Where the Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund money is going

Reporter: Kellie Miller Writer: Matthew Seaver

Nearly 3,000 people have donated $4.3 million to the Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund to help Hurricane Ian victims.

It is a sign of hope and a sense of relief for hundreds of families in Lee County.

Volunteers with United Way, the Collaboratory, and Lee County schools are working together to give out mattresses to families impacted by the hurricane.

“We live on Fort Myers Beach, so we lost everything on the first floor, and we are accepting any help and donations that the county may offer,” said one person impacted by the hurricane.

The mattress giveaway is just one example of how Southwest Florida Emergency Relief funds are being put to use.

Jeannine Joy, president of United Way, said it’s an ongoing process that’s just getting started.

“United Way distributes those funds in the community, and so far, we have distributed over 1.1 million in direct assistance to our local nonprofits in the area… we were also able so far to acquire 2.5 million in tangible goods that were donated,” said Joy.

Included in those tangible goods are 700 mattresses. Lee County school nurses, guidance counselors, and social workers connected families in need to the mattress giveaway.

“We can guarantee it’s going to go to people who really need it,” said Joy.

Coach Terry from Fort Myers said he came for his wife, a teacher who could use a good night’s sleep.

“I just thank everybody and hope everybody has a wonderful holiday season.”

WINK News will continue to follow the money donated to the Southwest Florida Hurricane Relief Fund and ensure it’s helping hurricane victims who need it most.

If you’d like to donate to the emergency relief fund, you can do so by clicking here.

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