Photo: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
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:
In the days leading up to Michael’s landfall, volunteers at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando began piecing together disaster relief boxes of canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and shelf-stable milk that could meet the needs of a family of four for a week. In the storm’s aftermath, they’ve trucked these boxes across the storm-devastated region, making sure that families have steady access to food while supermarkets are largely unavailable.
Fuel Relief Fund brought their expertise in distributing vital free fuel supplies to ensure that first responders, hospitals, local police and fire departments, nursing homes, and everyday residents in communities recovering from Hurricane Michael’s destruction were able to fuel their vehicles and generators.
Teams of veteran volunteers from the North Carolina Military Veterans Hall of Fame traveled from their home state, where they’ve been assisting residents recovering from Hurricane Florence just weeks prior, to the Florida Panhandle to help some of the communities hardest hit by Michael, like Mexico Beach and Panama City. They’ve been distributing essentials like food, clothing, blankets, and hygiene supplies to residents in affected areas, as well as helping clear debris and salvage possessions for homeowners so that repairs can get underway.
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.
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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.