After Ian, victims turn into volunteers across SWFL

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Melissa Montoya
Those affected by Ian are now volunteering to help others. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Across Southwest Florida, people are pitching in to help out.

Many of those helping in the recovery effort are also Hurricane Ian victims with their own needs and challenges.

Mixed in with professionals who are trained for emergency response are folks like Gary Casterlin.

With no electricity or internet, he was powerless to work so he rolled up his sleeves and started handing out food with the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

“Rather than just sit home doing nothing, come out here, spend the day, spend a couple days and help out,” Casterlin said.

Ashley Guzman is hobbling but still helping.

“When we were evacuating, I was putting my kids in the car doing their seatbelts, I took a step back and I just landed wrong and I broke my foot,” Guzman said.

It hasn’t stopped her from serving others a fresh, hot burger.

There is much to be done. Emotions are high. Even a family pet can pitch in as a stress reliever.

Time and time again, people said they are driven by a sense of gratitude.

“Our home had very minimal damage, we’re able to live there so we are so lucky,” Guzman said.

After weathering a storm together, communities are now recovering together.

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