One Year Stronger $3.5 Million in Hurricane Ian Relief

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Families with Children First received clothing, gift cards, gas cards, and other necessities following Hurricane Ian with funding from Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) is recognizing the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ian with a reflection on impact and the ongoing rebuilding and recovery. On September 28, 2022, southwest Florida was struck by Hurricane Ian, one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit our state. Gulf Coast’s Board of Directors approved funding within 24 hours of the storm’s impact and generous donors locally and from across the country matched it quickly. Gulf Coast provided dozens of grants to nonprofit organizations just days following the storm with a focus on health and human service needs in southern Sarasota County. Now, one year later, thanks to generous donor contributions, Gulf Coast’s Board of Directors, and dedicated team, Gulf Coast’s Hurricane Ian Recovery Initiative has realized over 200 grants totaling $3.5 million in relief.  Gulf Coast provided Venice Theatre with multiple grants totaling $640,000 to support their staff and the rebuilding of the Jervey Theatre. The theater has maintained its staff and is working diligently on redesign and rebuilding efforts. A funding commitment of $1 million over three years to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties was approved by Gulf Coast’s Board of Directors to rebuild the Gene Matthews Club in North Port that was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Prior to the storm, the Club provided over 450 children and teens with award-winning programs that empower them to become great leaders. Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in Punta Gorda took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian and received $20,000 from Gulf Coast’s Hurricane Recovery Initiative to assist them in re-opening to the public. Children First, the Sarasota Head Start provider, received a $50,000 grant from Gulf Coast. Mental health services were a critical need following the storm. Tri-County Counseling received a $15,000 grant to support services in their North Port Office, and Dr. Charlton Cerbone, CEO and clinical director, attributes the grant to a necessary expansion in services.  This snapshot of the Hurricane Ian Relief Fund impact sheds light on the resilient and strong nonprofit community who work tirelessly to support our region in times of need. Together, with the generosity of the community, transformative Hurricane Ian recovery has provided strength for rebuilding and future storm preparedness. To learn more, visit https://www.gulfcoastcf.org/hurricane-ian-relief-grants.

Pictured: Families with Children First received clothing, gift cards, gas cards, and other necessities following Hurricane Ian with funding from Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

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