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Long-term hurricane recovery fund collects nearly $5 million

The fund will help individuals in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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  • | 4:40 p.m. December 19, 2022
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Nearly $5 million has been collected in the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund created in response to the mess Hurricane Ian left behind. 

Donations were collected from community members and even across the country to support long-term recovery efforts of needs that pop up after emergency disaster response efforts have concluded. The fund through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County will support human service agencies that serve individuals in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, according to a statement 

“Through the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund, our region has the support to improve not only the lives of those who have been devastated by Hurricane Ian, but also our important community networks for the long run,” Roxie Jerde, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, says in the release. “The outstanding support from contributors will be met with thoughtful recommendations to distribute those generous gifts so that our region has better knowledge, tools and resources to meet today’s challenges, and improve our responses to future disasters.”

A task force of community members and Community Foundation board and staff members was formed to decide how to distribute the funds. 

“It is human nature to want to respond quickly to help neighbors in need, and thankfully we have other funding resources to keep people in their homes, their cars running, and children in daycare. This allows our approach with the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund to be thoughtful and deliberate,” says Kirsten Russell, vice president of community impact, in the release. “We will be flexible, collaborative within each community across our four-county area, and most importantly, effective.”

As of Dec. 7, the majority of the $4.86 million donated came from local residents with 12% coming in from out of state. 

“We are not going to take years to distribute these grants,” Community Foundation board member CJ Fishman says. “But, we want to take the time necessary to ensure the greatest needs that encompass the whole community are met.”


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