The state-administered Florida Disaster Fund has brought in more than $60 million since Hurricane Ian.
The funds have been distributed to dozens of service organizations that help individuals within their communities with disaster response and recovery.
The Florida Disaster Fund was established in 2004 and reactivated after Ian. The goal of the fund is to help Floridians recover from emergencies by collecting private donations and distributing the money to nonprofits and service groups statewide. The Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, administers the fund.
First lady Casey DeSantis helps oversee the fund and began advocating for it after Hurricane Ian.
“I think it’s important to come out here to talk about the Florida Disaster Fund because so often, you have a lot of nonprofits…some are great, some are wonderful, and then you have some others that take some money, but you never hear from them again,” DeSantis said. “You never see a return on your investment, and so, we want to get out and show the people of the state and the country exactly how this money is being spent and how it’s supporting people because I think that is our responsibility.”
WINK News’ partner PolitiFact found that $61.3 million in revenue was collected from Sept. 28 to March 16. Of this amount, $22 million has been distributed. PolitiFact also discovered that an additional $2.2 million in donations has been committed.
According to this report, Volunteer Florida Foundation has initiated five rounds of response grants distributed amongst 34 nonprofits in Florida as of Dec. 2022. PolitiFact obtained a list of those organizations: Save the Children, the Salvation Army, Feeding Florida, Florida Professional Firefighters, Florida National Guard Foundation, Collaboratory, and others.
Although it’s been six months since Hurricane Ian, you can still donate to the Florida Disaster Fund.
WINK News has also been staying on top of the money donated to local Southwest Florida emergency relief funds.
You can find more details in this WINK story.