Clothes giveaway held for Ian survivors in Cape Coral

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez
Published: Updated:

A community giveaway to help those affected by Hurricane Ian is taking place on Sunday morning at the Torched Bar & Grill in Cape Coral.

Save the Closet is a Florida disaster relief organization based in Panama City Beach where Michael hit in 2018.

People who experienced Hurricane Michael in the panhandle and Harvey in Texas are in Southwest Florida to give back to the community.

The giveaway will include three trailers with free clothes, as well as free food and live music.

It’s a chance for people who lost everything to get some clothes, come together and have a break from the devastation and hardship.

Katy Lingle, with Save the Closet, said it creates a bit of normalcy and dignity when storm victims are allowed to replenish their wardrobes.

“It’s why we do this is for people to understand they’re worth it. And that in situations like this, there is no barrier between you, me and them,” Lingle said.

“I think it’s wonderful to watch everyone come together and remind the world that we are one human race,” she added.

She said she hoped the clothes giveaway will help people feel like they haven’t been forgotten.

Lingle said there are suitcases people can take to help them move from place to place.

“A lot of people are displaced and transient right now until they figure out where they are going to land,” Lingle said. “We did do a drive to get a bunch of suitcases so we have several of those.”

Lingle said they to be very specific and careful about the quality of clothes they give.

“Everything here is something people would pay for, but it’s free for those who attend,” Lingle said.

The clothes and shoes have been donated from all over the country, including Latin star Maluma’s line from Macy’s, Lingle said.

Elijah Cravens, one of the younger volunteers, fled with his family during the storm.

Elijah said when he and his family returned, the devastation was a “total surprise.”

Elijah was able to salvage a lot of stuff, but his other siblings lost the majority of their items.

“It was a horrible sight to see,” Elijah said.

Watching people come together to help others has been “amazing,” Elijah said.

“I’m just to happy to see this,” he said.

On Sunday, he was one of the volunteers helping to organize the shoes.

“It makes me feel great I can be part of this and I can help other people,” Elijah said.

The event is taking place at the restaurant at 2408 Surfside Blvd. in Cape Coral from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn more about their organization on their Facebook page.

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