inbox in the coming months with more stories of progress.
Will + the GlobalGiving Team
The strongest storm to make landfall in this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds, torrential rains, and massive storm surges that devastated coastal communities. The record-setting storm knocked out power for 1.2 million customers across the region, caused billions of dollars worth of property damage, and claimed 60 lives. Communities directly Michael’s path, like Mexico Beach and Panama City, suffered catastrophic damage that will likely take years to recover from.
In response to the devastation, more than 1,600 GlobalGivers like yourself generously donated more than $225,000 to fund community-led relief and recovery efforts. And thanks to that support, our vetted nonprofit partners have been working hard to assist affected communities:
As immediate relief efforts transition into long-term recovery work, we’ll continue to update you on the progress of our nonprofit partners and the communities where they work and the impact of your donation. And we’d like to especially thank you, not just for the fact that you’ve generously supported our Hurricane Michael Relief Fund, but for how you’ve supported it—by making the smart decision to give cash. Donating money after a disaster allows for quicker and more efficient deployment of resources and supports, rather than disrupts, local economies.
Will Frechette + the GlobalGiving Team
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When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.
We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.
They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.
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